After a long weekend, we’re sure you woke up groggy and less than excited to conquer your Monday. That’s totally reasonable considering the fact that you’ve probably spent the last four days lounging around eating pie in your skivvies. Oh, that was just me? Ok, then…
That being said, if you wake up feeling less than stellar every morning, there are certainly some steps you could take to wake up in a much better mood and get into the right frame of mind.
I wasn’t born a morning person, but I have certainly learned that there are some things you have to do in order to be more productive in the AM. Below is some of my best advice.
1. Go To Sleep Earlier
Obviously, for a better morning, you’ll need a better night of rest. The key to this? Getting more sleep! Depending on what time you need to be up, plan on heading to bed 8-10 hours before. Look, even seven will do! I promise nothing interesting is happening after 9 PM… or at least, I wouldn’t know.
2. Try Lavender
Lavender is calming and soothing. While it may help you doze off into your dreams it may also help keep you there! This is the key in feeling refreshed when you wake up. This is why many people who snore or toss and turn at night wake up feeling groggy – their sleep cycle was not efficient!
3. Wake Up – With Time To Spare.
If you have work at 9 AM, you may be tempted to wake up at 8 AM, but if you’re commute is more than 15 minutes long (probably closer to 30 minutes), you’re single-handedly making your mornings feel more hectic than necessary. Try giving yourself enough time to wake up, get dressed, groom yourself and meditate. By meditate, we don’t mean sitting cross-legged on the ground and shutting your eyes, but any quiet moment where you can organize your thoughts will do. You could do this by making a To Do list for the day, while you’re eating your breakfast, or even skimming through a newspaper.
4. Make A List
As stated previously, making a list is a great way to meditate on what’s ahead and get organized. I always start my mornings by making a detailed hour-by-hour list for myself outlining even the most mundane of tasks and then plugging it into a calendar. For example, I will write down that from 9-6 I will be at work, from 6-6:30 i will head to the grocery store, at 7 I will have dinner, then clean up around the house and be done by 8:30. Even jotting down these simple tasks makes me feel accountable and on track. You should try it, too!
5. Work Out
Want to get a boost of feel -good vibes and energy? Work out in the mornings! This has completely transformed my time at work, performance in the gym, and time I have at the end of the day to finish any errands or do any chores. Studies have shown that working out in the morning has a plethora of health benefits. According to the Huffington Post, this includes staving off cravings, increasing energy and boosting your mood. My trainer would always say, “Workout before your body even realizes what it’s doing!” This was valuable advice.
6. Don’t Look At Your Phone Or Check Your E-mails
While it may be tempting to jump on work e-mails as soon as you wake up or get on Instagram to take a look at how so-and-so’s view is so much better than yours, remember that mornings are for you and you shouldn’t be so generous as to pay others any mind during this portion of the day! You have the next 12-14 hours to do that. Give yourself a break when you wake up. You deserve it.
7. Practice A Morning Ritual
Whether it’s your skincare routine, some morning Sun Salutations, or your workout, make sure your mornings have a ritual that centers and calms you. Studies have shown that many successful people follow similar routines every single day of their lives and they do it so they can focus on bigger more important things. While variety is the spice of life, there’s nothing wrong with seeking stability where it counts – on the foundation of your day.
8. Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Want to skip breakfast again? Try not to. Follow our advice, wake up early and eat breakfast. If you’re just not hungry at all, at least prepare it to eat in the office. This helps stave off unwarranted cravings, boosts energy and your metabolism! Also, imagine not having your stomach growl all morning. Ah, peace and quiet.
9. Drink Some Detoxifying Tea
It may be tempting to reach for the coffee first thing in the morning, but before you do that reach for a nice cup of tea. Whether it’s green tea or dandelion root, make sure it’s a tea with added health benefits. This will do more for your body than you think, especially if you are like me and can’t fathom making a hot lemon water concoction…
10. Take a nap the day before
In spite of the popular opinion that napping during daytime can interfere with your
sleep habits, the studies have shown over and over again that naps increase your
productivity & problem solving skills. The “secret” to a good power nap is the length of
the sleep you get. Ideally, you want to get some refreshing light sleep (initial sleep
phase) and not get to deep sleep. This is usually somewhere around 30-45 minutes.
How to do it in a busy world – for most of us, taking a nap will mean making a plan to do
it at the office. If your boss is open-minded enough to actually look at the facts, they will
have no problems with you taking a short half-hour “siesta”. On the practical side,
simply getting yourself an air mattress and using any small room (there’s always that
one small room in the office that no one ever uses) – you just need to choose the right
air mattress – something small and light yet comfortable enough for a nap – you can
read more about choosing a good air bed here.
It’s not possible in all office environments & you’ll certainly get some weird looks, but
only until your colleagues see you fresh and up-beat when that 3PM slump hits them.
We hope you would take these into consideration so you can get your day started the best way possible.
For more Head & Heart features, check our articles here.