Rituals & Routines For Waking Well + Sleeping Soundly
Welcome to the first instalment of a brand new interview series giving you a very special insight into the habits, rituals and routines of some of the most interesting and in-the-know people I can get my hands on. It’s all about gathering inspiration, and using it to experiment with in order to reveal the best version of yourself.
The first few things you do each morning can set the tone for your entire day, so learning a few hints, hacks and practices to set you up well can have a big positive impact on you and everyone around you. Evening routines are just as important, enabling healthy digestion of dinner, sound sleep and therefore a better morning when you wake again!
Settle in a dig out your note pad if you like, because you could learn something that’ll change everything….
Hello. I’m Samantha Warner, Founder of Ottilie Wellness, a lifestyle and wellness brand based on Yoga, which launched in Spring 2017.
After working long hours as a Creative Director and commuting to London, whilst juggling a young family, Ottilie was the dream I didn’t realise was waiting for me. It was born out of a new-found passion for natural healing, to restore personal health issues, and to realise the healing power of food, yoga and good friends. In short, Ottilie is about inspiring people to live healthier and happier lives so they can support and nourish others.
The foundation of Ottilie is to provide space for people to embrace their wellness, by hosting yoga and pilates brunches, wellness days, motivational talks and retreats in the UK and abroad. By collaborating with industry experts we share how you can take charge of your wellbeing and mindset for your self-care, because if you don’t look after yourself, then how can you look after others?
I live in the Sussex countryside with my husband, two girls, Daisy (11) Mollie (8) and two cats. I have a huge passion for travelling and as a creative who loves photography, I’m grateful to be living in the booming era of Instagram!
- It’s a weekday morning – what time do you usually wake up?
6am as I like to have an hour to myself before waking my girls for school.
- And on weekends?
7am – again so I can have an hour to myself, but also benefit from that extra hour of sleep.
- What wakes you up?
I set my iphone alarm to the ‘bedtime’ mode with the wake-up sound of ‘Sunny’. I recently discovered this sound and it starts quiet, getting slightly louder. The sound is so calming – it instantly puts me in a grateful mode for the morning.
- Are you a ‘morning person’?
I never used to be, but since having my children I relish the time in the mornings to myself, preparing for the day. In the Spring and Summer I LOVE taking a walk in the mornings.
- What’s the first thing you generally think about?
What day is it? What do I have on?
- What’s the first step of your morning routine?
Grab a thick comfy cardi, slippers, head downstairs for a big mug of hot water and freshly squeezed lemon, and feed my cats. I then sit in my lounge as I have a series of books which I do daily devotionals from. Firstly a Christian based book The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer, which is 355 Daily inspirations addressing challenges women commonly face, helping you progress on your journey toward a confident life filled with love, laughter and God’s acceptance.
Then Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. Again, daily insights and reflections inspiring us all to discover our true purpose in the world and learn to connect more deeply. This book is a favourite and I’m now on my second year.
Recently I also added The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai to my daily routine. This is a 100 day ritual to look at everyday tasks and how we can approach them with a more open, clearer and calmer mindset
Depending on what I’ve taken in that morning, I may do a number of journal exercises on gratitude, dreams, visions, goals etc. Or I’ll take 10 minutes using the headspace app. In the Summer months I love planning a good podcast and morning walk across the fields and woods where I live. Recently I have been listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.
I think it’s important to do what you feel like doing. Listening to your soul that morning and being open.
- Do you kickstart your day with coffee?
No. I love my morning coffee after I have exercised or been to yoga. It then feels like a treat that I look forward to. This will either be at my desk, with a friend or I’ll arrange a business meeting.
- Any supplements?
Yes… I take zinc and bee pollen.
- What’s for breakfast?
I love homemade granola with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries in the summer, or mashed avocado on wheat free bread and mixed seeds.
In the winter I usually go for porridge made with almond milk, nuts and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. For weekend breakfasts I love poached eggs with avocado (sometimes smoked salmon) on sour dough or wheat free bread.
