02nd Jan 2023
Broadcaster and author Laura Whitmore – who has just launched a new range with multi-sport brand Dare 2b – shares her self-care insights, tools and rituals, from sound baths to actual baths.
I wake at… 7am, which is actually a little bit of a lie in! But I work late nights at the moment as I’m playing Jenny in the West End theatre production of 2:22- A Ghost Story, so for me I’m trying to sleep as much as possible in the mornings at the moment. If you told me ten years ago that 7am was a lie in, I’d have laughed. I don’t even need an alarm, I have a very real mini-human alarm that does that for me!
The first thing I do every morning is… make a coffee, let the dog out and sort the family out.
My morning routine is… I’m a big fan of breakfast and making sure I start the day off right. And of course, a dog walk!
I can’t go to work without… a coffee! I enjoy the process and the ritual of making my own coffee, we got a beast of a coffee machine during lockdown. And that’s been great because I feel there’s a ritual in doing and making that, which I find weirdly calming.
The self-care tool I use every day is… There’s a ritual in walking the dog every morning and being in nature, it can be quite calming. It’s something that I have to do, but actually being in nature for a small amount of time before you start your day is very important. The new jackets from my Dare 2b range are perfect for keeping me warm, no matter what the weather is like outside – especially the Reputable II Longline jacket that comes in a lovely barley white colour. Also, if I have time I might do a little bit of yoga, I used to go to a yoga class but at the moment I’m doing it via online classes because it saves me the commute time, but it’s important to take a little bit of you time as much as possible.
The best part of my day is…I like mornings now because I work a lot in the evening doing theatre at the moment, and mornings are my time with my family. Waking up to my family is the best part of my day.
The most challenging part of my day is… being tired and fighting through the tiredness! Sometimes it can be overwhelming with the amount of things you need to do in a day, and you don’t think you’ll get it all done. But you always do.
I engage with self-care every day by… listening to my body and listening to myself and my needs. Sometimes you need to take a breath and I think the simplest thing is going for a walk. I love living in London as you can walk around quite a lot, I’m very lucky that I get to work in some really cool places, so I always try to move around on foot as much as possible and be active that way, even if it’s by simple things.
My daily self-care checklist routine includes…a few things, as well as the morning rituals. Because I’m stretching myself vocally on stage every night we do a lot of warm-ups in theatre and warm downs, I think it’s really important to do that and if you feel like you’re pushing yourself too much then take a step back and use aids to help you. Be it working on vocal muscles or the muscles within your body, especially if you’re on your feet all day and moving around.
The quickest, smallest thing I do for myself every day is… This is a great one. Just take five minutes for yourself, even if it’s making a cup of tea. The process of doing that and boiling the kettle for 5 minutes can clear your head. My mother also got me into Wordle which can take 5 minutes (or longer!) but if I want to clear my head and think about something else I’ll just do that. You can only do it once a day and I find that a really good coping mechanism if you just want to step away from something that you’re doing.
I know it’s been a good day if… I get the Wordle really quickly, ha! I know it’s been a good day if the people I care about are happy. And if we’re all asleep by midnight!
I switch off from work by… I’ve had to find different ways to do that, especially if you’re doing something with high adrenaline. Be it live telly, podcasting, radio or coming off the West End at night – you’re kind of buzzed but you know you have to do it again the next day. So little things that you can do to calm down, even if that’s going for a little walk with the dog to get a sense of calm.
Before I go to bed, I… find it really helpful writing a list of things I need to do into my phone, knowing you’re not going to get it done at night but it helps you to think OK, I can deal with that tomorrow. And I always bring a glass of water to bed and make sure the dog has been for a wee! You don’t want to be woken up by a dog that needs a wee!
After a long work week, I destress by…I don’t really know when the week ends and starts to be honest! It rolls in and I work weekends, particularly at the moment as my weekends are double matinees of the play! But again, going back to nature or the park and playground. All those simple things that you can take for granted but I learned in lockdown were really important. The process of cooking dinner is also therapeutic. I always used to eat on the go a lot and to have time to sit down at the table with my husband is very important because it’s a fast-paced lifestyle. And this may technically be classed as work, but spending an hour talking about true crime with my partner for our Spotify podcast, ‘Partners In Crime’, really is chill out time! It’s something we both genuinely really love doing together and is a really good way to focus on a different kind of work for an hour or so.
My go-to comfort meal is… seafood linguine! I love pasta and growing up by the sea in Ireland we had bloody great seafood! Seafood linguine with garlic and oil! It’s quite simple and really easy to cook, but lovely. I’m also just a big fan of chips with cheese and garlic mayo. Proper comfort food, my mum makes the best home made chips.
When I really need a moment to myself, I always… go for a little walk with the dog or for a run if I have the time. I have always found sticking a podcast in and going for a run to be a great way to get some me-time. Or I love a bath with a candle! Sticking on one of my favourite shows and having a bath is the perfect way to have a moment to myself on those rare occasions.
Something I try to do for myself every day is… taking a moment to be thankful for what I’ve done that day, and appreciative of another day done and trying my best. It’s very easy to think of the things you haven’t done but sometimes it’s good to reflect on the things that you have.
The most reflective moment in the day is… just before you go to bed or sometimes I think in the mornings, when there’s that little window before everyone’s awake, and you have 5 minutes. That’s quite a nice time to reflect!
The one person, place or thing guaranteed to give me joy is… The obvious is family, who give me great joy! But also the place I get to go every morning, heading into Piccadilly Circus and being around the cast and crew for 2:22. Piccadilly Circus reminds me of being a kid and the excitement that place gave me, so with it being my work place at the moment I love that every day I get to go in there and do a thing that I love and that I knew I loved as a kid. Doing it now as an adult is pretty joyous.
I wish I could slow down! I live quite a fast-paced lifestyle, I need to slow down sometimes, but I’m quite active and like constantly moving in all walks in my life – I’m not very good at sitting still! So I should probably be more mindful about being still!
Everyone should try… my coffee! Because we make a great coffee in our house! But that’s not really that practical to have everyone round my house, it’d take all day! But something else everyone should try is that me and my director are going to a sound bath. I’ve done it before and I loved it, so I’m going to go back and try that again and I’d recommend anyone giving it a go! I know some people might be a little bit sceptical of it, but I really enjoyed it.
The new Dare 2b X Laura Whitmore collection comprises of 21-pieces of wearable and versatile sportswear and is designed for comfort and support, featuring waterproof outerwear jackets and coats, sweaters, sports bras and squat-proof leggings that are available in sizes 6 – 20.