Tag Archives: Fabulous Life

What I did to make getting up better

How do you feel when you’re getting up in the morning? Are you energized and feeling ready for a great day? Or do you roll out of bed feeling grumpy and miserable and like you’re totally not up for anything? If getting out of your bed and starting your day is really hard for you and you’re looking for some tips to make your morning less dreadful - especially when you’re a night person - then this is for you.How do you feel when you’re getting up in the morning? Are you energized and feeling ready for a great day? Or do you roll out of bed feeling grumpy and miserable and like you’re totally not up for anything? If getting out of your bed and starting your day is really hard for you and you’re looking for some tips to make your morning less dreadful – especially when you’re a night person – then this is for you.

How do you feel when you’re getting up in the morning? Are you energized and feeling ready for a great day? Or do you roll out of bed feeling grumpy and miserable and like you’re totally not up for anything? If getting out of your bed and starting your day is really hard for you and you’re looking for some tips to make your morning less dreadful - especially when you’re a night person - then this is for you.

This is the second part of my “Getting up for night owls”-series. If you’re interested in part one, go here.

Part 2: Making mornings better

Getting out of bed was a struggle for me for a very long time. I was not able to get up when I should have – even though I used up to three different alarm clocks at one time. Still, I needed at least half an hour to roll out of bed. People just turning off their alarm clock and getting out of bed like it was nothing were a big mystery to me.

At one point I realized that when my alarm rang and I woke up, the first thing I thought was “Noooo…” I felt that this was awful – starting your day with a big no, rejecting it even though it’s a wonderful present given to me. I wanted to start my day with a “Yes”.

So, I tried to find out what would make my morning better and what would help me go from “Noooo…” to a more positive feeling. And of course I tried to find out what I could do to get out of bed on time.

1. Get rid of horrid alarm clocks

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This is one of the first things I changed. Most alarm clocks make an awfully loud and disturbing sound. Of course being thrown out of sleep by obnoxious beeping does not make you happy. I found out that I’m very sensitive to noise in the morning. So I stopped using beeping and noisy alarm clocks.

I wanted to be woken by music. So I tried lots of different songs. For me, it has to be a song that is starting very slowly and is not too strenuous to listen to. Instrumentals are nice, or singers with soft voices.

But most of all I need a song I connect with a very positive and motivating feeling. I used the theme from Pride & Prejudice for a long time because this song gave me the feeling of a wonderful promising morning. So, don’t just take your favourite song (you might grow to not like it so much anymore when it’s your alarm sound), take the song that you connect with motivation.

2. Let in the lights

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Your body will recognize time to wake up when it’s lightening up outside. But I cannot sleep without my blackout curtains and I don’t have a high-tech home that will automatically open them in the morning.

So I decided to try a light alarm that simulates sunrise. Mine was quite expensive but it really works for me. I’m very smoothly woken up and I’m even awake before my music starts to play.

Although, this has not always been the case. I haven’t woken up from it in the beginning. For me it only works if I’m getting enough sleep. But still, this step has made waking up so much better for me.

3. Get warm

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This might be something people living in moderate and colder climates know very well: It’s hard to get out of your bed because it’s just so nice and warm under your blanket while it’s frosty cold in your room. The solution to this is very easy: Just put a warm sweater and warm socks, your scarf or whatever else you need to get warm right next to your bed so you can access it from there. Or you can just wrap your blanket around you and get up with it. Who’s going to judge you?

4. Get something to drink

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This is probably something you might have heard in several other blogs and videos on morning routines. It’s suggested to drink water after getting up to get rehydrated after the night.

But getting something to drink first thing in the morning is not only healthy it also has the effect of creating a habit that tells your body that it’s time to get active. Sometimes I’m getting out of bed and feeling really tired but after my glass of water I instantly feel better. To me drinking a glass of water also has psychological value.

Water is not your thing? Try tea.

5. Move

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Moving your body will help you to liven up your blood circulation. But don’t fret, this does not mean a 20 minute boot camp work-out. I tried to make some heavier exercises but it just didn’t feel right for me. So now I’m only doing some yoga related stretches to wake up my back muscles. It takes about three minutes that’s it. Even three short minutes is enough.

