How can you seek and find peace in lockdown? Maybe rising early once in a while may help.. read on to discover why this habit could be what you need right now. 
With ongoing uncertainty and routine blown away due to working from home, many of us - myself included - are struggling to find time to ourselves for vital reflection and self maintenance. Office hours can be blurred by working from home without physical cues of leaving the house; our kids, tired of being at home for 100 days wander into the workplace and interrupt the flow with urgent needs. Without being ruthless with technology time boundaries, expectation to be online and ready for work can pervade all of our waking hours in a time when job security is a luxury and there is a strong pressure to demonstrate added value. 
 
After a recent chat with my life Coach Dani, I realised that although I am a night owl and not an early bird, I needed to get up early to buy myself some much needed time to find my groove and exercise. Pre-COVID I would to run through the forest and jump on the train for a half hour of meditation, prayer and planning before the working day began. I needed to regain some of that routine and build back in the elements I had lost through extended lockdown and a change of working patterns. 
 
Sleep experts believe that there are many types of sleepers including night owls, early risers and people who sleep in shifts, but much evidence points towards those who rise early being more productive and sucessful. 
 
So this morning I woke up at 0600 having set myself up for a good 7 hours unbroken sleep, avoiding caffeine from yesterday afternoon onward and resisting the after dinner glass of wine. I drifted off after reading a little of Ranulph Feinnes autobiography. 
 
It had been very hot and humid of late, but this morning it was ideal weather for a run with cool breeze. I set off towards the forest rather bleary eyed in search of some exercise and reflective time in nature. I would like to show you a beautiful picture of how the mist hung in the pine trees or play you a recording of the birdsong and stillness, but I chose not to take my phone in order to avoid interruptions or temptation to look at email or social media so I've posted a picture of sunrise I took on another early morning run. 
 
Time in nature is restorative, we were created to be part of the natural environment so it is no surprise that time in water or woods is proven to reduce blood pressure improve immunity, reduce stress and release natural relaxing hormones which bring a sense of calm and clear thinking. See my post on forest bathing and immunity here. 
 
I didn't hurry back and was away for over an hour, the house was stirring as I arrived and all was once more in balance. I felt ready to start work without the sense that it was an intrusion and having feasted on natural soul food in the forest I felt ready to give out again. 
 
If you are feeling burnt out or flat, even if you are not an early riser why not try setting your alarm an hour early and gift yourself time alone in nature before you start your day. I promise you wont be disappointed you will feel better and you will sleep better that night. Thanks to advice from Dani, taking action by planning in a little common sense into your routine can get you recharged and get your mojo back. 
 
If this all rings a bell please see our other blog posts. If you would like to investigate your personal health further, you can book a video consultation with Dr Sinclair who specialises in an integrated approach to health, stress and burnout management, aiming to help busy people perform better and find lifelong health and happiness. 
 
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