How we awaken in the morning can impact on the rest of the day. If we wake up feeling jaded, in need of more sleep or stressed and overwhelmed at the prospect of the coming day it may well be time to reflect on our habits and the way we manage our lives. Let's look at some ways to better support yourself and your quality of life.
- Commit to getting more sleep. 90% of adults say that they don't get enough sleep. They work longer and longer hours, sometimes right through until bedtime when they fall into bed, exhausted and hoping to drift off into a deep, refreshing night-long sleep. It's hardly surprising that their minds are racing or that they have restless sleep and disturbing dreams.
Instead, try to treat sleep as an important part of your commitment to good health and plan to sleep well. Aim to switch off your technology and wind down for an hour before bed, try to go to bed a little earlier, ensure that your bedroom feels calm and tidy, maybe have a relaxing shower or bath before bed. Introduce some positive steps to take control of your life and notice how your quality of sleep improves. Appreciate how much more positive you feel when you awaken in the morning.
- Plan for the coming day by using lists so that when you wake-up you feel prepared, clear-headed and ready for the day ahead. Sometimes it's worth taking thirty minutes on a Sunday evening to plan an overview of the coming week so that you can focus and be more in control of your time. Granted, new, unexpected things have a habit of cropping up, but if you are clear about your major commitments it gives you more flexibility and the ability to manoeuvre whenever necessary.
- Prepare the night before for a positive start to each day. Put your clothes out and make your packed lunch so that it's ready to go. Set your radio alarm to a pleasant station, one that's not too jarring as you wake up. Early morning light can be an issue for some people. It's possible to buy bedside lamps that gradually introduce you to the light as they slowly become brighter. Then get up to an energising shower using lively citrus fragrances so that you wake up well, with a spring in your step.
- Some people like to start the day with exercise, but if you're not one of those people who relish a bike ride to the office or an early morning visit to the gym, it's still possible to enjoy a fifteen/twenty-minute stretch routine or a little early morning yoga. Many people enjoy gentle exercise as a positive way to start the day, allowing them to feel calmer, more relaxed and grounded before they leave their home. Spending a little time outside in the fresh air can be a valuable way to incorporate meditation or deep breathing as well as introducing a little 'me time' into a busy life.
- Good food can provide a satisfying way to wake up well, but not everyone likes to take breakfast. Some people prefer to grab a coffee on the way to the office. A healthier, more beneficial way to begin the day is to get up a few minutes earlier and allow time to make yourself a nutritious juice, full of fresh fruit and vegetables. You can drink it as you get ready, knowing that you're giving your body a positive start. You're also incorporating several of your 'five a day' before you even leave your home.
- Commit to regular breaks throughout the day. The thought of working relentlessly from morning till night is enough to exhaust anyone, and indeed there may be times when this is necessary. During normal times though, ensure that you take breaks from your work-station, have a drink, a piece of fruit or a walk outside. Relish how much more productive and positive you are on your return to work.
- If you are overloaded, with too much to do, it may well be time to trust your support network and allow them to help. Ask for input, learn to delegate or even occasionally say 'no'. It may be that others have no idea how much pressure you're under or how overwhelmed you are. Maintaining regular communications with colleagues, friends and family allows you to establish a great support team where you all encourage, advise and care for each other.
How you wake up can spread ripples throughout your life. It influences how you interact with others and that in turn affects their mood and the quality of their day. So it's important to do your best to ensure that you've taken positive steps to manage your life. Then each day you can wake up well and start your day as you mean to go on, feeling as great as possible.