My Wellness Wins: Anna Williamson

The TV presenter, mind coach and Celebs Go Dating star on relationship investment, managing anxiety and the power of self-motivation

My morning ritual is… before I’ve even uttered the words, ‘Good morning’, I’m drinking a massive mug of tea in bed with my husband, Alex, while the children [Enzo, 3, and Eleanora, 9 months] have their milk. On weekdays we watch Good Morning Britain and a kids’ film at weekends. We start the day slowly because it quickly ramps into chaos! Since lockdown, I’ve managed to film an entire series of Celebs Go Virtual Dating from home and my husband’s not back at work until September so our house is a hub of activity.

My bedtime routine is… so important for mental and emotional wellbeing. We have no phones in the bedroom – I log-out of social media a couple of hours before sleep – and I like the light out by 10.30pm, ideally 10pm, but I sometimes get a bit over-keen with reading. I’m a fan of anything from self-help to chick lit.

I always tell my loved ones to… talk about how you’re feeling, tell me when you’re stressed and ask for help if you need it. A problem shared is a problem halved. Look after your loved ones and simplify life a little bit.

My favourite mantra is… if you can’t get in the front door, go in the back. It comes from my dad and means if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to achieve it. In the main, my industry is very nice, but it’s cut-throat and competitive, so it’s about having that self-belief.

I love to cook… Italian food. My husband’s half-Italian and I can now cook pasta very well. It has to be al dente and cooked with plenty of salt in the water. There’s a definite skill and art to cooking pasta, not just whacking it in the pan like us Brits do.

My favourite way of relaxing is… once the kids are in bed, I live for my aromatherapy baths. I love bath oils. It makes the house smell nice and me feel so relaxed.

Exercise to me involves… dedication. I’m someone that needs a kick up the butt, but I’m fairly good at self-motivation because I know the physical and mental benefits of exercise. I like running and Hiit workouts, and my husband’s an ex-personal trainer so exercise is part of our home life. It’s my me-time; that mental break when you’re by yourself and plugged into some music.

My biggest turn on… Netflix with my husband and a gin and tonic with a Japanese takeaway. We book in date nights like appointments, which doesn’t sound very sexy but, hey, parenting isn’t sexy at times! We ensure the house is tidy – no-one wants to enjoy an evening with Lego and sick-stained muslin cloths lying around. One of us finishes the kids’ bedtime while the other gets the takeaway. We eat dinner at the table as opposed to on our laps, then cosy on the couch with lovely snacks. It’s about making the effort.

The bad habit I’m glad I’ve kicked… smoking. In my early 20s I liked a social cigarette. Since having children and being married to a fitness buff, smoking no longer features in my life. It’s mind over matter.

I inject positivity into my life through… mindfulness and meditation. I’ve had a generalised anxiety disorder since 2006 and manage it this way, which sets me up for the day. Once we’re allowed to again, I love a massage. And exercise – even if it’s just a walk – is really important. I surround myself with positivity. Take stock of ‘mood hoovers’ that suck out positivity, and those who inject it – and ensure the balance of ‘positive’ outweighs the other.

No.1 on my gratitude list… family values and the importance of positive relationships. Relationships, parenting and family life can be hard but it’s about hanging in there, putting in the effort and working at it. I admire anyone who doesn’t throw in the towel too easily. Work at what you can change. Particularly with the pandemic, relationships are really struggling. Certainly, my husband and I have had some absolute stinkers but we’ve come through it stronger because we’ve communicated and asked, ‘What do we need to do?’.

Celebs Go Virtual Dating is currently airing on E4