For slow risers, a full-blown exercise routine before work can be a tall order. These energy-lifting alternatives will help revitalize your morning—yoga pants not required.
We have all heard about the importance of getting adequate sleep each night. For some of us, that sentiment could not be truer in the minutes after the alarm goes off. Tapping the snooze button until the last second often means that you’re bound to start your mornings in a frazzle, with undue mental and physical stress. Instead, beat the groggy rush by starting your day off right. You’ll be surprised how these simple tips will facilitate some big changes.
1. Start with a stretch.
Remember, not all stretching requires a spiffy floor mat or focused breathing. You can do this one before you even get out of bed. When you first wake up, take a cue from your cat and get a full-body stretch in while you’re still in bed. It’s a great way to wake up your body, and give your mind a few minutes to catch up.
2. Take your wake-up routine back to basics.
If you’re prone to hitting the snooze button for an hour before you get up, it’s time for a new and more natural strategy. Try aligning your circadian clock with the sun. Allow your bedroom to gain natural light upon sunrise. This may mean investing in some lighter curtains, or cracking the blinds a bit before you go to sleep. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get much sunshine in the winter months, you can invest in specialized alarm clocks that employ the use of artificial light for a smooth wake up.
After you are greeted with a healthy dose of sunshine, reach for the glass of water on your nightstand. Downing a glass of water before breakfast will alleviate some of the dehydration inherent in getting a night of sleep. Plus, it’ll keep you from eating a large breakfast first thing in the morning. You can also splash some cool water on your face to gently bring you out of your cozy sleepiness.
3. Upgrade your breakfast.
Breakfast is one of the best parts of the morning. It’s even better if you take the time to enjoy it. Eating in a rush can leave you feeling bloated and unsatisfied. Instead of rushing out the door with a donut in hand, set aside time to prepare and eat a healthier breakfast. Options that include fruit, yogurt, and eggs can give you an extra boost, and leave you feeling satiated through the morning.
4. Hold off on the coffee.
Before you panic, let me explain! Coffee and its wonderful side effects are best utilized after you’ve been awake for a couple hours. Your alertness is relatively high after waking, through to mid-morning. Try to save the perk for 9-10am. If a hot beverage is a crucial part of your pre-work routine, try a cup of English breakfast tea with milk and/or sugar before you go for the coffee later. Just make sure you avoid the coffee after 4pm, as you risk upsetting your sleep schedule.
5. Make room for some leisure time.
Even if you aren’t keen on morning exercise, cranking your favorite upbeat tunes might just inspire a little pre-work dance party. Plus, it’ll boost your mood and help set your mood for the day. For something a little mellower, have a go at the morning’s crossword (printed, not online!). And better yet? Take your leisure activity outside! The sunlight will help you feel more awake.
As a bonus, adjust your nightly schedule to prepare you for the mornings. Choose your outfit for the next day before you go to sleep. Prepare breakfasts and lunches for the week ahead—items like cereal bars, frittatas, and frozen soups will keep well and save you extra hours of your week!
Adding some fun and structure to your morning wake-up will not only energize you for the day ahead, but it will also help you adjust your internal clock. A balanced internal clock means that waking up early will no longer feel like a chore, even on weekends. Before you know it, you might even be taking that morning yoga into consideration.
About Author: David Grover / Timeo. David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for business in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time he enjoys travelling.