When beginning your day, start by waking up as gently as possible to get your body on the right track.
“Start by waking up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. It’s also important to let your body - and mind - wake up slowly”. Valerie recommends a total ban on devices in the buildup to sleep (place them in another room) and to resist the temptation to check your phone as soon as you wake up. Instead, begin your day by stretching for at least ten minutes. A positive attitude is key in combating the effects of oxidative stress, so Valerie recommends meditating or reflecting on your blessings to visualise an uplifting start to your day. “With 4-6 weeks’ practice, this should become second nature”.
On the commute
For a stress-free commute, it’s important to be conscious of your posture and breathing, so you can arrive at work with a positive attitude.
“Whatever the weather, don’t forget sunscreen - particularly on your hands - and reapply every 2-3 hours,” advises Valerie. “If you drive to work, it’s important to go for a walk before you begin your commute: once in the car, breathe in and keep your shoulders straight instead of hunching over the wheel. If you use public transport, pay attention to your posture: standing up straight and breathing in so your stomach retracts towards your spine helps with breathing and keeping joints supple”.
We spend most of our time at work, so it’s crucial to establish a routine with long-term benefits for your skin in order to age slowly.
“Instead of sending an email, take the time to speak to colleagues personally: it’s more efficient, gets you moving and means they’re much more likely to have a positive memory of the encounter,” says Valerie. “Laughing, even for fifteen minutes a day, produces endorphins and gives your heart as much of a workout as if you had been jogging, while gentle Ayurvedic breathing can help with moments of stress. You could also try walking somewhere for lunch as this avoids ‘mindless eating’ at your desk and also gives you the chance to chat and bond with colleagues. Try to keep your lunch to an 80-20 ratio of ‘good’ alkaline foods (fruits, vegetables, wholegrains) vs acidic foods (red meat, sweets, alcohol), and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day".