New Morning Routines

New Morning Routines

Sometime in December, Nabeel and I very randomly made a plan with our friends, Shehla and Faraz to start an early morning walk/jog routine. All of us regularly talk about losing weight, trying to work out and always failing, then trash talking each other for being lazy and making excuses (super healthy relationship dynamics, as you can see). We’ve been having this conversation with each other for years now and none of us has really lost any weight.

This time, we started during the Christmas week when most people were on holiday so life was slow and we just woke up one morning, got to the park and walked. And then much to our surprise/shock/looming-identity-crisis we kept doing this everyday. Before we knew it, all four of us were hooked.
Though we started this because of our long-term frustration with our own bad eating habits and wanting to drop some pounds, it just naturally morphed into a healthy thing we were doing without focusing on the weight aspect. We weren’t eating super clean, we weren’t counting calories or checking our weight – we were just stepping out for some physical exercise before beginning our day. It felt real good.
It’s now been about a month and I’ve had the most chaotic work situation I’ve ever had since starting the blog and somehow this new morning routine just puts everything in order and makes it all okay. My whole body feels alive and my mind feels completely sorted.

I didn’t share/snap a whole lot of it when I started because I wanted to give it some time and see if it became a little permanent. Now that it feels more like ‘home’ and not a personal demon I’m trying to fight, I’m sharing with you three simple things I’m doing to start off my day fresh and happy. It just happened to coincide with the turn of the year, so it feels all kinds of awesome that I started the new year on such a fantastic note.

1. Early morning workout. I’ve transformed into a morning person over the years so waking up early gets me all kinds of high. To fit in our morning walk though, I had to wake up earlier than usual. All four of us now wake up around 6 in the morning, change into our workout clothes and meet at the park. Some days we walk/jog together, some days each one of us does it at our own pace. We try to alternate a 100m walk with a 100m jog but we let it depend on how our bodies are feeling; no pressure. It’s still dark out when we’re getting started and the day is just breaking and it feels incredible. The weather has been extra kind these days so it’s been dewy and foggy and so chilly and it feels fabulous. (On Fridays, we have chai paratha afterwards too, woohoo)
Our trust levels were massively low in each other before we started doing this but since it was the first time we were doing something like this together as a group, I think the push from each other helped us sustain (I think we all know how easy it is to feed an excuse to your spouse, one who’s already ready to accept that excuse and say, ‘Sure, let’s quit’)

Just being outside, that early in the morning and breathing in the fresh, fresh air – it now feels like there’s no better way to begin your day.

2. Diffusing. Once we’re done with the park, we drive back home to get ready for work.  I used to keep my diffuser for evening use only because our mornings used to be pretty rushed earlier with various levels of acrobatics and a quick 2 minute breakfast. Now that we have time, I get home and shower, then turn on the diffuser for 10-15 mins while I do breakfast preps. It creates SUCH an ambience, you guys. My diffuser is from Organic Aromas, you can read the full post I did on it here.

My current favorite smell is Hammam Secret by Rituals which is HEAVENLY. I haven’t loved a fragrance more (till now, the future is unknown).

3. Calm audio with tea. Not really music, but I love the sound of the rain and since that’s not going to happen here in Dubai, I turn on these rain sounds (there are so many on the internet and on various apps, you can choose whatever you like) and have some herbal tea while I make breakfast (the diffuser is going strong in parallel, don’t forget). Feels like a brain massage. Nabeel and I then have a relaxed breakfast with some chai and toast and butter and eggs and then officially begin our work day.
These three simple things have turned things around for me so much. I haven’t lost any weight (in fact possibly gained since I’m eating bad comfort food while working on some projects way too much) but this is the first time in my life, my weight has not been my focus. I want to develop some habits for my personal health and wellness and slowly take it from there. Mentally my head feels so sorted and majorly relaxed and I’m really hoping to carry these simple things down to the rest of the year.
Until next time.


  1. ive been sooooo movtivated seeing your snaps. must get started soon!

    1. Author

      Get going! We are bound by weather so trying to make the most of being outside while it lasts 🙂

  2. This makes me want to resume exercising again lol. North Indian winters have made me so lazy! -_- And you are so right about morning workouts, when I used to do it, I always felt fresh and energetic all day.

    1. Author

      It's the first time I've ever worked out in the morning! Completely new experience for me 🙂

  3. when i did the ripped in 30 workout by Jillian Michaels I shifted my work out to the morning and it did wonders for me! It felt SO good and put me in such a good spirit for the day, I am set to start again in Feb inshallah

    I totes need to do the calming thing now, maybe at night with candles and books

  4. I find it so hard waking up early in the morning. May b i should work on that first ��

  5. Loved it Shehzeen! Can totally relate to "(I think we all know how easy it is to feed an excuse to your spouse, one who's already ready to accept that excuse and say, 'Sure, let's quit')".
    These days I'm doing it with my husband… we go late at night after 10:30. But because we're already exausted after the whole day's work… we sometimes end up making excuses to each other… like today!
    I've never waited for summers as I do now, so that I can shift this routine to early morning.. this lazy weather in khi doesn't let me come out of my comforter!

    1. Author

      I hear you! The excuses Nabeel and I give each other…definitely needed a different push this time. Good luck 🙂

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