Read time: 6 min
Sam Hadadi is a mother, plant based recipe developer, influencer, a holistic health coach and a freelance health and food journalist. She is also trained in breath work.
We interviewed Sam to learn more about her journey and her daily lifestyle.
What is your morning routine?
I tend to give myself a bit of time when I wake up, I’m not particularly a morning person. The first thing I try to do is meditate, I’m not someone that uses a meditation pillow or anything like that, I just sit up in my bed! I try to do 10 minutes of meditation before I do anything else, at the moment I’ve been doing chakra healing meditation. I also have a face yoga routine that I do to try and wake my face up. I try to have a warm water and that’s my morning routine. If I need an extra boost, I will have my diffuser going.
Has this always been your routine? How has your routine changed over time?
No, definitely not! I’m not naturally a morning person, so it has taken quite a while to find something that helps me feel good, if I’m not conscious of it I will rush about and lose focus, so I need this sense of calm beforehand.
Do you incorporate any meditation into your morning routine, if so how and when?
I’ve done meditation off and on for a while, but I’ve recently discovered if you anchor on a positive habit to meditation then you’re much more likely to stick with it. Its only recently I’ve discovered this and now I meditate every day without fail!
What is a positive daily habit you try to incorporate into your lifestyle?
My meditation is definitely one! I also try to keep a gratitude journal every day, it helps me to sleep a lot better and it helps to shift your focus on to the day’s positives, as soon as I put on my face serum at night and then I write in my gratitude journal. Sometimes it really surprises me, yesterday I thought I had a stressful day and then I had 10 things to write down that I had to be grateful for, this changed my whole perception of the day.
I also try to incorporate yoga into my routine. I have always been one of these people that was in to exercise and pushing myself too hard and now I’ve gone the complete opposite way and now I need yoga and Pilates, and things that make me slow done, it has done me so much good!
What particular food/drink do you have every morning and why?
Not every day, especially recently, because of the home schooling and there has been a lot of additional stress, so I’ve tried to not have coffee in the morning, because it adds to your stress intake, I’ve replaced that with chickery, which tastes like coffee, but is caffeine free. I don’t get really hungry in the morning, I will tend to have a smoothie or a chia pudding.
How do you structure/plan your day?
My days are varied, I think working for myself, I enjoy that, I don’t like having set structures. I have a list of things I have to do and a list of things I would like to do that day, but it changes every day. It’s good to have two lists, of things you have to do and things you want to do, I tell my clients this, it takes the pressure off of having an intense list and you feel underwhelmed if you don’t do everything that you aspire to that day.
What advice would you give to others trying to change their morning routines?
I am a big believer that everyone is different, so different things work for different people and that’s ok, so just be conscious of your own needs and don’t put too much pressure on yourself and take baby steps as well. If there’s something you would like to change or do in your morning routine, that’s great, there are loads of studies that having a positive morning routine can change your wellbeing and bring positivity to your day. I feel so much calmer and less on edge in the morning, when I have done something for myself and in an ideal world, I would get up an hour before everybody else and do my meditation.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Too soon is the answer! That's something I’m working on and I’m really conscious of, for example I deleted the twitter app, because I would just use it to scroll and scroll and I would get lost in all these rabbit holes. I can’t delete Instagram because I use it for work so much! I’m working on not picking up my phone at all, I don’t have my phone next to me when I’m sleeping. In the evening, I’ve got much better at it , I leave my phone upstairs for example.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I don’t do any work before 10:30 if I can avoid it, its different at the moment because of home schooling, but if it’s normal circumstances, I take the boys to school, come back, I will make myself a hot drink and have breakfast then I will do something for myself, I love clothes and fashion and things like that, I will sit down and just read for an hour or so, just as a hobby then I will take my dog on a walk and then come back and get in to the work zone and focus on work, for me, I need the downtime before I go in to working.
When you feel anxious, unfocused or overwhelmed - what do you do to get yourself back on track?
That’s where breath work comes in, I’m trained in breath work, but it makes such a big difference. I’m a very sensitive person so if I feel overwhelmed or anxious, I can focus on my breathing, so if I can sit down and find somewhere quiet and try to focus on my breathing and do some deep belly breathes, it just changes everything. I can feel a big shift mentally and physically when I do this. It doesn’t get rid of the anxiety, but it definitely calms it.
In the last three years what new behaviours or habits has most improved your life and why?
I’ve changed so much over the last 3 years and I’m really proud of this. I had a period where it was just traumatic event after traumatic event and being sensitive, I didn’t really cope with it very well, but my coping mechanism was to just get on with it and run away from it, then it all caught up on me as it was always going to, and it really affected my mental health. So, I had a period where I focused on myself, so I had therapy for PTSD, I read a lot of books, I was really mindful of what I needed to do, so it kick started a period of growth for me. Three things that have changed have been therapy, healthy eating and the biggest one has been giving myself time to gift myself self-care!
What is your most gifted book/the read that has greatly influenced your life?
How Not to Die by Gene Stone and Michael Greger
Rushing Woman's Syndrome: The Impact of a Never-ending To-do List and How to Stay Healthy in Today's Busy World by Libby Weaver
To start with, the one that really changed my perception of food, Is the book called ‘How Not to Die’, it’s like a bible of all these things that can change your health, that book was quite pivotal for me.
Then recently, my favourite book, is called Rushing Women Syndrome by Libby Weaver, she did one of the lectures on my coaching course, it’s all about how stress can affect a women’s health and how to support yourself whilst going through these things.