May 11, 2016
By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC
Have you been staring at your New Year’s resolution to start running, but feel there aren’t enough hours in the day between rushing the children to school and working? …Why not start your days earlier?
Run in the early mornings before anyone wakes up. It will put you one step ahead of fulfilling your day’s goals, and give you positive energy to continue your day. Not all of us are morning people. However, it’s not difficult to train yourself to start your day early.
If how you start sets precedent to the remainder of the day, why not wake up early, happy and productive? Here are some tips to help you embrace those early mornings.
In our industry, we have to be morning people. Disasters happen during all times of the day – when we least expect them, and we have to be at the ready. That is our purpose. What’s yours?
If you’re not on emergency call every morning, make a list at night of your goals for the next day. Remember, there are 24 hours in each day; there’s no excuse as “I didn’t have the time” if you can start early and are aware of your goals from the start.
The snooze button only puts us back into our sleep cycle, and makes waking up harder each time. As comedian Kyle Dunnigan jokes, “It’s like, I hate getting up in the morning, unless it’s over and over and over again.” We agree. Instead of hitting snooze to fall back to sleep and be jolted awake ten minutes later, stretch your body out, shake your legs, stretch your arms, and open your eyes. It allows you to lay in bed for a couple extra minutes, and calmly wake your body up.
After sleeping for hours under warm covers, your body is parched, which could make you feel tired. Keep a water bottle or glass next to your bed. When you first wake up, drink some water. This can also help your body rejuvenate before your feet even hit the floor.
Remember: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day
As Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D., a Washington D.C. based nutrition and exercise expert says, “After sleeping all night, our metabolism and blood sugar are at their lowest; we need a healthy breakfast to re-energize us.”
If you’re someone who feels nauseous eating a full breakfast before 9AM, try making a smoothie or eating an egg with a piece of fruit. It will provide you protein and sugars to reboot your brain, without making you feel bloated.
Do the Hard Work First
Start your day with the project that requires the most energy. Your alertness is highest in the mornings. Not to mention, if you start your day on a high productive note, the rest of your day will follow suit. When your midday slump hits, you’ll have already completed your biggest projects, and can focus on the smaller items that require less detail.
Regardless how often you try to successfully perform the above, if you do not receive enough sleep, your body may not acclimate to your new early morning routine.
Try to go to bed at a decent hour. If you cannot fall asleep immediately, read a book or write. Set a curfew for your electronic devices. Using these up until the hour you fall asleep could keep your brain awake from information overload.
I’m a morning person – I thrive in the mornings. Yet, I wasn’t always this way. I had to train myself from an early age to wake up early and start the day. Oftentimes, I am asked how I transitioned to become a morning person; how do I get an early, productive start to the day, every day?
I know some people claim they can run off of less than eight hours of sleep each night, and I used to too. But, then I realized I may be able to wake up early, but it may not be so easy, and my day may not be as productive and focused as I wished.
Not everyone can eat a full breakfast as soon as they wake up. I know several people who don’t consume anything but coffee until 10AM. For me, this is snack time.
Starting in about second grade, my mother would wake me up on her way into work. If I didn’t wake up at that moment, most likely I would not make it to school. I had a schedule to live by, at least on school days, and most importantly, others counted on this schedule:
7:15AM: I would meet my best friend a block away at her house.
7:30AM: We would meet another friend and her sister three blocks away at their house, to catch a shortcut from their backyard to the school grounds.
8AM: Be in front of my classroom’s door.
You see, if I was late to my best friend’s house, it would make three others late to school as well.