Start your day well
Helen says, ‘What do you want to start? Exercise, playing a musical instrument, meditation or, like me, turning the drudge of weekday mornings into something more energising? Begin by making small changes that support your intention. My rushed morning routine often has an impact on the rest of my day. Allowing enough time to wake up, enjoy breakfast and put my “ready for the world” face on would help. So I’ll create time at the start of the day – by picking my outfit the night before, setting my alarm to wake me up with a feel-good playlist, and preparing the next morning’s healthy breakfast before I climb into bed.’
‘By making a few simple changes at home you can introduce new habits to your daily life without too much stress. Start today, repeat tomorrow and enjoy letting the habit take hold.’
Focus on your state of mind
Meditation is great for relieving stress. Pick a space in your home to turn into a meditation area. Bedrooms are ideal because you don’t need lots of room, just somewhere you can turn off distractions. Light candles, put on relaxing music and choose a positive one-word mantra, like ‘peace’ or ‘calm’, and repeat it. Or try this breathing exercise from Petra Thornton of Swedish Fitness: ‘Lie on your back, hands on top of your ribs. Breathe in deeply, filling your ribs. Hold, then as you breathe out allow your rib cage to get strong and tight like a corset.’
Turn your bedroom into a home gym
If you don’t have to travel somewhere to exercise, you’ll be more likely to keep the habit. Make it easy to clear a space to work out in at home with furniture that can be moved, folded or easily packed away. And keep your kit accessible in a box in the wardrobe or under the bed. ‘Pick an exercise you enjoy as you’re more likely to stick to it,’ says fitness expert Petra Thornton. ‘Stay motivated by setting realistic goals and believing to achieve!’
‘Anything you do that encourages the release of the body’s natural “happy hormone” will make you relax and boost your energy.’
Petra Thornton, fitness expert, Swedish Fitness
The small-space chair workout
Even if space and time are limited, you can give your body a workout. Try this 15-minute routine by Petra Thornton of Swedish Fitness:
To warm up and cool down: Stand with legs hip-width apart. Take a deep breath in and stretch your arms up in the air. Exhale as you fold forward and hold.
1 Squat down to sit on a chair. Don’t sit, just tap your bottom on it and stand up again to work your thighs. Repeat 15 times.
2 Put one foot in the middle of the seat and step up with the other leg. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
3 Lie flat on the floor, both feet resting on the chair, and lift your hips up in the air. Squeeze your buttocks to work your bum. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
4 Keeping your feet on the chair, start lifting your upper body – these are crunches for your abs! Repeat 15 times.
Repeat this circuit four times. Estimated time: 10-15 minutes.