Waking up with Wordle, morning movement and going "hardcore" on the supplements - Youtimer and beauty expert Gemma Watts shares her morning routine.
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Neither reason is that I am particularly interesting. The first is that I am self-employed and work from home, and have been/done both of those things for close to six years.
The “great quiet” (this is what I am now calling lockdown) piqued the public’s interest in those who work from home, so people are curious as to how I set a distinction between home and work each morning.
The second is that the morning is where my beauty routine begins, and while my topical skincare routine is fairly minimalistic, my ingestible skincare routine is very much the opposite.
I wake up somewhere between 6 and 6.30am. My fiance is a carpenter, so to him, this would be considered a “sleep in.”
It pains me to admit it, but the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone. It’s lowbrow, it’s precisely what we’re told not to do, but I am not bothered enough to change.
I justify this to myself in that we’re told not to look at our phones too close to bedtime as the blue light tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime and keeps us awake, so surely on the flipside of that very coin, early morning blue light exposure can trick me into feeling more awake.
There’s merit to the idea of waking slowly and mindfully, but easing myself into anything, particularly waking, has never really been my speed.
I used to look at my emails first thing in the morning to check if anything important had rolled in overnight. I would never, ever reply to an email at that hour, but having an idea of what I’ll be dealing with once I do sit down at my desk brings me an odd sense of calm - perhaps unwarranted calm, but I’ll take it where I can get it.
That said, I have recently bumped email-checking down to second place in favour of Wordle. Wordle is very fun, probably a bit silly, and it forces me to think first thing in the morning. Consider it a life hack of the pop culture variety.
I am an early morning exerciser.
I can’t have breakfast or coffee before a workout as I can feel it sitting in my throat and swirling around in my stomach, neither of which are ideal feelings, so I save those things for post-exercise.
If I don’t exercise in the morning, I probably won’t do it at all - which is fine! We all need a break sometimes.
For me, it’s more of a headspace thing. Endorphins really set me up for the day.
I find a combination of HIIT and pilates works best for both my mind and body.
My trainer, Tom Hose at FoxFit, has completely transformed my approach to exercise.
I train with him a few mornings each week and have done for over two years, and he has taught me the importance of finding a style of workout that you actually enjoy, and engaging in it for the feeling it gives you as opposed to how it makes you look.
On alternate mornings, I take virtual classes with The Pilates Class by Jacquie Kingswell. I danced for close to 21 years, so pilates is a style of exercise that takes me right back to my dance principles.
This doubles as meditation time for me, as each class ends with a stretch and breathwork. I use a Maat World suede matte and neutral-toned Bala wrist and ankle weights because, as superficial as it may sound, beautiful surroundings, equipment and activewear motivate me. I work in a visual industry and I make no apologies for what drives me!
I walk outdoors every day. I'll usually do this in the morning, but if I have a full day of writing ahead of me (as opposed to a shoot, podcast recording or event MCing) I’ll walk at lunchtime to punctuate the day.
If I’m walking in the morning, I’ll apply a product with Vitamin B5 in it to protect my skin from environmental stressors like dry morning air.
Next I will shower, apply my skincare (a simple routine for the morning- usually a gentle cleanse, an antioxidant serum and an SPF), get dressed (pyjamas are not conducive to good work, but tracksuits are sometimes) and get stuck into breakfast.
When it comes to ingestibles and inner beauty supplements, I’m a bit hardcore.
This may well be the only element of my life where I could ever be considered hardcore.
I drink three coffees a day (two in the morning and one at lunch), and I’ll mix a medicinal mushroom supplement into one or two of them. I started learning more about medicinal mushrooms last year and I love them.
I take collagen every single day. I love Habitual Beauty’s Dutch Chocolate either blended into a smoothie (usually with frozen bananas, some peanut butter and WelleCo’s Nourishing Protein Chocolate, which is the most delicious protein of all time), or the Sicilian Blood Orange mixed into water.
I also take The Beauty Chef’s Glow and Gut Primer powders most days (mixed into water, usually mid morning), and have recently started taking both the Aede Hair Activist and Vida Glow Radiance capsules.
It’s too soon to call if either capsule is making a difference, but I have long subscribed to a “Why not?” philosophy when it comes to ingestible beauty. I write all my skincare and supplements in a skin diary each day so I can track any changes in my skin. See? Hardcore.
Once two coffees have been consumed, I make the long commute from my living room to my home office. I leave at around 7.59 and am at my desk by 8am. Then I sit down to write articles about inner and outer beauty- like this one!