Having problems waking up in the morning for school or work? Are you always running late and rushing in the morning? Those first few moments can really set the tone for the rest of your day.
It is possible to start the day fresh without feeling rushed or stressed. Here are 10 productive habits and tips you can adopt to wake up right every morning.
Stop hitting snooze
When your alarm goes off and your body pleads for "a few more minutes", just say no.
You will only get an extra 10 to 15 minutes of sleep and it will be very fragmented and not deep enough to feel restorative. So rather than setting your alarm for 6.15am and then snoozing for 15 minutes, you are better off just setting it for 6.30am to start with.
Do not check e-mails right away
When you read your e-mails, you are spending time on issues that other people consider a priority, and that puts you in a reactive state of mind.
Walk first, then coffee
It is always easier to get out of bed when light pours in through the windows. That is because light stimulates your brain and suppresses production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you feel sleepy.
To take full advantage of natural daylight, delay your first coffee of the day and head off for a brisk walk. Not only will this give you an energy boost, time spent in Mother Nature can also elevate your vitamin D - and your mood.
Streamline your morning routine
A few tweaks can save time and brainpower. Ritualise your mornings by selecting outfits and breakfast meals that you like and put them on rotation. Having to make even the smallest choices can start to drain your energy.
And do not over-prepare the night before. When evenings are taken up by chores, people tend to stay up late for some "me time" in the form of television, the Internet or reading - only to wake up sleep-deprived.
Save one or more chores for the next morning (such as packing lunches), sleep earlier, and you will rise and shine raring to go.
You cannot avoid the morning chaos
Setting an alarm 10 to 15 minutes before you need to head out can help you make the most of your time.
Those minutes after the alarm rings might be more stressful, but this helps you pace yourself.
When things do fall behind schedule - due to kids who do not feel a need to rush, perhaps - take a deep breath. One minute of calm can actually speed things up.
A sweet voice and a warm hug can often get things on track much faster than chanting "Let's go! Let's go!" 10 times in a row.
Skip the morning news and listen to music instead
News reports can be stressful and cramp concentration. Sure, you want to know what is going on in the world, but hold off on that a little. By choosing to be present and focusing on your own needs, you will maintain your state of peace.
Instead, put on some music. Songs that start out gently help you wake up gradually, after which a more intense beat can really help you get going.
It might be time to find a new morning radio station or create a wake-up playlist.
Have a mindful moment
While you shower, take a moment to pay attention to the sound of the water and how it feels on your skin. If your thoughts wander, do not worry. The simple act of trying is enough to help you experience a bit of calm.
After seven to eight hours of sleep, you need a glass of water. You wake up slightly dehydrated, and the longer you wait before drinking water, the more prone you will be to grogginess, fatigue and general brain fog.
Keep a glass on your bedside table and take a gulp before getting out of bed.
Create a wind-down routine at night
Your body needs time to decompress to prep for quality sleep. So about 20 minutes before bed, put on your pyjamas, dim the lights and start unwinding.
Tweak your eating pattern because heavy, late meals can drive up levels of the hormone cortisol, which keeps you out of deep sleep.
Try to flip your routine to a hearty breakfast and snack-like dinner, so your body will not be busy working on digestion when you are trying to wind down.
You should also log off 30 minutes before bedtime. That means turning off all your devices, including the TV and your phone.
Staring into a bright screen is the worst thing you can do before bed. It stimulates your brain and body and makes it harder for you to enter deep sleep.
Find your 25th hour
It is all about waking up earlier - even if that means moving your bedtime up and losing some awake time at night.
One of the health benefits of rising early is a consistently better mood. It might feel hard at first, but once it becomes a habit, you will crave it.
Source: The New Paper © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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