Elle is a yoga teacher and blogger at enliveningelle.com
Between finishing off my final year of university and starting to work for myself, 2018 has not been my year of good sleep! I made a conscious decision earlier in the year to treat my body with kindness and allow myself to push my alarm back at the expense of getting up and going to the gym or practicing yoga first thing. I found it very frustrating to not be able to wake up at 6 or 6:30am, but giving myself that space has really helped -not to mention making me much more sympathetic to my boyfriend who definitely isn’t a morning person! After a trip to California where I started my day nice and early, I’m feeling reinvigorated and have started to reintroduce my morning yoga sessions, which makes me so happy. I’ll either practice by myself at home, or go to a class at the York city centre studio I teach at. My day always starts with tea, whether that’s an infusion of fresh lemon and ginger, green tea or a good old cup of Yorkshire tea -Oatly milk is the best for adding to hot drinks. Depending on whether I’m working at home, or teaching and working in York, my day looks very different. At home, I’ll make myself a bowl of porridge or granola with all the toppings, before I get my laptop out to edit photos and write out blog posts. Otherwise, I’m straight out the door with my breakfast packed in my bag, which I’ll eat on my commute in or after teaching. If I’m organised, lunch will be leftovers or a hearty salad, but I’ll also treat myself to lunch -Pret’s sweet potato, falafel and beetroot salad is my go-to, or I’ll get something from one of the local independent cafes -bonus points for the ones that let me use my own Tupperware! There’s usually some snack or sweet treat left over from recipe development for my blog, which tends to get eaten with lunch or mid afternoon. When I’m working in York, I’m on my feet most of the day, but the opposite is true of working at home days. I have to make a conscious effort to move around, and will try to bike or run into town if I need to run errands or go to the gym. I get dehydration headaches quite easily, so keep a bottle of water on me, and usually drink multiple cups of tea! If I have a bit of spare time when I’m in York then I’ll head over to one of my favourite cafes for a matcha latte or oat milk flat white if it’s in the morning -coffee keeps me awake if I drink it past early afternoon! I teach most of my yoga classes in the evening, so dinner will be either quite early or late to accommodate that. I prefer to eat early so that I can have a decent break before breakfast the next day, but if it doesn’t work out that way then I don’t stress. I often stay at my boyfriend’s house when I’ve taught a York evening class. I’m pretty religious about evening skincare, and no matter how late it is, I make sure to properly clean my face. I don’t have the best skin but I still try to keep things simple as too many steps and harsh treatments would definitely cause a flare-up. I use a AHA exfoliator every couple of days or so, and apply a retinol every other night so boost skin cell turnover. My morning skincare uses the same cleanser as night and adds in a broad-spectrum SPF 30 moisturiser. Ideally I’ll be in bed between 10 and half past, but later yoga classes or working into the evening sometimes means that this doesn’t happen! I aim to get 7.5-8 hours sleep so that I feel refreshed and ready to jump into the next day.