How to feel great on dark winter mornings.
We turn the clocks back next Sunday, signaling a time of year many of us dread: waking up in the dark, getting home in the dark, and barely finding 10 minutes to catch a quick dose of light during lunch. It’s easy to awaken feeling a bit miserable at the prospect of another sunless day. Who has the motivation to jump right out of bed?
Plus, in our defense, scientists now believe that being a “morning person” is predetermined by our genes. In other words, while some of us are natural larks, the rest of us are more owl-like in our behaviors. If you fall into the owl camp, here are our top tips for cultivating a brighter state of mind on dreary winter mornings.
Try some classics: Think about the first thing you hear when you wake up. Is it a grating mobile ringtone? A blaring pop song from your radio? Those tend to jolt us from our slumber, making our heart beat faster and inducing feelings of panic and dread. For a soothing alternative, consider downloading the Alarm Clock Sleep Sounds app (free from iTunes) and waking up to the gentle sounds of birds singing or running water. You could also set your radio alarm to a classical station for an altogether calmer kind of wake-up call.
Get creative with colors: Research shows that the hues we surround ourselves with actually affect the chemicals released by the brain, which in turn have an impact on how we feel emotionally and physically. So add colourful accents to your bedroom via cushions, pictures, throws, and lampshades: yellow for optimism; orange for a comforting sense of connection; green for a feeling of regeneration and balance; blue for calm.
Prepare for positivity: When the alarm rings and your eyes peel slowly open, only to realize that it’s still pitch black outside, it’s easy to let worries and troublesome tasks start circling in your mind. Within minutes, you can find yourself in a state of complete anxiety. Get off to a better start by prepping the night before. Write down everything you need to do the next day so it’s not whirring around your brain with the fear that you might forget. In the morning, flick on the lights immediately. Once you're fully awake, review your to-do list feeling positive that you’ll check off every item.
Be guided by your senses: Sometimes all it takes to feel happier is to simply let our senses guide our subconscious. Invigorating scents such as citrus, mint and rosemary all work to energize our bodies and focus our minds. Seek out an uplifting citrus perfume, pour hot water over a sprig of fresh rosemary for an instant herbal tea, or make our Sharp Shower Body Wash (laced with bracing Peppermint and Spearmint) part of your morning routine.
Rise earlier: The anxious, irritable, and frazzled state most of us find ourselves in every morning is often due to feeling rushed. As counterintuitive as it sounds, setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier could give you time to sip a cup of tea, listen to music, soak in a bath or simply spend time chatting with a loved one before you set out for your day.
Ready to wake up feeling positive? Try these products for happy, bright winter mornings: