Everyone among us has heard the phrase: “woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”
This colloquialism crystallizes a feeling we all have sometime. To wake up on the wrong side of the bed is to spend the day in a funk that was destined from the start. Of course, there are factors out of our control that can ruin a day. Bad news happens. But plenty of ruts are self-perpetuated.
You Snooze, You Lose
It’s oh-so-easy to hit Snooze on your alarm clock. It’s even easier on an iPhone, which goes into snooze mode with a quick tap of the screen, as opposed to the slide motion required to disable the alarm.
An easy trap to fall into is the repeated snooze. While it might seem like a good idea in the moment, repeated snoozes only delay the inevitable. The longer you lay in bed, the more arduous the inevitable becomes.
It's unlikely you'll fall into a deep, restful sleep in the nine minutes between snooze alarms. If anything, repeated false-starts leave you feeling groggier than if you simply get up and start your day. Difficult as that may be, it’s a whole lot easier than struggling through a long day because you delayed its start.
Chances are the importance of breakfast has been emphasized to you countless times in your life. Well, here it is one more time, and it will hopefully sink in: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast should include protein to boost your metabolism, which both energizes you physically and wards off distracting hunger pains in the mid-morning.
Next, kick-start your brain by reading or conversing with family. Prior to exercise, you stretch. Apply the same principle to your mind and avoid going into your work day mentally cold. A great accompaniment to breakfast is a newspaper, magazine or informational website (like say, CareerCast.com). A book is another great way to exercise the mind and build momentum for the day ahead.
Get Your Heart Started
Many jobs require you to spend long hours seated at a desk or to be sentient in some other regard. A groggy, sluggish body will be reflected in your work. Avoid emulating a George Romero monster when you come into the office with a light workout. Emphasis here is on light – a 10-mile run or maxing out at the squat rack will drain you physically before your day even begins.
However, a walk or short jog gets your heart started and circulates blood throughout your body, which makes you more alert to tackle work the moment you clock in. If you are anything like me, you have dogs whose biorhythms are seemingly linked to the rising of the sun. Their early rise is an excuse to get outside and get the body moving.
Stretching is another great exercise before you head to the office. Eight-plus hours in the same position result in stiff joints and muscles. Discomfort easily becomes distracting. Keep your body loose and the day will flow much easier.