Dark mornings, dark evenings, it may feel like you’re not getting to see daylight these days. If the dark mornings are making it a challenge to get out of bed and disrupting your usual routine you’re not alone! The change in daylight hours means we get less exposure to sunlight and less Vitamin D. Vitamin D is associated with brain function and a deficiency in it can lead to a low mood and fatigue making it a struggle to feel motivated in the winter months.
From exercising first thing in the morning to making your bed, we’ve put together 15 handy tips on how to bring back some morning motivation into your routine.
It’s been scientifically proven that exercising and stretching releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin; these help to improve mood and long-term memory. So, doing a workout in the morning is a natural way to boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Read our run club leader Richard Warren’s blog on his top winter running tips for some inspiration.
2. Don’t snooze
Snoozing your alarm can wake you up in a worse mood than getting up straight away. Interrupted sleep every 5-10 minutes does more damage than good. Try to put your alarm on the other side of the room so that you have no choice but to get out of bed to turn it off!
3. Set an alarm to something you enjoy
Set your alarm to something that doesn’t irritate you when you first wake up. Having your alarm as radio static or something blaring can wake you up abruptly causing irritation. Setting your alarm to something calming such as piano music, your favorite song or podcast can make waking up that bit easier.
4. Turn your light on straight away
When you wake up make sure to turn your light on, the light receptors in your eyes tell your brain that it is daytime and will wake you up much faster than if you were to wake up and leave your lights off for a while.
5. Dress in something you feel good in
Your outfit can really set your day right, if you feel comfortable then this will boost your confidence. Making your wardrobe something you look forward to wearing can really boost your motivation to tackle the day.
6. Have a good breakfast
A good balanced breakfast will wake you up and provide you with energy until lunch. Skipping breakfast can leave you lacking in concentration and feeling irritable. Citrus is known to give a boost of energy so if you don’t have time to get a proper breakfast before you leave, having oranges or grapefruit in the morning can give you a boost in energy.
Listening to your favourite songs in the morning can help improve your mood. Listening to songs releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which will help to boost your mood and increase energy in the morning. Not only does listening to your favorite songs release dopamine but it also improves the endothelial function of your blood vessels which reduces the risk of heart disease!
8. Drink water
Your body becomes quite dehydrated when you sleep, leaving you fatigued when you wake up. As soon as you get up you should drink a glass of It will get you up and motivated for the day. Top tip: keep a glass or a bottle of water by your bed, so you have water ready when you wake up.
9. Make a list of things you want to accomplish
Make a list of the things you want to accomplish each day, it’s easy to get distracted or to lose track of what you would like to achieve but by keeping a list near you, you can always refer to your list to remind yourself of your goals. The more things that you cross off the list the more motivated you will become.
Meditation is a good way to start your morning as it leaves you in a deep state of relaxation, by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Meditation can help not only your mind but also your body feel refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated.
11. Get a good night’s sleep
Dr Michael J. Breus from Huffington Post recommended going to bed approximately 7.5 hours before you need to wake up. Ideally, you should have 5 x 90-minute sleep cycles in order to have the correct amount of sleep.
12. Do something different
Routine can become mundane very fast. It can cause your motivation to decrease as you’re doing the same thing day in and day out. Maybe take a different route to work, go to a café you’ve never been to before, try something new off the menu. Doing small things helps to add variety into your life and this can not only boost your energy but also motivate you.
13. Make your bed
Making your bed in the morning will give you a feeling of accomplishment straight away and encourage you to continue to complete other tasks throughout the day.
14. Morning mantra
When you wake up try to repeat your favorite motivational quote, saying it either out-loud or in your head. This can help you start the day encouraged and
15. Make plans
Plan to get breakfast with a friend, go for a morning run, walk to work with a coworker, making plans will help you get up in the morning and feel motivated as you have something to look forward to.
We hope these tips help you feel more motivated! Making some small changes can boost not only your body but your mind, leaving you feeling more motivated and energetic throughout the day.