12 ways to beat the morning blues
Are you a morning person? I (and probably most of my employers over the years) can tell you that I’m really not a morning person. Through trial and error, I’ve devised a bulletproof strategy that helps me rise and shine and be more productive in the mornings.
If you struggle from chronic snooze button syndrome, you’re always in a rush to make your daily appointments or you suffer from the dreaded Sunday blues, here are 12 tips to help you wake up with a smile and crush the week.
1. Stop living for the weekend
Let’s face the facts:
- A week is made up of 168 hours
- The typical full-time employee works 35 hours a week in the UK
- Whether we take it or not, by law, all full-time employees are entitled to a one-hour lunch break every day
- The average person commutes an hour a day to get to and from work
Taking the above into consideration, the average full-time employee in the UK spends 45 hours at work — that’s 27% of the week overall.
If you chronically suffer from work-itis (a disease that makes you have severe ticks when stepping into the workplace) and you always wish your week away, I seriously recommend you rethink your career as you are guaranteed to spend AT LEAST a quarter of your week in the office.
Rethink my career I hear you say… Yup, you’ve got it. Read on to tip two for more!
2. Do what you love and what you are good at
“You will never make it as a….”
“Why would you give up your job to become a…”
“Bro, that is ridiculous, get your head down. Your pay review is coming up soon!”
How many times have you heard people get shot down when they say they want to follow their passions? If you are good at something and you really believe you can dedicate the time and patience to making it a full-time career, GO FOR IT. If this means, you have to sacrifice watching the latest episode of ‘Power’ on Netflix so that you can dedicate a few hours to your passion, then so be it.
The hours you put into honing your skills can be a great and rewarding adventure. What have you got to lose? Trying to make a better version of you has got to be better than waking up unhappy and doing something that makes you unhappy.
When you have to wake up to do something you love, waking up isn’t really a challenge. Nobody enjoys getting out of bed to do a job they dislike, so why should you
3. Go to bed at a reasonable time
This is one that I have struggled with in the past. On my journey to start alexMEDIA, I worked a 9–5 in the day THEN went home and worked another 7–10 hours on developing my brand. Although this helped me get where I wanted to be, sleeping 3–4 hours a night didn’t sit well with me or the people close to me.
Sleep is an important part of our development. Skipping sleep is not smart and can have serious health implications. Sleep deprivation will definitely ruin your eating habits and rob you of the energy you need to do things that lower stress — like going to the gym — plus it makes you less productive!
Aim for 7–8 hours of sleep a night and your mind, body and soul will reward you BIG TIME!
4. STOP HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON
We’ve all been there… The alarm goes off — hit snooze… the alarm goes off — hit snooze. 30 minutes later, you’re late and rushing to get to work.
Over the years, the snooze button has literally become my worst enemy.
If you are a snooze hitter, try setting your alarm to the time you actually get up. Keep your phone/clock or whatever you use out of arms reach so that you have to physically get up to turn off your alarm when it goes off.
At the end of the day, snoozing for an extra 5 or 10 minutes will only make you late and stressed. It has been scientifically proven that snoozing has no benefits and actually makes you more tired and less productive. If you don’t believe me, Google it!
Bonus Tip — If you are always late for work or you’ve promised yourself to wake up a whole hour earlier every day, get real, this is never going to happen. Aim to wake up consistently at a set time then slowly set your alarm 10 minutes earlier until you reach your goal.
Oh, and another thing, change your annoying alarm sound. Annoying alarms are annoying for a reason!
5. Exercise your way to success
This isn’t the easiest thing to do but exercising in the morning can free up your evenings to do more of the things you enjoy, like snuggling up on the sofa with your significant other.
Exercising in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym for an hour every day. Your morning workout could consist of a few push ups, sit ups, squats and lunges. If this sounds like a drag, try walking part of the way to work. Instead of getting the train from your nearest train station, try getting off a stop or two early and walk 20–30 minutes to your office. The extra rush of blood will help you kick-start your day
6.Set yourself up for success
Planning is the key. If you take your own lunch to work (YES, this is still a thing), make it the night before. Plan what you are going to wear to work the night before. Pack your bag — you’ve got it — the night before! Nothing is more stressful than waking up late, rushing around to find clean clothes and forgetting your amazing lunch in the fridge meaning you have to spend your hard earned cash buying a below-par sandwich and salad.
7. Schedule something to look forward to
If you’re always dreaming about the weekend and getting out of the office, try scheduling things to look forward to break up the week. Joining a sports club is a great way to do this. If you enjoy playing badminton, join a badminton club. This is a great way to get rid of work-related stress, meet new people and get fit all at the same time. #winning
8. Create mood playlist
God bless Spotify. With the ability to stream music on the go, there is no excuse with this one. Create a playlist of your favourite music to help you get through tough days. It’s amazing what music can do to our mood
9. Read some fiction and relax the mind
Reading is a great way to de-stress. If you regularly watch your favourite series before bed, try reading some fiction instead. Reading before going to sleep can increase your quality of sleep by helping you focus on the present rather than worrying about work-related stresses of the future.
The key here is fiction. Read something that takes your mind off of your job.
10. Try doing relaxation exercises before bed
If exercising first thing in the morning isn’t your thing, try exercising before you go to bed. If strenuous exercise isn’t your thing, try looking up some breathing and stretching exercises — YouTube has an untold amount of beginner yoga sessions. This will both promote healthy living and also help you travel off to dream world in an instant.
11. It’s good to talk
Bottling up your issues is the number one way to have a breakdown. If something really bothers about work, speak to someone. The sooner you get it out, the quicker you will get to the bottom of your unhappiness. Waking up moody and taking that anger into your office is not fair on your co-workers — some of them actually like their job.
12. Master Monday’s
It’s Sunday evening and that dreading ‘oh my god it’s Monday tomorrow’ feeling starts to creep into the pit of your stomach’… What are you going to do?
If this sounds like you, try re-evaluating what Monday actually is. It may be the start of the working week, but it doesn’t need to be the end of your existence. If you really hate Monday’s, try making them sociable. rise
If you like going to the cinema, make Monday night film night with friends (many Picture House cinemas offer Monday deals).
Make Monday night the night you learn to cook something for a different country… or just learn how to cook.
Make Monday the day you practice your new-found love of sewing
Whatever you do, shift your focus from Monday’s being a negative day and start seeing every day as an opportunity to develop as an individual.
So there you have it. These are my 12 tips to help you rise like a star and crush your week. Give these ideas a go and let me know how you get on. If you stick with it, I promise you’ll see a positive change in your life in no time.
Until next time, Stop Being Busy!