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7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

For most of us, waking up is hard to do. The internet is full of articles encouraging us to embrace our inner early bird, imitate successful tycoons who are rising at the crack of dawn, and increase our productivity by getting in a full day’s work before our actual day has even begun! You probably already know the classics: putting your alarm clock far away from your bed; getting a full night’s sleep, but here are some lesser known ideas that just might make your start of the day so much happier!

1. Laughter

Laughter isn’t just the best medicine; it’s the best wake up call as well. When I was paying my way through university, I once had a total of 12 part-time jobs along with a full degree course-load. One of my regular jobs had me home at 1 a.m. every morning, whilst my next shift needed me up by 6. Needless to say I was in desperate need of some way to jerk my brain into action. The trick I found was to switch on my computer and stream some YouTube videos of my favourite stand up comedy. As I was getting ready, the jokes I was hearing would invariably provoke a chortle, then a chuckle, then an all out peal of laughter and before I knew it, endorphins were racing through my system and I was good to go! If you can’t muster the strength to laugh, try thinking of something that makes you smile.

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2. Light & Fresh Air

If you live near the equator then natural sunlight is your best friend. Those of us further north or south can utilise the early morning sun during the summer months, but have to make do with artificial light in the winter. Whatever its source, exposing yourself to light as soon as you get out of bed will trigger your body’s natural tendency to associate daylight with being awake and alert.

If you’re feeling really groggy, there’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to clear your head and your lungs. If you can, go for a walk, but make sure you’re not too covered up. Colder, slightly bracing temperatures are better for keeping you awake as they force your heart to work harder to keep the rest of your body warm. If you can’t go out, then opening a window or door to let in some fresh air should do the trick.

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3. Reward yourself

One of the best ways to do something you just don’t feel like doing is creating an immediate, gratifying incentive for doing it. If you’re dreading the sound of that alarm clock every morning, plan something exciting as a reward for obeying its wretched call and actually getting out of bed. Food is one of my favourite rewards, and I usually set up the breakfast table with my favourite china (I’m old school like that), and plan a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal or a classic English fry-up. Other ideas could be a work-out, if you’re an exercise nut, or a nice soak in a luxurious bubble bath… whatever works for you

4. Streamline your Morning Routine

I would imagine this goes without saying but plan ahead as much as you can. You don’t want to associate waking up with stress and last minute panic. Streamline your morning routine as much as you can. Get as much done the night before as possible: your outfit, your bag, your lunch, any items you need with you for the day, kids’ clothes and belongings if you have them. You may find that as your morning routine becomes more of a breeze you might actually begin to look forward to getting up and starting your day.

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5. Get Talking

Talk to someone. Anyone. One of the easiest ways of jump starting the little grey cells is by engaging in conversation, ideally with a responsive participant, although even a pet or a plant will do if you’ve got enough to say! Talking gets you listening, interpreting and responding, all activities which naturally and gently get your brain into gear for the upcoming day.

6. Go to Sleep with a Full Bladder

One surefire way to get yourself out of bed when you feel the quilt has taken you hostage is to let nature play its hand. You should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day anyway, but try drinking at least a large glass just before falling asleep. If you’re in good health, you might just find nature’s own call to be the natural alarm clock you’ve been needing.

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7. Make your bed

I’m a fan of gorgeous bed linen. I love the look of a cosy bed covered in throw cushions and a fabulous eiderdown. I feel seriously guilty getting into my bed once I’ve gone through the effort of making it, as I usually make it hotel-style (sheets taut enough to bounce pennies), so I usually avoid napping during the day for fear of messing up my good work! If you can, on any level, relate to that, then try making your bed as soon as you get up. That way, if you’re even a little like me, you might find it easier to resist climbing back in, and you might even get a nice little congratulatory feeling of having gotten something done so early in the morning!

Above all, remind yourself of why it is, you are getting up, whether it’s a personal goal or an unavoidable need, and use that to motivate yourself on those really tough mornings. Experiment to find whatever works for you and you too will surely find yourself waking up happy!

Featured photo credit: Morning Coffee via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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