5 Real Life Morning Routines

5 Real Life Morning Routines

Not everyone bounds out of bed at 5am raring to go to the gym. For some of us, getting up is a daily struggle when we hit the snooze button on repeat and need coffee on demand. Whichever way you approach your morning, the routine you create can have a lasting effect on the day ahead. We speak to six very different women about how they rise and shine.


Dr Hazel Wallace, also known as The Food Medic (thefoodmedic.co.uk), is a doctor, author of two books and host of The Food Medic podcast

“I wake up at about 5am every morning so I can make it to the gym for an hour before work. Although that may sound pretty exhausting, I actually feel more tired on the days I don’t exercise. It just really sets me off on the right foot for the day and means I don’t have to worry about fitting it in after work. I must be honest though, I’m not really a morning person and I refuse to wake up any earlier than I need to, which means I have a very meticulous night routine to ensure everything is prepped for the next day, such as my overnight oats, lunch and work clothes. If I’m not going to the gym, then I still wake up relatively early and use that time to do 10 minutes of meditation and either some writing or reading for projects I'm working on. With my busy job, I don’t get much spare time during the day to do anything else and so I have to be quite savvy with my mornings and evenings! I always take the tube to work, and usually get on one stop after the station closest to me so I get a 15-minute walk into my day and have a chance to pick up a coffee (an Americano with oat milk, if you’re asking). Like any Londoner knows, the tube is not the most pleasant place to be in the morning at rush hour, but I use that time to listen to a podcast or an audiobook. I don’t ever connect to the WiFi when I’m down there as it’s the one part of my day where I’m totally offline and I relish in it.” 

Follow Hazel on Instagram here


Isa-Welly is a Pilates and wellness coach based in London. She is currently training to be a nutritionist.

“A while ago I would have said mornings were not my thing, but I've since learnt to create a routine that is authentic to me and makes me excited to get up. I usually wake up around 6.30am and down a huge glass of water to rehydrate. Then I roll my mat out and do some gentle stretches focusing on my spine and lower back. As Joseph Pilates said: ‘A man is as young as his spinal column’ so keeping it flexible is key. I typically do three roll downs followed by a few cat and cow stretches and a two-minute downward dog. After that I free flow on the mat and just let my body do whatever it feels. In general, my movement session lasts about 15 minutes and then I meditate for 15 minutes. This bit is my favourite because I get to lay back down again!
Three times a week I head to the gym to do some weights and cardio and on those days I end up doing my stretches and meditation in the sauna room post-workout. After my workout or stretches, it's time for some warm water with fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon, followed by a shower and then a gigantic breakfast. As a nutritionist trainee I’ve been learning extensively about the power of food, so I make sure I fuel my body with nutrients that will keep me energised throughout the day. Some of my favourite breakfasts options are mashed edamame beans with avocado on toast, savoury muffins, coconut yoghurt with fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, or green smoothies to drink on the go if I'm in a rush.
Mornings have become a special part of my day and allow me time to be with myself and really tune in to see how I feel. If there is a lot going on, instead of meditating or going to the gym, I will get a pen and paper and just pour my thoughts down. I find this really therapeutic and sometimes much more beneficial than a workout. The secret about morning routines is to make them authentic to you and realistic to your lifestyle. There is no right or wrong thing to do as long as you enjoy it.”

Follow Isa-Welly on Instagram here.


Alice Theobald is a hair and make-up stylist who has worked with the likes of HRH Princess Beatrice, Idris Elba and Lindsay Lohan. 

“My morning routine starts the night before, because every day for me is totally different. I might be looking after someone for a live TV appearance or a model for a magazine photoshoot (anything is possible!) but lateness is not an option so I aim to be really organised. The night before I put together everything that I’ll need for the next day: details of where I have to be, who I’m working with, all my kit, the clothes I’m going to wear – and then I set my alarm. If I don’t have to be up ridiculously early, I try to do 10 to 15 minutes of yoga every morning which is a lovely way to start the day. I had a car accident a few years ago and it causes me quite a lot of pain so yoga helps that. 

