Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wake Up Happy

"I'm not a morning person, but that doesn't change the fact that I have to be at work by 7 AM. Any advice on how to make my mornings a little less miserable?"

Mornings can be tough. When that alarm goes off, it's tempting to ignore it for a few minutes and then stumble out of bed, stumble into the shower, stumble to the car, stumble into work, and then fully wake up around lunch time. Here are some tips you can consider:

Go to bed early. You know when you have to wake up. You know you should be getting close to eight hours of sleep. You know when you SHOULD be going to bed. Do your best to plan your day so that your appropriate bedtime can be maintained. If you only get 5 hours of sleep, nothing I can tell you will change how you feel in the morning.

Don't hit the snooze button. Those extra 9 minutes of sleep aren't going to do you any good. You're alarm is just going to go off again and you'll be in the same situation. It's best to just get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock and get moving. If you have some extra money to invest in your morning routine, you might try a fancy alarm clock. Progressive alarm clocks start with soft light and add soft music or chimes that gradually get louder until you finally wake up. It's less of a rude awakening. Sleep cycle alarm clocks measure your movement during the night and calculate the optimal time for you to wake up so you aren't in a deep sleep when the alarm goes off.

Exercise. You don't need a full workout routine. A few sit ups, push ups, or lunges is enough to get your blood flowing and wake you up.

Eat Breakfast. Have some yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, oatmeal, or steak and eggs with bacon, hash browns, and pepperoni pizza on the side. Your body needs fuel if you want to start the day out right.

Listen to Music. Keep the volume down if other people are still sleeping, but crank it up just enough to stimulate your senses and make the morning a little more enjoyable. Music has an amazing ability to impact one’s mood, so put on something happy and energetic.

Do something you look forward to. You can read a blog or article in the paper you particularly enjoy. Or you could check out a funny web comic or have 5 minutes of Facebook time. The point is to wake up knowing that between getting out of bed and going to work, there is at least one genuinely enjoyable thing that you will do.

So, give yourself plenty of time in the morning to make it a pleasant event. Savor the time you have in the morning before clocking in at work. You may even find yourself waking up earlier just to have more of this enjoyable morning time. Okay, maybe not, but at least you'll be less miserable.

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