Waking Up Right

The 10 short minutes are up, and the familiar screeching sound fills the room once more.

You’ve been expecting it. You want to press that dreaded snooze button for the fourth time, but you somehow resist the urge. It takes every ounce of strength to roll yourself out from under the warm embrace of your duvet, and into the harsh arctic weather conditions that exist on the other side. 

You soon realise that you only have 20 measly minutes in which to get yourself ready for the day ahead, and don’t blame the snooze button- it was your own fault! OK, not much to play with so you have to choose wisely. 

You reach for the nearest pair of trousers, and decide that although you probably should change out of yesterdays underwear, there’s simply not enough time. On they go. A quick dart of deodorant before putting on the first shirt that comes into view. No time to decide if it compliments your trousers or not, on it goes. 

16 minutes.

Shoot into the bathroom, and an icy cold electric shock explodes up through your entire body- by the time you realise you’re still barefoot it’s too late, the freezing cold tiles have done their damage. You glance into the mirror, take a deep breath and splash some cold water on your face. Shower, check. Time to tackle the crows nest on your head. After pulling, dragging, and pressing there is still evidence of the bed in your hair, but you have to make do. You jump out of the bathroom, and notice a pair of socks strewn beside the bed. A quick sniff- they just about pass the smell test, almost there.

8 minutes.

Kitchen, not much time. You swing open the fridge door unsure as to what’s inside. One last yogurt, happy days. Two big spoonfuls polishes it off, snap a banana from the bunch on the counter. You curse the snooze button once more as you sit down to put on the not-so-fresh socks, banana sticking out of your mouth. What time are we on.

5 minutes.

A quick glance over to the kettle makes you angry, a delicious hot cup of coffee would go down a treat, no time. You gobble up the bruised banana and pack your bag. Rush towards the front door, almost there. Grab your jacket off the hook, it takes two attempts. A quick pat down to check that you have everything- phone, wallet, keys. Out the door with 2 minutes to spare, feeling pretty grouchy at this stage and not looking the freshest it must be said.

No prizes for guessing how that day went.

In my experience, the morning routine has a huge bearing on how my day plays out- it sets the tone. I try to stick to a routine that works for me, everyone is different of course, but I find it sets me up nicely for the day ahead. There are times where I slip; if I watch one too many episodes of The Sopranos the night before for example, the snooze button usually gets battered the next morning. When I do manage to find consistency in the routine though, I find that it sets me up nicely for the day ahead and puts me in a positive frame of mind. Here are some of the things I do.

  1. Wake up earlier: Those extra few minutes in bed might seem like a good idea at the time, but they really don’t make any difference. Get up with purpose and positivity, go and get after it!
  2. Workout: What a way to start the day. A 20 minute morning workout works wonders, a light run usually does it for me.  This doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but it’s a work in progress. The endorphin rush afterwards is invigorating, and I become excited for the day ahead.
  3. Have a good breakfast: This is crucial. I can’t understand how anyone can skip breakfast. Those extra few minutes you bought yourself by getting up earlier, give you time to prepare a quality breakfast- cook up some eggs (after 25 years of living in fear I now eat eggs, but more on that later), protein pancakes, even time for a hot beverage.
  4. Have a shower: Another crucial step. A hot shower is not only refreshing and energising, but it also gives you some thinking time. You can organise the plan of attack for the day, give yourself a pep talk, sing your favorite shower song, or if you’re like me you can drift off into another world for a few minutes. Whatever it is, you have the time.
  5. Listen to some morning music: This step is ongoing throughout the morning. Putting on your favorite feel-good music first thing makes so much sense. Feel-good music does exactly what it says on the tin- it makes you feel good. This one is a no-brainer for me, play it loud!

Rise and Shine

After going through these steps, the difference in the way I feel is huge. I find myself in a much better place mentally, more positive, energetic and excited for the day ahead. I also tend to be more productive throughout the day as a result.

There are many factors which you have control over, that have an influence on how the day unfolds, and I will maybe talk about them another time. The morning routine is one of the most important because it sets the tone for the day ahead, so I figured it merited a dedicated post.

Anything I find I can change or tweak in my day-to-day in order to contribute towards my happiness and well-being, I’m all for.

Every little bit helps.

Like I said before, some mornings are harder than others to resist the lure of the snooze button. It’s a constant work in progress.

Try it, even getting up 20 minutes earlier can make a huge difference. I will even give you my top 3 feel-good morning songs. I might get some stick for one or two of these (number 3), but hey! Enjoy!

  1. ‘Venice Queen’- The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. ‘Awake My Soul’- Mumford and Sons
  3. ‘The Story of My Life’- One Direction

I’ll leave you with a short piece of writing I scribbled down one evening in the cafe.

Have a great day!

Rise and Shine

The blare of the alarm crowds the room, that old familiar sound you know all too well. Thoughts begin to flood as you slowly creep back into conscious existence; ‘What day is it?’ ‘What the feck was that dream about?’ ‘I hope there’s milk in the fridge.’

It comes time to make that all important decision, one which will set the tone for the rest of the day.

‘How do I feel?’

Happiness is a choice, a state of mind. So choose wisely. Be happy, surround yourself with positivity. Seize the day.

Rise and Shine.