6. Do something for yourself

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I tried this with ten minutes of meditation and writing in the morning. I got up earlier to have time to do something purely for myself that makes me happy. To know that there’s something that’s worthwhile waiting for me makes getting up easier for me.

But it also makes my whole day better. I can deal better with all the things I have to do in a day when I’ve already had half an hour to myself that was filled with things I wanted to do. It makes all the difference in a day.

5. Eat

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I feel far too many people are neglecting breakfast saying that they’re not hungry. This is something I just cannot understand because I’m really hungry in the morning and if I don’t get anything to eat I might get very cranky and then get dizzy. But really, all those health experts can’t be wrong when they’re telling you to get a good breakfast. Maybe you just have to try it out. Get a good breakfast and enjoy the extra energy!

Make it your morning – even if you’re a night-owl

Thinking back on what made my mornings awful in the past, there’s one other thing I need to address: the feeling that morning is not your time of the day – that it’s somehow wrong to be up so early. It’s this sublime “What am I doing up already? This is too early! I won’t even know what to do with all this unexpected time before noon!” (last statement only applies to days off)

This might even have a good reason, because your body is used to a late bed time and will want to pace itself to still have some energy left then. It’s even scientifically proven that night owls have more stamina throughout the day. We start slowly but perform better throughout long hours.

So maybe you must accept that mornings are not your most productive or energetic time of the day. But you could still feel good about them and make them “your” time. I think the secret to this is to do something that is important to you after getting up. If you are able to build a strong habit of filling your morning with worthwhile activities, your brain will understand that “morning” is a real time that can be used and leveraged. Remember our good friend Goethe when he said: “Only what we use is really ours.” So, use your morning, and make it yours!

Try it!

Those were my tips on good mornings acquired from personal experience and a fair amount of trial and error. Not everything I initially tried out worked well for me. And I changed the order of my habits several times. I suggest trying all sorts of good tips, but in the end, let your gut decide. If something does not feel right, don’t do it. It’s your morning. You decide. Make it wonderful!

In case you want to try it, this was my little step-by-step guide. You want to know more or you have a specific question? Just ask me in the comments.

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How to get up when you’re a night owl

Starting your day might be the most important thing. How you do it and how you feel when you do it sets the tone for your whole day. But how do you get up when you are naturally a night person and it’s just the hardest thing to you? Here is some advice on getting up from your residential night owl.Starting your day might be the most important thing. How you do it and how you feel when you do it sets the tone for your whole day. But how do you get up when you are naturally a night person and it’s just the hardest thing to you? Here is some advice on getting up from your residential night owl.

Starting your day might be the most important thing. How you do it and how you feel when you do it sets the tone for your whole day. But how do you get up when you are naturally a night person and it’s just the hardest thing to you? Here is some advice on getting up from your residential night owl.

 

My story on getting up

For as long as I can remember I went to bed very late – far later than my peers would – and I had trouble getting up in the morning. After 25 years of struggling with slept in alarm clocks, rushed mornings and half slept through weekends I decided to get a grip at my sleep-wake-rhythm. I wanted to make early rising a consistent habit. But I never really managed to maintain these ambitious goals for very long.

It was very hard for me to set a steady rhythm I could maintain throughout weekdays, weekends and holidays. Admittedly, I’m probably a very difficult case of night owl. I could be very happy rising at 5-6 p.m. and going to bed in the early morning, but that’s just not very socially compatible – and there’s something about starting your day with the first rays of light that nothing else can give me.

It’s the magic of starting your day on a silent soft morning with a whole day laid out for you. To me it feels a little bit like the first scene from the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film: Calm but full of anticipation for all the exciting things life has to offer. That’s what I wanted and why I kept trying even though I had failed so often.