- What time do you head out of the door?
8:15am on a week day.
- Where are you heading to?
To take my girls to school. Then an hours’ exercise – yoga, gym, walk or run.
- What time do you usually arrive home?
Each day is different. Most weekday mornings I’ll be home to shower and in the office by 10.30am. I will then be in and out all day. 2 days a week I have childcare after school so they are my full office days. I’m either out at meetings or at my desk. I’m very lucky that I have an office that is separate from the house, but still at home. I’ll usually walk in the door at 6.30pm on a workday.
- What’s for dinner?
Something tasty and nutritious. I rarely eat meat these days, so it will be full of veggies. I have many recipe books which I delve into for inspiration. The Yoga Kitchen, Eat Beautiful, Medicinal Chef, Jaime Oliver and Deliciously Ella are some favourites for ideas. I love to cook something new that suits the whole family but doesn’t take hours.
- What does your evening routine look like?
We eat early and then spend time with the girls, homework, reading, and chatting in bed before heading downstairs around 8.30pm. I take this time to catch up on some emails, admin or to make plans. With the retreats I have planned for Ottilie Wellness this year, that often takes time to research and communicate with venues and clients who are on different time zones.
At the weekends we watch movies or see friends for longer dinner evenings, but on weekdays it’ll be an hour of a recent Netflix series. A few evenings in the week are now spent at the pool with my eldest daughter, who swim trains. These nights are usually later!
- Who do you spend your evenings with?
My girls, my husband and then usually one or two evenings a week with friends. Once a week I’ll also go to a Yoga class in the evening.
- What are the last few things you do before going to sleep?
I apply facial serum and then I like to read for half an hour before turning the light off. It’ll either be a magazine article or a chapter of a good book, be it informative or a novel. My husband and I may usually have great conversations during this time! Catching up on our days, discussing the girls or talking dreams and ideas.
- Do you purposefully do anything to help you sleep well?
I’m very lucky that I have always slept well and continue to do so. I do love getting into a bed of freshly washed bed linen to sleep in though. When I was a teenager I always used to change my room around each week as I was convinced I would sleep extra well that night. Nothing like a bit of Feng Shui! I attribute [my good sleep] to eating healthily and doing exercise of some form every day. Plus, I have a busy creative mind from when I wake so it’s probably exhausted by bedtime.
- What time is lights out?
I’d love it to be 10pm but it’s usually 10.45pm
- Have you always been this way about your morning and evening routines?
Only since having my girls 11 years ago. Before that, I was a night owl. I would get up early so I didn’t feel I was wasting the day, but this would soon have accumulative effects of tiredness, as I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I certainly didn’t listen to my body as much as I do now. I was never really educated on the benefits of sleep… now I love it.
- Do you feel your morning and evening routines benefit you?
My morning routine definitely does. If I don’t have that time to myself before the house wakes then I feel cheated and behind on my day. I guess it’s mental preparation. As a mum you give so much to others you need some self-care time in your day whenever that may be. I have also always had good skin and I credit this not only to my genes, but my lemon and hot water in the mornings too!
- What one piece of advice would you give regarding morning routines?
Always take half an hour to gather your day; what you plan to achieve, what you need to get done, and where you will fit in some self-care time. PLUS a mug of hot water and lemon is a MUST for morning hydration.
- What one piece of advice would you give regarding evening routines?
Go to bed as early as you can. Don’t worry if ‘it’ didn’t get done, there is tomorrow for ‘stuff’, but only today to be present. Make time for what is important in the evening. Your family, friends, your me-time. Chores can wait.
The Ottilie Wellness Rejuvenate retreat is coming up soon from the 12th-14th January in East Sussex. To find out more, grab your space and really get the year off to an amazing start, click here! For all other upcoming Ottilie Wellbeing events – click here!
For all your other wellbeing needs, events, inspiration and lifestyle tips, head to OttilieWellness.com