The Most Challenging Part of Any Day Begins with Getting out Of bed.
Here are some mind/body routines to help you overcome your inertia.
I’m a night owl by nature, but still manage to get my seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But it doesn’t matter if I got nine or ten, I struggle to get up in the morning.
It runs in the family. We are those grumpy morning people that don’t want to look at anyone never mind talk.
It’s actually painful to wake up, something akin to a hangover, only there’s no alcohol involved. I’m convinced that waking-up refreshed is a fallacy invented by Serta to sell more mattresses.
I would love to be the type of person who gets up early when the day is new, fresh, and quiet, and watch the sunrise. But my bed is warm and the pillows inviting.
And I wake-up feeling like it’s 3:00 A.M., not 7:00.
There are bills to be paid, mouths to feed, so getting off to work is a necessity.
I set two alarms and have developed a routine to ensure that I wake-up and stay awake.
Sleeping is a mind/body thing. It involves circadian rhythms, aka internal clock, internal and external stimulus, and routine. This can not only help us get to sleep at night, but to wake-up in the morning.
And I need all the help I can get.
Here are some tips from the world’s groggiest, grumpiest morning person.
Go to bed on a regular schedule.
Try to be consistent in terms of going to bed at night. Whether you’re a night owl like me or early to bed person, once you’ve devised a bedtime routine, your mind will begin to slow and thus prepare your body to relax.
It’s good to give yourself 20- 30 minutes prep. time for bed.
Think of it in the same way as a “cool down” after you exercise. Your mind and body both need time to slow down and prepare for sleep.
Turn off electrical devices.
Your television, your cell phone, and even lights are stimulating. Their brightness mimics day light. It is night, and in keeping with your circadian rhythms, the dark is a signal for your body to rest.
Turn off the tv, phone, and dim the lights.
Let there be darkness.
Decide how long you need to get out of bed in the morning.
Decide how long you need to get moving and plan accordingly. I need an additional 30 minutes and two alarms set at 15-minute intervals.
I set my clock radio 30 minutes ahead and the second, my cell phone, to go off 15 minutes afterwards. With my first alarm, I awaken to a loud, excited talk radio show. I only need to reach over and turn it off.
Set one alarm out of arm’s reach.
Set your second alarm and put it somewhere out of reach. Fifteen minutes after I’ve silenced the voices on the clock radio, my cell phone blares out Grand Valse Brilliante, by Chopin.
Nothing quiet or calm will do.
To restore silence, I have to get out of bed. If I had a gun, I’d shoot my phone, which is one of the reasons I don’t own one.
Before you commit to placing your feet on the groundfor the next 12 hours or so, make like a cat and yawn and stretch. Point and flex your toes, roll your ankles. Open and close your fists a couple of times. Your body is now aware it’s getting ready to move.
Yes, here’s that mind/body connection thing again.
Put socks and a fleece next to your bed.
There’s nothing worse than getting out of a warm bed on a cold day. Or any day as far as I’m concerned. Buy yourself some soft, fuzzy socks or slippers and leave them on the floor right where you intend to place your feet. Leave a fleece or your favorite sweater there or somewhere close.
Wrapping yourself in warmth is soothing and will help you ease into your morning.
Pull up the shades.
Let the sunshine in!
Once you’re up, pull up the shades and shed some light on the new day. It will shine some awareness on your sleepy brain as well.
Make your bed.
Nothing says you’re up for the day like a smooth, uncrumpled bed. Once that second alarm goes off and daylight enters your abode, fluff the pillows, straighten the sheets, and organize your sleeping area. It makes your room look neater and lets your mind know there’s no going back.
Drink cold water.
Drinking water is grounding and the cold will give your body a bit of a kick before you’ve had time to make the coffee.
Write down a morning routine.
Once you’ve made the bed, it’s up to you to decide what to do next. Shower, make the coffee, pick out your clothes, put on make-up, whatever it is.
Do the same thing every morning. A routine will keep you moving without much thought.
Mix your coffee with a little meditation.
This is my favorite part of the morning.
Coffee. It can be tea, or whatever it is you like to drink in the morning. While it’s brewing, you can pick out your clothes. This is the time I put on my make-up. Clothes come last.
When coffee is ready, zap your mug for 30 seconds to keep the liquid hot.
Then settle yourself somewhere with a view. Close your eyes, smell, sip, and roll your coffee around in your mouth like a fine wine. Then inhale and exhale a couple of times.
Enjoy your coffee with all your senses.
Breathe. Smile to yourself. Treat it like a mini-meditation where the only subject is your coffee or whatever you’re holding in your hand. There are no expectations or demands. You’re still starting your day.
Following these steps have helped me get my butt in gear for several years now, slowly but successfully.
There’s nothing I’d like to do more than to spend a few extra hours every morning in bed, but until that time comes, this routine is my foundation to getting off to a good start.
Use the weekends to get in a few extra hours sleep. But during the week, stick with your routine.