I like to move my body after waking so I make a cup of green tea and sit on my yoga mat. I tend to just do what I feel, anything from a thirty-minute intense workout to some simple mobility work, I let my body guide me, but any sort of movement is key. I then prepare breakfast for me and my kids, I’m a mother to seven-year-old twins and breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I always enjoy this time with them in the morning.
I am an immunologist and author and my job involves a variety of work from research, 1-2-1’s, teaching at the University as well as writing and science communication so getting movement in ahead of sitting down at my desk is key.
I didn't learn to swim as a child and developed a bit of a fear of water when I was younger. My husband, on the other hand, always loved the water and enjoys surfing & paddleboarding so he actually taught me how to swim. He was always very encouraging which has helped me immensely in becoming comfortable in the water. We moved to Brighton five years ago which opened up the opportunity for me to go to the sea every day. I was writing my first book at that time (The Science of Staying Well) and felt very inspired by the research on the health benefits of blue spaces, coastlines & cold water swimming.
For me getting into the water never gets easy but I’d describe it as electrifying at the same time. Finding a tribe to go with is hugely important, not only for safety, but for community. My group of friends and I (all worn-out mums) have been known to hit the beachside sauna in Brighton of an evening and end up in the sea swimming under the light of a full moon - lots of laughter involved.
Many people take swimming for granted but it is such an important life skill. I always felt embarrassed to tell people I couldn't swim but now I realise that not everyone gets the same opportunities growing up and that's not my fault; Now I swim because I can and because I want to be able to encourage my kids to swim and keep them safe in the water. Life can get very busy juggling work and kids and I find the sea is very calming and constant, a great reminder to slow down if ever you need one.