Even if I have to get up at 4am, my boyfriend wakes up with me and cooks me breakfast. That’s a massive part of my morning and very important for my health – when I’m on shoots I never know what I’m going to be fed, or when I’ll have time to eat, so I make sure I have a really nutritious morning meal. I usually have a superfood pancake made with oats, quinoa, eggs, milk and milled seeds, and top it with agave nectar, mixed fruits and Greek yoghurt. 

While I shower, I always use an electric facial brush and then I’ll often test a new beauty product for a column I write. Trying new products is a key part of my day as I like to keep my kit fresh and up-to-date, and I’ll always test anything I use for work on myself first.

I often go make-up-free on my days off, but if I am on-set one of my favourite products for early mornings is the colour corrector from Vichy, it’s great for dark circles, and I use it underneath my concealer below my eyes. If I know I’m up early and don’t have time to wash my hair in the mornings, I’ll try to blow dry it the night before and use a bit of Boucleme hair oil on the ends to stop it going dry and frizzy. And if it needs a refresh, I’ll often use Living Proof dry shampoo on the roots in the mornings.”

Follow Alice on Instagram here. 


Ruth Marsden is a mum-of-two and founder of the Bright Mama blog.

“Mornings start very abruptly these days. It’s one of the bits of parenthood that I actually found the hardest to adapt to. You have to be awake and READYFORFUN instantly. I’ve got a three-year-old and 18-month-old, they share a bedroom and tend to wake at a similar time. 

I’m usually woken by a top-of-his-lungs shout of ‘I need a weeeeee!’ then it’s straight up and through to the kitchen for breakfast because my children are gannets and seem to be starving instantly. I down pints of tea and we put on a bit of music to help pretend that we’re all happy to be awake. I defy you to be in a bad mood while listening to some classic Queen anthems

Then it’s back to their bedroom to wrangle them into some clothes and brush their teeth. And then, after that endurance test is over, I plonk them in my room with toys and books and I jump in the shower and get dressed as fast as humanly possible. Then we head out (after my eldest has performed his favourite footwear dance of putting his shoes on and taking them off again, over and over. And over). 

Occasionally, maybe once a week, I get up before them and do a bit of yoga in the living room which is always calm and lovely. Taking those few minutes to just breathe sets my day up amazingly – even though it usually ends with them coming through and me finding myself in child's pose with two children on top of me. But obviously, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Follow Ruth on Instagram here


Rhiannon Lambert (Rhitrition.com) is a Harley Street registered nutritionist, author of Re-Nourish and Food For Thought podcast host. 

“I keep my phone outside my bedroom, as I know just how much it can affect my sleep, and so my day starts with my traditional alarm clock going off at 7am. On a typical busy day, I wake up to a glass of water to rehydrate me and a green tea to give me an energy boost. After a protein-rich breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on rye bread, I always try to squeeze in a workout or at the very least some stretching before walking to my Harley Street clinic. On my way to work I like to listen to a podcast so I learn something new every day. Providing my routine isn't significantly different, I would go so far as to say that I'm very much a morning person! For me, how I feel in the morning is always a result of what happened the previous day, so enjoying three balanced meals with healthy snacks is really important to me and helps set me up not only for that day, but the following one too.”

Follow Rhiannon on Instagram here.


Jane Alty is the head chef and co-founder of The Begging Bowl in Peckham.

“It’s worth saying I am not a morning person. I have been working nights since I was a teenager and getting up before 8.30am is a struggle when you don’t get home till 1am. Saying that, life has moved on and these days my mornings are devoted to my daughter and getting her ready for school. Juggling work as a business owner and being a single mum has been challenging but also completely doable. It helps that I don’t commute very far and school, home and work are all within a few postcodes.

I get up after several snooze attempts, hopefully at 7.30am, and breakfast is an absolute must. I have to eat in the morning otherwise I feel shaky. I am not a fan of loads of bread or caffeine first thing, so we normally have muesli with oat milk and berries, an egg or pancakes. I save coffee for when I arrive at work. I prepare my daughter’s lunch which is all home-cooked. We do some spelling homework over breakfast and then we walk or cycle to school and I carry on to work. I am very lucky to work and live in South London and can cycle to work pretty stress-free. Once a week I go to a yoga class at Level Six Studios in Peckham Levels. I love it – I feel part of a strong community and it’s great to see so many familiar faces walking around Peckham.”

Follow The Begging Bowl on Instagram here.

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