“Wake up it’s a beautiful morning… The sun shining for your eyes…”
Making sure you have a GOOD morning, even (especially) on a Monday…
They say that the early bird catches the worm, but just how early is early?
Well, Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his mornings at 3:45a.m. and it appears that amongst top CEOs he isn’t alone in being an early riser. Luckily for me, I’m not a top CEO and neither (probably) are you, not yet anyway. So we don’t have to worry about it right? Wrong.
Several studies, including a commonly sited report from the University of Leipzig, conclude that ‘morning people are more proactive than evening types’. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, setting your alarm at crazy o’clock isn’t enough. It’s what you DO at crazy o’clock that’s important.
Let me clarify, I am not for one minuet suggesting that you get up at 3:45a.m. but, what I am suggesting is that you set your alarm for the same time each day and start your day RIGHT. How? Here’s my top tips…
A good morning starts with a good night
No, I don’t mean a good night out. A good morning starts with a plan. Do as much as you can before you go to bed. Pack your bag, lay out your clothes, put a glass of water by your bed to drink in the morning, make yourself breakfast (overnight oats are great for busy mornings) and plan your bed time. NHS England suggests that people need, on average, eight hours sleep a night and while some need less, others – especially teenagers – need more. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.
So, work backwards!
If you need to get up at 7:30, you really need to be in bed by 10.
But what about that text?
That post? That snap (is that what it’s called? – God I feel old).
I’m afraid parents are right on this one though, phones before bed make you more than twice as likely to get an inadequate and/or poor quality sleep and nearly three times as like to be excessively sleepy during the day. I know that tearing yourself away from your phone seems impossible now but trust me, you will feel better for it and your social media really can wait.
Get a move on!
Do. Not. Hit. Snooze.
My alarms look like this…
And trust me when I say, I agree, hitting snooze and crawling back under your warm covers is up there with the best feelings in the world. But by hitting the snooze button, you’re interfering with your body’s natural wake mechanisms.
Do. Not. Hit. Snooze.
And, once you’re over the first hurdle of moving out of bed, getting your body moving is a great way to start the day. During term time I do get up at 5:45am and go to the gym before work, I know, well done me. But I know that a morning run isn’t for everyone. A morning stretch can be a great way to get your blood flowing and brain working. Give the simple stretch below a go. Hold each move and breath deeply and repeat as many times as you want, or more than likely, have time for. Alternatively, walk to school. “Walking is a man’s best medicine,” said Hippocrates (the Ancient Greek ‘Father of Medicine’) over 2,000 years ago – and he’s not wrong.
To eat or not to eat?
Breakfast, like exercise, changes with the fashion. What do I mean by this? Well, many say that eating a solid breakfast is ESSENTIAL whereas others say skipping breakfast is A GREAT IDEA.
I think it really does depend what works for you. I know that I need breakfast. If I am training I will have something small and eat again afterwards – I just love food. My Mum gets a headache if she doesn’t eat as soon as she wakes up. My sister gets sick if she eats early and is much more of a brunch fan. If like her, the thought of food first thing, makes you feel the urge to run to the bathroom then please at least ensure you have something with you (preferably not chocolate, crisps or a fizzy drink) so that when you do get hungry, you’re ready! Did I mention bananas are a great option?
Catch that worm
Once you’ve decided whether and what to eat…don’t be afraid to start work early. Throughout Sixth Form and University I would often work on essays in the morning. I found it easier to set a strict time limit and I also found that I was very much the odd one out which made for a quiet and focused work environment. Even now, I know I work best in the mornings and will often build in time, especially on the weekends, to allow myself to do so. Odd one out still? Probably.