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10 Easy Ways to Rise Earlier Than Anyone Else

10 Easy Ways to Rise Earlier Than Anyone Else

You want to get a head start on your day. You know that you have more energy in the morning, and have heard the old cliche about the early bird drilled into your head from childhood. But you just can’t get yourself to bridge the gap between the idea of doing it, and the actual doing it. What can motivate you to get up, out of bed, and on with your day earlier?

Here are 10 ways to get up early and catch that worm!

Go to bed earlier

It seems simple, but in order to get adequate rest, it is key to allot enough hours to get the sleep your body needs. Try thinking backwards to establish your bed time. Not everyone needs eight hours of sleep; some people only need six.

Figure out how many hours you need, then plan accordingly.

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Establish a wind-down ritual

Turn down the lights, fire up the candles, and put on comfortable clothing. Create your home as a haven for rest an hour before you go to sleep. This may include a hot shower, or even a cup of relaxing, non-caffeinated herbal tea to help soothe you to sleep.

Wear a sleep mask

Even if the lights are off when you sleep, there is outside light and light from electronics that can hinder your sleep cycle. To kick into full REM sleep mode and to boost melatonin (the hormone responsible for good sleep), blocking out the light by wearing a sleep mask has proven effective in becoming more well-rested.

Skip the nap

It will be easier to go to sleep if you are already sleepy. Simple.

Forgo the afternoon nap if you are tired. Have an apple or take a walk to refresh you instead. A short nap of 20 minutes or less is probably fine. Any longer, and you can actually feel groggy, and then be prone to stay up too late.

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Avoid stressful conversations before bed

Even watching movies that are suspenseful can keep you awake. They used to say, “never go to bed angry”. Nowadays, many experts recommend sleeping on it, so you wake up refreshed and more clear in the morning.

Even if it seems urgent, it can almost always wait until morning.

Don’t eat after 8 pm

Eating late at night will often keep you awake. If you eat too close to bedtime, your stomach is working hard to break down food when your body should be resting. This practice also causes indigestion and heartburn.

Don’t drink alcohol before bed

You might think that alcohol relaxes you, and you’re right to an extent. But drinking alcohol before going to bed can also disrupt sleep cycles, make it more difficult to wake up the next morning, and leave you feeling groggy.

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You will find yourself wanting to hit the snooze button if you wake up with a hangover.

Change what you say about mornings

As a child, I had a Snoopy pillowcase that showed a picture of a groggy Snoopy dog on it with the saying, “I think I’m allergic to mornings.” We are culturally trained to view mornings as bad. Get out of the habit about talking about how you hate mornings, or te fact that you’re “no good before coffee.”

Start your day out with a walk

If you wake up to a beautiful sunrise walk, even better. Start the day as the sun rises and wake up to your body’s natural Circadian rhythms of getting up with the sun.

Don’t let yourself hit snooze

It can be easy to get in the habit of hitting snooze over and over again. You may have the best intentions of waking up early, and then rationalize about how you can sleep in. Start training yourself to get up early, no matter what.

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Follow these tips and you’ll be waking up early as a habit. It’s a great experience that leads to feeling like you have somehow found lost time.

Featured photo credit: Blond Girl Peacefully Drinking Coffee At Sunrise/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

How to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed: 7 Quick Ways to Try

How to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed: 7 Quick Ways to Try

Do you sometimes feel that you add items to your to-do list faster than you tick them off? Do you spend most of your day worrying about your lack of time?

The truth is, no matter how much we love our job, or how productive we believe we are under stress, there comes a moment when the pressure rises above boiling point. The sheer number of urgent tasks multiplies in a geometric progression. New possibilities no longer sound inspiring, they sound overwhelming and equal more work.

If that’s where you are right now – keep reading! If not, it doesn’t mean you should wait until you get there to learn how to cope with a demanding work schedule and how to calm yourself down quickly when you feel overwhelmed.

