Winter mornings can be a real challenge. You’re often forced to get up when it’s still dark (and cold). Then you can find yourself rushing around to get yourself (and possibly other people) ready for work/school. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are five tips to help you cope with winter mornings.
Use evenings to get organized
When you come through the door of a winter evening, it can be really tempting just to relax in front of the TV (or internet). If, however, you take a little bit of time to organize yourself for the following day, you can save yourself a whole lot of hassle in the morning. This may sound like a minor point but it can make a huge difference.
Make sure you sleep well
The start of winter is a great time to check that your mattress is still up to standard and, if necessary, turn it (both ways). You might also want to change your bedding. Natural fibers are still good (for breathability) but flannel and fleece are cozier than cotton and linen.
Silk pillowcases really are a great investment. They’re super-comfortable and gentle on your skin and hair. You might also want to get a sleep mask and/or earplugs. Make sure that your bedroom stays at the right temperature all night. If you and your partner have different ideas about what that is, then try buying an electric blanket with two heat zones.
Wake up gently
For many people, one of the biggest challenges of winter mornings is that the sky is still saying “night” when your alarm clock is yelling “morning”. This is exactly why “sunrise” alarm clocks have become so popular.
As the name suggests, these are a combination of lights and alarm clocks. They replicate the effect of the sunrise by gradually increasing the amount of light in the room before they sound the alarm to get up. Many of these alarm clocks also work in reverse so they can also help you to get to sleep in summer when days are long.
Make time for yourself
Always start your day with at least a little “me time”. For clarity, this is time for you to do something you want to do rather than something you need to do. It could be as simple as sitting quietly with a hot drink or listening to music. Basically, this is your time to finish the waking up process and get mentally ready to start your day.
Ideally, you’ll follow this with some form of exercise at least two or three times a week. Remember to allow enough time for an effective pre workout warmup and post-workout cooldown. You need to take particularly good care of your muscles in winter.
Keep a routine
The phrase “body clock” exists for a reason. Both the body and the mind appreciate a certain level of routine. That doesn’t mean that you have to do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time every day. It does, however, mean that your body and mind will be happiest if you stick to fairly regular bed times, waking-up times, mealtimes, and exercise sessions.