Admit it. Mornings can be quite brutal. Between the jarring sound of your alarm (wait, the night is done already?!? Waaaah), the scramble to prepare for the day (kilay in the cab = epic fail), and dealing with your daily commute (damn, forgot to load my MRT card!), it's of little wonder that most people start the day off in the foulest of moods.
While some people just seem to bounce out of bed all bright and chirppy, most are simply not built that way. With a few tweaks to your morning routine, you can totally gear up to rise and shine with panache, facing a brand new day with an eager smile and winning attitude (ok, that might be pushing it a little too much, but you get the picture)!
You need to amp up your ability to plan ahead. Acing this move reduces the precious time deciding on trivialities, something that you do not want to be doing while your brain has early morning fog. John, a 27 year old Real Estate Agent shares that setting out essentials the night before cuts down on his prep time. "I pick out my clothes, fill my French Press with grinds, load the percolator with tap water, and soak some oats and fruits in milk the night before," he relates. "This way, all I have to do is get dressed, heat and pour the water into my French Press, and enjoy my oatmeal porridge while waiting for my coffee to steep."
Essential to beating the early morning stress fest is taking a few minutes to meditate as soon as you wake up. It seems counterproductive to do so, but this brief moment to clear your head and mentally map your day can work wonders for your productivity. "When my alarm goes off, I sit up in bed and take about five minutes to reflect on what I have to accomplish during the day," Carla, an 24 year old Account Executive reveals. "Dealing with a variety of clients on a daily basis can make you flustered so starting my day with quiet contemplation relaxes my mind and frees it from clutter, helping me focus better. "
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Sometimes, others need a jolt to their system to clear away sleepiness. After a long period of fasting, the first thing that you consume can be a shock to the body. Drinking one large glass of cold water in the morning can jumpstart your system and banish your lethargy. "The icy blast is a definite pick-me-upper," laughs Colin, a 32 year old fitness coach. "It takes getting used to but is definitely worth the effort." He further shares that chugging down cold water first thing in the morning also revs up the body's metabolism and acts as a zero-calorie filler that helps him avoid the temptation of snacking before lunch. "It gets me full faster," he relates.
It’s hard to find the motivation to emerge from the warm comfort of your cocoon. An upbeat tune just might be the ticket to lure your out of your swaddle of pillows and blankets. "I've actually created a playlist specifically for this," reveals Sanya, a 22 year old Jazz singer. "It starts off with gentle beats, building up to peppier, more upbeat tunes." Lyrics also play an important role in the playlist. "The words I hear first thing in the morning influences how the rest of my day is going to look like," says Sanya. "Positive messages can snap me out of a grumpy mood and get me out of the right side of my bed."
Social networking sites and emails are a blackhole that you should avoid in the mornings. Stay offline as long as you can. "No one would ever email real emergencies anyway," notes Israel, a 32 year old graphic designer, "I usually begin checking my feed and email accounts during my drive to work. It's a great way to kill time in traffic! Also, doing it enroute to work helps me allot a timeframe for leisure browsing. As soon as I arrive in the office, I'm done checking my feeds and ready to work."
In the mad rush to get out of the house, it is inevitable to forget little items that could make or break your day. "I put all the things I need to bring for the day in a spot near the door," imparts Geoff, a 38 year old financial consultant, "I have a catch-all table that I dump things into the night before or during my morning preps." This nifty trick allows Geoff to designate all the items he needs into one place, making it easier for him to keep track of anything that he might miss out on."
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