Brrr! It’s that time of year again – Christmas lights have gone up, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there’s frost on the car in the morning. We all know how difficult it is to get out of bed on a winter morning. Not only is it still dark outside, but when you stick one foot out of your duvet you realize how chilly the house is, and staying warm and snug in bed definitely seems like the better option.
But we twenty-somethings should be embracing every day, even cold ones. As we spend so much more time indoors, it’s more important than ever to be productive during the winter, and get all the odd jobs done that we put off in favour of partying during the summer time. It’s also the time of year that involves the greatest planning – Christmas present lists, office party planning and Thanksgiving dinner to-do lists – so making the most of your mornings is a must.
Here are our top tips to help you get up and at ’em:
1. Get some rest!
A great morning can’t start without a good sleep the night before. With the exception of a big night out, we need eight hours of sleep in order to function properly the next day.
Did You Know that recent research shows that mobile phone, laptop and tablet screens can seriously affect your sleeping patterns. The light from the screens can prevent people from sleeping well, so try to avoid watching movies/texting/Tweeting on a device late at night. Wrap everything up before climbing into bed, and then read a book until you’re sleepy.
2. Be consistent!
Try and set your alarm for the same time every morning, even if there’s nothing you need to do at that time. Eventually, your body will start waking itself up at that time, and you’ll grow accustomed to your new routine. It will also help you map your day out if you know what time your morning starts. You might not feel like it, but you’re most active and ready to do things in the morning, so try and tick a few things off your to-do list before 11am.
3. Get funky!
If you find the temptation to roll over and go back to sleep too great, try setting your alarm to a motivational or favourite song that will keep playing and help you hop out of bed and start getting ready. Channel Bridget Jones – dancing around in your underwear, hairbrush in hand, is totally acceptable. Science shows us that dancing releases endorphins to make us feel good. What better way to kick off your winter morning?
4. Perfect planning!
Sorting out some of your morning duties the night before can really help get your day rolling. For example, laying out the clothes you’re planning to wear before going to bed means you can just slip them on the next day and be ready to go. This way, you avoid sleepily rifling through your wardrobe and thinking that everything makes you look fat (let’s face it, we’re all prone to a little tantrum on a cold morning).
5. Indulge yourself!
Getting ready for the day doesn’t have to be a strict business, especially on cold winter mornings. Keep your dressing gown or a big jumper next to the bed and slip them on before getting up. That way, you won’t have to dread leaving the warm clutches of your duvet. Make time for a morning treat too, especially if you’re on the way to work. A Starbucks latte from the Christmas menu can do wonders for perking up your day, and the small caffeine rush will spur you on to reach the office.
6. Stay active!
Winter is the hardest time to force yourself to get out and exercise, but being active can be one of the best ways to kick start your winter morning. By getting up and getting straight out for a quick run, your mind and body is already completely awake by the time you get in. It also requires no make up or fuss, and you’ve already completed one activity before the day has even begun.
Remember anything that’s good for your heart is also good for your brain, so a quick bout of exercise in the morning can help you be on the ball for the rest of the day.
7. Look forward to your day!
The hardest thing about winter mornings is negativity – it’s cold, it’s dark, the traffic is bad. It’s all too easy to convince yourself that staying in bed is much easier than coping with the freezing cold morning. Try and wake up thinking about a list of positive things that the day ahead holds, whether it’s coffee with a friend or the return of your favourite TV show that night. If you have a deadline at school or work, think about it as a challenge that needs to be completed before the end of the day, to motivate yourself to get up and give it a go.
Winter mornings can seem pretty bleak, but winter is also a beautiful and inspiring time of year. The morning is also the best part of the day – it’s the beginning of several hours in which anything can happen and a lot can be accomplished. Try and view the day as a blank canvas, and make the most of it from start to finish.