Here are 7 quick and easy tips on how to calm down when you are overwhelmed:

1. Let go of a few activities

Yes, it’s that easy! Take a look at your to-do list and ask yourself, “If I don’t do it today, will it matter a month from now?”

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Not every urgent task is important. Just like not every important, high pay-off task is urgent. The best way to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed and to manage your time is to know the difference between the two and learn to simplify your life by getting your to-do list down to three big tasks.

2. Take deep breaths to calm down

This advice sounds so simple it’s often overlooked. But it works better (and faster) than any other relaxation technique out there.

There is a direct connection between our emotional state and breathing. An anxious, frustrated or overwhelmed person breathes as if they have just finished running a marathon. A calm person breathes differently. Their breathing is deep, slow and steady. So when you have a panic attack, the best way to bring your heart rate down and to regain your cool is to change your breathing.

Try this now:

Take a slow, long deep breath in, filling your lungs with air and expanding your diaphragm. Hold your breath for four counts and then slowly release the air through your mouth. Repeat four times and notice frustration and the feeling of being overwhelmed dissolve with each long exhale of these calming breaths.

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3. Make “Just one thing” your mantra

When we feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks on our to-do list, it’s easy to enter the ‘deer in the headlights’ state. You see deadlines approaching directly towards you, and you know that something has to be done about them, but you just don’t know where to start.

The best way to get your mind out of an ‘inactivity trance’ is to create momentum. This is what makes the “Just one thing” mantra so powerful. It helps to change our expectation that everything has to be completed right now, “or else.”

Next time you feel overwhelmed make grabbing a cup of coffee your “Just one thing.” You can do it, right? Then come back, pick one of the smallest tasks on your to-do list and tell yourself you’ll do just that one task. This is your next “Just one thing” that you will concentrate on until it’s complete. After that you can move on to the next task and so on.

It’s not “One thing at a time.” Saying this implies that there is a huge line of other tasks waiting to get done and that’s not the message you want to keep repeating to yourself. Learn how to focus here and stop getting overwhelmed.

4. Reduce the multi-tasking and multi-thinking

It’s been proven that multi-tasking is very inefficient, to the point of dumbing us down (more than smoking marijuana does). The same is true for multi-thinking, when your mind frantically jumps from one thought to another, trying to focus on and analyze several things all at once.

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Fortunately, there is help. A few minutes of meditation or brainwave music is all it takes to start feeling more relaxed, more creative and less overwhelmed.

5. Get moving

Any exercise you engage in – be it walking or dancing to your favorite beat – helps to release endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones, through your body and to clear your mind.

Staying active also increases your productivity, enhances your ability to combat stress and anxiety. It also helps you to release the tension, boosting your mood and changing the thoughts that induce the sense of being overwhelmed.

The best part is you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the mind-soothing benefits of exercise. Even as little as 15 minutes of dancing or jogging can go a long way towards making you feel better and staying calmer.

6. Change your surroundings

We all need and deserve to take vacations from work woes and family responsibilities. Unfortunately, spending two weeks lazing on a beach, toes in the sand and a Mojito in hand, is not always an option. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t take short ‘vacations’ from work stress and the technology buzz.

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Go outside for a few minutes and enjoy the sunshine. Stop at a park instead of driving straight home from work. Sometimes changing your surroundings and ‘spicing up your routine’ is all it takes to change your perspective on things and find creative solutions to seemingly complex and overwhelming problems.

7. Get some pet therapy

Studies have shown what most of us already guessed – our pets can be a great help during stressful moments. Simple actions such as petting or playing with your dog or cat can lower high blood pressure, boost your immune system and boost your mood.

Besides, pets can make the best conversation partners to share your frustrations with. They listen, they love you unconditionally and they never talk back or say, “I told you so.”

Final thoughts

Don’t wait for stress to hit you to start practicing these quick ways to calm down when you are overwhelmed. The best way to enjoy a worry-free life is not to push yourself to the limit of being overwhelmed and frustrated.

Featured photo credit: Dardan via unsplash.com

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