ASICS FrontRunner Tracy-Lee Dalton is a morning person. And, she believes she's become even more so over the past two years and it has been invaluable for her physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
"If you use your morning effectively I truly believe it can change your life," Tracy says explaining how she has spent the past two years unintentionally building a solid morning routine. "I say 'unintentionally' because there was no intent to start actioning a morning routine into my life, but I seemed to flow into one through being more mindful of the way I go into each day.
These are smaller components that together make a huge impact on her day:
- Find the right wake-up alarm tone. I currently have these chirping birds that make me feel like I am waking up in a tropical jungle each morning. Sometimes I even just let the alarm run for a little and enjoy getting lost in the beauty of 'nature.'
- Leave your phone alone. I try not to go through messages or social media until I sit down for my work day. I like to keep my mornings for me without those distractions.
- Hydrate. I keep a glass of water next to my bed so that when I wake up I can take a big gulp.
- Get productive. As I get out of bed I make it - first productive thing ticked off the list for the day and it sure beats walking into an untidy bedroom.
These are the bigger parts of her routine:
Meditation : The first thing I aim to do is to jump on my meditation cushion and have a meditation. Some days I can meditate for 45 minutes and others for 10. It is more about dedicating this time to consciously bringing awareness to my body and mind which has a ripple effect on my day. I often find that at times throughout the day my mind is inundated with thoughts and the simple practice of meditation aids in quieting down this noise.
Hot Water and Lemon : After my meditation I usually head to the kitchen and make myself some hot water and lemon. This aids with hydration, digestion, it strengthens your immune system and has a multitude of additional benefits.
Journalling : I pull out my journal and journal for a little whilst enjoying my hot lemon water. Putting pen to paper is an extension of my relationship to myself and I find it highly therapeutic. Many people say they do not know what to write about so they just don’t do it, but the beauty is in starting and letting go of the control of having to have something to write about. Just start and see where you end up.
Coffee : There are mixed reviews about coffee consumption but I would be lying if I didn’t include this in my morning routine. I’ve fallen quite in love with my morning coffee ritual because it is so much more than just slugging back a quick cuppa to get my morning fix of caffeine. I love the process of making my morning coffee and the ritual of doing so becomes about the art of making and enjoying a delectable cup of freshly brewed coffee.
More on what caffeine does to your body, here.
Exercise : The cherry on top of my morning routine. I way prefer running / working out in the morning to the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong - there are positives to both but if I can exercise before work then I am one energised and happy human for the day! I either lace up and head for a 6 - 10 km run, or I do a 45 minute yoga session at home. I finish my workout full of life with endorphins rushing throughout my body and I'm ready to tackle the day.
Cold Water Swim : If I have the time I sneak a cold water swim into my morning routine. Usually this means sacrificing one of the above to make sure I fit it all in before I get my day started. Living in Cape Town means an average of 9 - 12 degree water, which is THE DREAM for people wanting to do cold water submersions. Luckily I am one of those people. Some mornings I am short for time so I just have a quick swim after my run. Other mornings we spend about 20 minutes in the water soaking up all the salty, icy goodness. It may be a little cold at first but pushing through this leaves my body and mind feeling invigorated and alert, and I bring this sharpness into my work day.