By now we’re all well and truly back into the swing of our normal day to day lives and the work it inevitably brings.
However shaking that holiday hangover of sunshine, afternoon cocktails and particularly sleep ins can prove more difficult than expected. Especially the waking up part.
Our body clocks and natural rhythms can take a while to reset, making the early morning starts a test of sheer strength and will, as if going back to work wasn’t hard enough.
But dragging your ass out of bed Monday to Friday doesn’t have be your Everest, especially when these easy measures can make your life, and work day, that much easier.
It sounds pretty bloody obvious, but is the easiest to stuff up. Sleeping better starts with sleeping earlier (duh) and waking up earlier.
Keep all devices away from your head and put your phone on night mode to avoid unwelcome wake ups. Invest in a good pillow and comfy sheets to make your bed as close to a cloud as you can.
A bad sleep means a tough morning, so help yourself out.
Go Au Naturel
As much as you want to black out all light and sound in order to sleep as coma-like as possible, this is worse for you come morning. Your sleep might be a touch deeper, but waking up to natural light and sound gets your body acclimatised to the day much earlier and easier.
This way you can drift away from dreamland gradually rather than have your alarm jolt your body awake in a cloud of confusion and eye gunk.
There are few things that can get you out of a funk and in a good headspace quicker than your favourite tunes.
Set an upbeat tune to be your alarm tone so you wake up smiling – mine is ‘What A Wonderful World’ because no one can be mad when they’re woken up by Louis Armstrong.
Make a morning playlist with sunny upbeat tunes so you can boogie while you get ready.
Things are always easier to accomplish when you’re familiar with the routine and know the steps by heart. The same can be applied to your morning.
Make a routine to follow and try throwing in a ritual; something relaxing or fun you can do every morning that’s just for you. This might be a quiet cup of tea while you look over news headlines (jokes, I mean Facebook), write your to do list for the day, or morning stretches.
Make More Time
Give yourself more time in the morning by preparing your lunch/gym bag/outfit the night before to eliminate one more stress, giving you a few extra minutes each day. But don’t use them as sleep compensation.
Feeling calm and collected sets the tone for your day as opposed to hopping around with one leg in your pants and a piece of toast in your mouth, which only lays the foundation for a stressed and hectic day.
This may sound a bit too new age for some, but I cannot stress enough how beneficial mediation is in the morning.
There are no corny chants or ‘ohm’s and instead focuses on breathing and paying attention to your body. Apps such as calm.com and Buddhify 2 guide you through minute-long meditations that leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
‘It’ is your body. Get up, get out and get moving. Getting your blood pumping is probably the best way to wake up your body and mind each day.
Plus, exercising in the morning means it’s over and done with early in the day so you don’t have to agonise over will you/won’t you make it to the gym later.
You’ve heard this a million times from your mum/grandma, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the idea. Actually, I don’t know if that’s a fact but it would make sense.
You virtually never go 8+ hours without eating, so why would you skip a meal after that amount of time sleeping?
Avoid feeling lethargic come 11am by having a good protein and nutrient rich breakfast. Prepare it the night before if it makes it easier to accomplish.
Like every wannabe healthy person I’ve become a fan of the green smoothie. It’s easy to prepare and eat, tastes good and has made a huge improvement to how I feel come mid-morning compared to my favourite peanut butter on toast. I guarantee if you do it right it will taste at least okay.
Try this easy smoothie starter recipe to test it out and get more adventurous from there.
They say it only takes 21 days to form a habit, so use the new year and the warm sunny mornings to form wake up habits that make the world beyond your sheets seem just that little bit easier to handle.