Words by Natalia Lipecka of Everwell
True or false — there’s nothing else you dread like the sound of your alarm clock in the morning… Getting out of bed feels like moving an oil tank with your bare hands… You spend more time drifting in and out of snooze-land than you do getting ready…
Yep, I hear you. We have all been there — struggling to shake ourselves awake in the morning, the day feeling heavy before we blink our eyes open, our energy sapped before we even launch ourselves into action. Waking up energised is as much a science as it is an art form and, the truth is, we can never get it consistently right, but there’s definitely a handful of ways that will help you set yourself up for success and start your day on a high note. If this resonates, keep reading for my top tips for a morning of better energy (minus the coffee shakes).
1. DIGITAL CURFEW
The most powerful tip starts with the night before and that tip is setting a digital curfew. Pretty sure you don’t need an introduction to the scrolling vortex — you know, the one that sucks you in when you innocently check your Insta ‘one last time’, or look up that random thing you remembered earlier… Before you know it a full hour’s gone by and not only are you not tired, you’re actually pretty wired.
If that's your daily reality, your nighttime activity is likely having a detrimental effect on your sleep. The solution? Turning all screens – that’s your phone, tablet, laptop and TV – off within 1-2 hours of designated sleep time. There are several helpful apps to help get improve your sleep. But it's good to when to turn off the screen. The point of this is that any screen-based technology emits blue light — an artificial colour that mimics daylight – suppressing the release of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone) and throwing your circadian rhythm off. By consuming media late into the night, you’re also not giving your mind an opportunity to wind down into the restorative sleep your body needs. I know this may seem daunting at first — and if it does you may want to consider the crutch that technology has come to play in your life — but trust me, this one’s a game changer.
2. EVENING PREP
Does this sound familiar — you’re scrambling around in the morning, trying to figure out what you’re going to wear, have for breakfast, and what you need to pack for the day, all in the twenty minutes you have until it’s time to hit the road running? Don’t underestimate what an energy drain that can be, especially at a time when your brain’s still trying to find its bearings on life. Take ten minutes the night before to get everything sorted — decide what you’re going to eat, chose your outfit, pack your bags, lay your workout gear out and anything else that you need before you relax into the evening, knowing you’ve got your morning covered!
3. DITCH THE SNOOZE
Now that you’ve nailed your evening tactics, let’s talk about the very first thing you do in the morning… Handling the alarm clock. If you’re a snoozer, you may want to kick the habit for good. I know it feels like a good idea in the heat of the moment, but let’s be honest — has a five-minute snooze ever saved the day for you? Has it ever actually led to you leaping out of bed with boundless energy? Let me guess — it hasn’t.
When you think about it, there’s nothing energising about falling back into already interrupted sleep knowing full well you have to be up any minute anyway. All you’re really doing is playing tease with yourself and procrastinating on starting your day, not to mention shocking your system with mini doses of stress not once, but multiple times, first thing in the morning... Not the best way to start the day, is it? So next time, set your alarm for when you actually need to be up and empower yourself by taking control of your day straight away.
4. THINK GOOD THINGS
So you’ve beat the snooze snooze monster — what next? Kick back, relax! That’s right — I’m giving you full permission to stay in bed… For another minute or two! Take a few deep breaths and think of one positive thing — something that has happened to you, maybe someone you're grateful for in your life, or something that you appreciate about yourself. They say that where you place your attention your energy follows, so this little moment is fundamental to creating a positive morning experience and giving your energy a little boost.
5. BUT FIRST… WATER
I’ll be the first to admit — I love coffee. It plays a central and significant role in my morning routine, however if you really want to give your body an optimal energy boost in the morning you’re better off drinking a tall glass, or two, of water first, before hopping on the coffee train. After several hours asleep, your body is naturally dehydrated so replenishing those reserves immediately after waking will stimulate all the different organs and systems into action, helping you feel more energised. For an added boost squeeze half a lemon into your water, which will help you kick start your digestive system and flush away the toxins.
6. MORNING MOVEMENT
We might be biased, but — really — nothing gets your blood pumping and endorphins going like exercise, so why not take advantage of it and start your day on a high? It’s an all-round winner, helping you jumpstart your metabolism, boost your energy, elevate your happy hormones and keep you more alert throughout the day. Finding just thirty minutes in the mornings for a quick workout could be the game-changer you need, so why not challenge yourself and give it a go? Don’t worry, you don’t have to torture yourself with bootcamp-style sweatfests — going out for a walk, or dusting off that old yoga matt will do the trick just as well!
There are a multitude of small changes we can make to help ourselves feel more energised when we wake up; these are just a handful of our top tips. The most important takeaway is to make one or some of these important parts of your routine. By incorporating these as habits, your body will truly be able to experience the benefits of a better night's sleep and an even more refreshing morning thereafter.