After two years of trial and error and not giving up, I have finally established a steady routine of getting up and going to bed at the same times every day. So, this is my little series on getting up for all night owls who struggle with early rising just like I did (and sometimes still do). May it help. J

Part 1 – Getting up with a little help from science

To understand what getting up involves and why I was so bad at it I did some research about healthy sleeping patterns and morning rituals. This is a little synopsis of what I found most important.

1. Get enough sleep

It’s just that simple: If you want to get up early you have to go to bed early, too. Yes, I know you don’t want to. Yes, I know it feels unnatural. But if you don’t do it you will never feel refreshed in the morning. Maybe this is already the most important tip and you can just skip all the rest if you just go to bed in time. For me it certainly was important to understand and accept this fact.

Getting enough sleep is something you do for yourself. Be kind to your body – most importantly be fair. Continuously denying your body rest is asking for too much. Also, continuous sleep deprivation makes you look old and wrinkled earlier than you should. No one want’s that.

For me it is really hard to go to bed on time. I’m often very creative during the last hours of the day. It’s hard for me to stop myself from doing “just that one more thing” because I feel that I should have done it on that day. But how to end the day will be a topic for another post later in this series. (So, stay tuned!)

2. Same procedure as every day

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It helps to set the alarm to the same time every day – even on days off. At least that’s what science says. Humans are animals of habit, so it’s quite obvious that your body won’t like inconsistent sleeping patterns.

I was never able to pull off consistent rhythms although I’ve tried several times. Over the last two years I’ve become a little steadier and I’ve noticed that I’m now falling asleep a lot easier than before. So, there will be some success even if you’ve still got some way to go. It’s only now (since Januray 2016) that I managed to keep a nearly perfect rhythm.

So, don’t give up! Even when you might not manage it at your first try. I had to try about eight times. And every time I got better and kept the new habit for longer. And every time it was a little easier.

What I can already tell you is, that your body will already start to adjust to a certain rhythm within one week (ok, mine does, I don’t know about yours). To really form a habit however will take about two months. At least that’s what scientists say. Maybe it’ll take three and a half years. That’s what I say.

3. Cut the bad habits

Don’t snooze. Never. You will get used to not getting up when your alarm rings and it will make you feel bad. Hitting snooze is like starting your day with a lost battle. Don’t do that to yourself.

There’s still some debate in science whether snoozing is the devil or just annoying but actually not that big of a deal. It’s likely that your body will start a new sleeping cycle with every snooze session and you will feel even more tired when you’re woken the next time. But let the details be explained by one of my favourite YouTube shows: the phenomenal Mental Floss:

So, maybe it’s not even that bad for your sleep quality, but it’s definitely bad for your motivation. I practiced the snooze habit excessively when I was younger and it made waking up an awful ordeal on top of me constantly being late. Today I avoid snoozing and I can tell now that getting up with or without snoozing is equally as hard – but without snoozing is earlier, so that’s a plus.

Pro tip for those people who turn off the alarm and sleep on without even knowing what they’re doing because they cannot think straight when they’re woken: You clearly did not sleep enough. Go to bed earlier!

4. Know why you want to get up

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Why do you want to get up early? This might seem obvious, but try to describe it as clearly as possible. Write it down. Think about it.  Be honest. Today every blog post or YouTube video on productivity tells you to get up early. But this is about your very personal reason. Make it about you. Formulate a concrete goal – even if it’s a small one. A reason could be: I want to feel ahead of time. Or: I want to have a stress-free morning and enjoy a big cup of black tea on my sofa.

My goal is to rise early because I want to write in the morning while the sun rises. I want to start my day with half an hour to myself and a blank sheet of paper in my notebook.

I think you should start the day with something that you really like. Indulge yourself. It could be the one time of the day that belongs all to you. It could be your moment of silence and contemplation. It could be wonderful.

But it could also be a very mundane reason. I started with: I want to get up early enough to manage my morning routine and have time to walk to my train in fabulous high heels (instead of running in flat shoes).

Next time: How to face the struggle

So much for the theory. Next week I will share some of my practical tips that have made waking up better for me. Hope to see you there. Until then I’m really curious: Are you a night person or an early riser? And how have you managed your mornings so far?

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