My Morning Routine with Cath Hill
Cath Hill is, undeniably, a driving force for the good in Exeter. Beautiful, charismatic and passionate about her home city, Cath was the woman at the heart of Exeter’s RWC2015 award winning Host City Legacy. Two years on from the city’s most successful sporting event, she now stands as Marketing, Tourism & Sports Manager for Exeter City Council, as an Ambassador for RWC2015 legacy BEEP.
We caught up with the woman at the heart of the campaign; Visit Exeter, to talk morning routines….
What is your morning routine?
I tend to wake up at 6 am. My routine always involves checking my phone, emails and various work-related WhatsApp groups, having a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon in and, more often than not, going to the gym for an hour.
After gym it’s back for breakfast and most importantly cuddles and chats with my children. Then the up and dressed routine begins, which is always ‘challenging’, before a short walk or drive to school, depending on where I need to be for work. Then it’s either home or into the office for a large cup of coffee!
What time do you go to sleep?
As I’ve got older, I’ve found that my night owl days are long gone; I’m very happy to be tucked up in bed by 10 pm watching the news headlines before going to sleep. My poor husband! On a weekend, this gets a little later and usually involves binge-watching a Netflix box set with a glass of red.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
If I am going to the gym the next morning, I always prepare my clothing so I can sneak out and not wake the family. I also make sure my girls Grace (11) and Maisie (7) have got their school bags readily prepared the night before, to try and reduce the inevitable school morning stress.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Yes; on a gym day, which is usually a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. The alarm is set for 6 am and I snooze for 5 minutes.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Normally, after exercise, I come home and Jon has made me poached eggs on spinach with avocado and baby plum tomatoes; it’s pretty much a staple choice, although occasionally I will switch to Porridge with berries. On a Sunday morning, this all changes of course; bacon is featured for us and the girls have pancakes as their weekend ‘treat’ of choice.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I regularly go to David Lloyd in Exeter and tend to do a Spin, HIIT or Body Pump class. I find classes motivate me to a) get out of bed in the first place and b) work hard whilst I’m there. Since hitting 40, my metabolism seems to have moved out, so I find I really do have to work hard now in both the gym and the kitchen. For me, good music is the key to a good workout.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
Honestly – No! I tried the Headspace app for a while and whilst I see its benefits and, yes, I probably could do with a way of slowing down, I don’t think it’s for me. The closest I come to meditation in the morning is turning the radio up loud in the shower to block out the sound of my children arguing!
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I check my emails as soon as I wake up but, unless urgent, I normally reply over a coffee after the school run. By the time it hits 9 am it feels as though I’ve already had a full day, as I’m sure most parents can identify with.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I live for my reminders app on my phone, which is a constant long list of things ‘To Do’. On far too many occasions I wake up in the night and am reminded of things I haven’t done, so I tend to put it on my phone so I can get back to sleep.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Immediately! However, this is a problem and drives my family crazy. I’m trying hard to break the cycle and have recently deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Small steps…technology is the greatest and most negative thing in my life.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Cuddles with my girls and chatting to them about their day ahead. Don’t get me wrong, this lasts for about ten minutes before the mayhem starts; it seems that no matter what time we leave the house, we somehow only ever manage to scrape into school as the bell goes and inevitably something has been left behind. It’s been known that I’ve had to pop to the local shop and pick up a sausage roll and some crisps to replace a forgotten lunch box. Think a scene from Bad Moms and you’re with me!
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Hot Water with a slice of lemon as soon as I wake. I’ve been doing this for a number of years since I read in some trashy magazine that it would magically improve my digestion and weight would fall off me; of course that hasn’t happened at all, but maybe it’s just waiting to all come off at once….I’m keeping the faith with this one!
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
It’s very similar on a weekend, just all slightly later and with a little less stress.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I try to be at home as much as possible but on occasion, my job takes me away. When this happens my morning routine is thrown out the window. I’ll try and stay somewhere with a gym or I’ll go for a run and discover the area and I’m the first to take advantage of a hotel breakfast.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Life is short, very short. If the alarm goes off and I don’t want to go to the gym I won’t go and I won’t allow myself ‘gym guilt’ and if I want a bacon sandwich I’ll have one. I firmly believe in doing what makes you happy and putting my family first. So if circumstances mean things change then so be it…the rest of the day is there to be enjoyed. Allowing myself these choices also seems to mean that, in general, I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle.
Follow Cath Hill on Twitter @MrsCathHill