How a Dubai-Based Travel and Wellness Writer Starts Her Day

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Totally in love with this city ☀️Feeling grateful for a 5 minute conversation I had this morning that inspired me to write this. Not everyone you meet here will become your best friend, but there is one thing most of us have in common. That is, we’re all here to achieve something. For a purpose. For a goal. If you listen to the words people say, the motivations behind their actions, it’s impossible not to be inspired even if it’s something totally unrelated to what you do. Listen. Right now, in a world of picture scrolling, comparisons, external approvals & gratification, it’s never been more important to surround yourself with people that drive you, inspire you and push you on in your goals. Start paying attention to the people you spend your time with, it matters more than you know ❤️ P.s if you want an amazing, low-impact booty workout then @physique57 is your go to – I’m shaking after this morning’s class! Fuelled by no other than my fave @smartwaterme. Added electrolytes for optimal hydration and the taste is 👌🏼 You must try if you haven’t already! 🌎 #sundayinspo #mydubai #smartwaterme #collab #motivation

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I’m a lark.

But before you think I’m crazy, let me explain. As humans, we pretty much fall into two categories when it comes to how awake or sleepy we feel during the day. If you’re a joy to be around in the morning, you’re a lark. If you’re a late sleeper, don’t-talk-to-me-before-my-first-cup-of-coffee kind of person, you’re an owl.

So, for me, mornings are normally quite an enjoyable start to the day. The first thing I’ll do when I wake up (typically around 7 or 8 a.m.) is say hi to my hubbie before checking my messages and e-mails. I’m actively trying to stay away from scrolling through Instagram in the morning because, before you know it, you’ve spent an hour on Insta Stories – and, frankly, I spend enough time on Instagram as it is!

If I’m training that morning, I won’t shower until I’m done with my workout. I will, however, always cleanse my face using either Garnier micellar water or, for a deeper clean, my REN ‘Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk’ followed by toning with the REN ‘Ready Steady Glow Daily Tonic’. I’ve actually only recently started to use REN products, but I really like them. They don’t dry out your skin but effectively get all the dirt off, which so many cleansers don’t.

I have just started using the new Nespresso ‘Vertuo’ machine for my morning coffee, and it’s fabulous. It makes a really creamy coffee in bigger sizes. My favorite flavor is the ‘Giornio’. While I do love my coffee, I’ve stopped drinking tea or coffee past 3 p.m. Since reading the book Why We Sleep, I’ve learned how much having caffeine in your system messes with your sleep quality, so my last cup is early afternoon. You’d be amazed to know it takes around five to seven hours to clear your body of just 50 percent of the coffee you drank. I do believe that we should be looking at sleep and diet rather than caffeine to get us “through the day”, as we’ve so frequently come to describe it.

Once that’s done, it’s off to the gym, which I always have to do first thing in the morning otherwise it won’t happen! I choose between a class workout (my favorite ones at the moment are OrangeTheory Fitness and Beyond Human) or a solo workout in the gym using my Privilee membership, which gives me access to gyms all around town. I also never focus on just one body part; my training sessions will always involve cardio, such as high intensity sprints on the treadmill, and strength training, whether that’s for the lower or upper body.

One thing I don’t do in the gym is run on a treadmill for 30 minutes straight at a relatively easy pace. I can’t do that; I find it so boring. If I’m going to do a longer run, like a 5K, then I will do it outside somewhere – although I must admit I would much rather do sprints than endurance running.

After my workout, I head back home to shower. I use the Living Proof shampoo and conditioner. Dubai’s weather and water really dry out my hair, and this science-backed product leaves it glowing and soft. Then, I cleanse my face again before applying makeup. You’ll almost never find me working out with makeup on; it completely destroys my skin and clogs up my pores. In fact, if I had to share one skincare tip, that would be it: don’t wear makeup to the gym.

The products I use every day include the BareMinerals tinted moisturizer, which gives me the most glowing complexion, and the Hourglass ‘Ambient Lighting Powder’. I’ve had my brows microbladed (although it’s been a while since my last treatment), and I use the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Brow Lift’ eyebrow pencil for shape. I also usually have eyelash extensions on – once you’ve tried those, it’s super hard to go back! I love not having to fuss with mascara every day.

I eat breakfast after my workout – never before – and will usually choose between two options. Option one is a superfood shake made with protein powder (at the moment, I am using a mix of Gold Standard whey and Supreme Nutrition proteins), a large handful of spinach or kale (or both), a super-greens powder mix, a banana, half water, half almond milk, and loads of ice! If I feel like something more solid, eggs are pretty much my go-to in the morning. I’ll have them with spinach and maybe mushrooms and tomatoes. I love to cook, but, to me, breakfast is about fueling the body, not indulging per se. I leave that for weekend breakfasts and dinner outings!

My family and I have a tradition of buying the new Smythson diary every year. Mine is honestly my savior. I spend so much time on my phone as it is that I didn’t want to increase my screen time by using the calendar app. So, every morning, I will sit down with my diary and write down a list of tasks for the day based on meetings or shoots that I have and number them according to their importance. I believe that having clarity and direction each day means that, come the evening, you won’t feel stressed but will have a sense of achievement after having ticked off the list. Mental health is so important, today more so than ever, and this is just a small trick that helps me handle things as they come my way.

As I work for myself, my days are never really the same. I might have a few morning meetings or an event to attend, but I try as best I can to leave those for the afternoon so that the mornings can be spent with my laptop, working away. That will include everything from answering e-mails, putting concept proposals together, and creating blog posts to writing feature requests, shooting, editing image and video content, and staying engaged with the people who follow me.