4 Simple Steps to Wake Up Refreshed
For years my morning ritual consisted of hitting snooze multiple times until I thought I had just enough time to get ready for work, then rushing around and running out of the house.
One day a lightbulb went off. I realized that I was doing it wrong.
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Here are 4 tips to wake up refreshed (and sane).
1. Use a kinder gentler alarm
I dated a guy who used the “Alarm” tone on his iPhone to wake-up. (No freaking joke.) The first time I woke up to this sound, I was scared out of my wits.
There are many ways to get yourself out of bed in the morning without reenacting a prison break scene from Shawshank.
For me, that was setting a gentler tone for my wake-up call. (Right now, I'm using “Sencha.”) I put the phone in another room to ensure I get my behind out of bed and don't hit snooze. Plus, I wake up to cheery music that puts me in a good mood.
This method has the added bonus of getting electronics out of my bedroom. I don't waste time on the internet just before I go to bed, and I don't spend time with my phone first thing in the morning either.
2. Drink lemon water & tea
Don't add sugar to your lemon water because it'll undo all the good you're doing for your body. Puckering won't kill you.
I struggle to drink liquids during my day, but I get a head start (and get perked up) by drinking two things: 1) warm lemon water and 2) tea.
While I'm heating water, I squeeze half a lemon (Meyers are my favorites) into a tall glass and fill it up half way with room temperature water. When my kettle is done, I fill the rest of the glass up with hot water, and I fill my tea cup while I'm at it.
Drinking these two things not only perks me up, but I'm doing something good for my body. I'm clearing toxins (keeping me regular and my breath nice and fresh), filling up on antioxidants in the flavanoids in the tea, I'm getting antioxidants from the vitamin C rich lemon, and I'm likely inhibiting any potential for kidney stones. Pretty cool stuff.
3. Quiet time
One thing I’ve come to value most in my early morning ritual is silence. I take my cup of tea and sit completely immersed in enjoying it. I can listen to the birds outside, observe my breath, or simply pet my cat. (No, that’s not a euphemism.)
This is my meditation time. (A Harvard neuroscientist recently found that meditation – aka, quiet time – not only reduces stress, but changes your brain for the better.)
I notice that checking social media or emails first thing in the morning sets my brain into anxiety mode. That anxiety mode sets my tone for the day. When I place quiet time first, I start my morning calm and collected, and that carries over to the rest of my day.
But whatever you do, DON’T go back to bed. Laying down this early in the morning will just make you go back to sleepy land.
To do any of this, you need time. I make time by:
- saying “no” when I’m asked to stay out late (that means less karaoke and The Bachelor(ette) parties with the girls)
- not drinking red wine so close to my bedtime when I know it makes me wake up in the middle of the night
- playing with my dog before bedtime to make sure he’s not waking me up at an ungodly hour
When I do these things and sleep at a regular time, I wake up refreshed.
This takes practice. And there will always be those special occasions when you just have to stay up late. (The season finale of Scandal comes to mind.) That’s okay. The important thing is to observe what makes you feel good.
Try adding just 30 minutes to your sleep, and see how you feel.
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