I followed Meghan Markle's daily routine for a week, and it helped me regain my sparkle
* This article was originally published by Popsugar in November 2020, however as the link has broken, I have republished it here *
Recently, I decided to do an experiment; I would follow the daily routine of Meghan Markle in an attempt to regain my motivation.
Since the start of lockdown, I have gradually become less inspired. It’s surprising, as I have always had a get-up-and-go approach, but recently I have just felt a bit flat.
So, I turned to the stars for inspiration (the celebrity kind – not the celestial) – and pondered, “Who would be the best person to emulate, in a bid to restore my joie de vivre?”
Meghan Markle quickly came to mind. Afterall, the Duchess of Sussex appears to be the ultimate goal-setter; once she has set her mind to something, there’s no stopping her.
With this in mind, I have decided to live my life as though I am Meghan for a week – to see if I can regain my motivation. I will of course be doing this on a budget, but I will do my best to capture Markle’s sparkle.
I wake up in what feels like the middle of the night. My alarm usually goes off at 5:30am, which is bad enough, but this is another level. Still, once I have stumbled about a bit, I eventually come to.
I set about doing some yoga. I started using the excellent app Down Dog, when the gyms originally closed back in March, and I am a convert. You select your type of class, its level of challenge and its duration – and you’re good to go. I opt for the “full practice” as it is a Vinyasa flow – which is the practice favoured by the duchess, who says: “I love an intense Vinyasa class – and even better if it’s blasting hip hop and done in a dark room with candlelight.”
I forgo the candles and the loud hip hop, for fear of burning my house down and waking a potentially grumpy boyfriend.
Meghan is renowned for sending early morning emails, so I decide to do the same thing over a healthy breakfast. Like the duchess, I do not drink coffee, however it is hard replacing my normal morning tea with a cup of hot water and lemon. I also have a shot of green juice, although I cheat and drink a store-bought one, as my blender needs replacing.
Like Meghan, I tend to eat a healthy breakfast. I read that she enjoys steel-cut oats with bananas and agave syrup. I do not like bananas, and I have no idea what agave syrup is, so I opt for my usual overnight oats (with dairy-free yoghurt, cinnamon, blueberries and crushed nuts).
I have a mild-addiction to social media; I am not obsessive about it – it is borne out of habit more than anything. I conclude that it will be good to have a bit of a break.
By 5:30am I am feeling very virtuous – smug even. Not one person has replied to my emails, what slackers!
I put my make-up on, do my hair and get dressed. As I am channelling my inner-Markle I keep everything very simple and fresh. My make-up is minimal and dewy; I make my hair as sleek as possible and I dress in a crisp white shirt and a black pencil skirt. I also opt to wear my Barbour jacket, with a fur-trimmed hood – it doesn’t really go with the rest of my ensemble, but it is very similar to one owned by the duchess.
I head to work.
Meghan is all about good quality, healthy food, plus she is an advocate for eating fresh, local produce. With this in mind, I pay a visit to an excellent, independent food store - instead of the national supermarket chain I usually favour.
To stay in shape, Meghan is an advocate of running, as well as Pilates. I decide to go for a run; I put on my specially curated playlist – which is filled with uplifting and energetic songs. Meghan has praised the power of the playlist, writing on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig: “Because when the air is filled with positive vibes, there’s no winter cold that can block out the warmth of happy hearts.”
Using the fresh produce I purchased earlier on, I make a simple but delicious pasta dish. The duchess revealed to Delish.com that a friend convinced her to slow-cook zucchini (courgette) for four to five hours, until it breaks down into a “filthy, sexy mush” to toss with pasta. I do not own a slow cooker, so instead I create a sauce using sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic, organic chicken, black olives and courgette. And like Meghan, I top my pasta with a generous helping of parmesan cheese and serve with a glass of red wine.
Apparently, when staying in Toronto, Meghan and her then-boyfriend, Prince Harry, would unwind by watching episodes of their favourite TV shows. I do the same (minus a member of the House of Windsor of the sofa) and settle in to re-watch The Sopranos.
Seeing as I have an early start, I head to bed at 9:30pm. I find it impossible to fall asleep immediately, so I take a leaf out of Meghan’s book. Literally. I read a few pages of The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard, as recommended by the duchess, before nodding off.
So, did living my life like the Duchess of Sussex for seven days teach me anything? I remain unconvinced that I could wake every day at 4:30am, however, I did benefit from having the extra time to do some yoga; it was a great start to the morning, leaving me feeling invigorated and ready to face the day ahead.
Obviously, eating healthy, well-sourced food is a sensible thing to do. I also like the fact that the duchess does not deprive herself – eating pasta and cheese and drinking red wine.
Giving up social media was hard – I was so tempted to take a peep. The advantage of being a nobody is that no one is writing negative comments about me on Instagram (well none that I am yet to see!), so my user experience is different.
Overall, I think the Markle Sparkle can be attributed to the balance Meghan clearly has found in her life – and that is something we can all aspire to – whether we are royalty or not.