Winter is annoying. Period. End of blog… Wait don’t leave!
As if the temperature dropping wasn’t enough of a wake-up call, all of a sudden the first snow comes, kids activities and school work pile up, it’s darker earlier and motivation drops the further we get from summer.
Sometimes it takes weeks to readjust. In the mean time you may be more irritable, more tired and overall feeling not yourself.
What can you do this time of year to get adjusted faster?
Start owning your morning!
Your body craves natural habits and patterns. Think of the Circadian Rhythm in your body as a clock. In a 24 hour period, changes in hormones, heart rate and even body temperature differ depending on what time of day it is (or what time your body perceives it to be).
Winter just so happens to be a perfect storm of nonsense that tends to influence the perpetual NETFLIX binge cycle. With less daylight, it’s easy to retreat to our caves and hibernate. Rather than falling into this trap, use this time to GET SHIT DONE. That might seem contradictory, but less time spent outside allows more time to dive into a fitness routine, if you have the right plan.
Take this time to boost your productivity and even achieve a few goals by changing your outlook on these darker months.
It all starts in the morning.
Start Your Day This Way:
1) Early to Bed, Early to Rise
Getting to sleep by 10 p.m. and waking up at the same time every morning (fingers crossed it’s relatively early) has a positive effect on your body.
Our ancestors went to bed as the sun set and woke up as the sun rose. They had to hunt and gather while it was light out to survive. Nowadays you live in a home that has lighting, go food shopping and don’t exactly need to fight for your life everyday, unless you take public transportation.
Our first tip starts the night before. Start by going to bed a half hour earlier than you normally would to make the change more gradual. Eventually, the goal is to be asleep by 10 p.m. or shortly thereafter, depending on what time you have to set your alarm for. Setting a goal to sleep a certain amount of hours may not be possible right away, but you can start by aiming to spend 6-8 hours in bed each night.
The same idea applies to waking up. Try setting your alarm for twenty or thirty minutes earlier; you may be surprised by what you can accomplish. Once that’s a habit, try an hour earlier and continue to monitor how you feel.
2) Have Some “Me” Time
How would you spend the morning if you had no responsibilities? Nobody around. The morning is yours.
What do you like to do? What do you wish you could do more of? What makes you happy? What makes your day better?
The morning is a great time to find out who you are or who you’d like to be. You really enjoy cooking but after work you’re exhausted and the kids are asking for help with homework and the dishes need to be cleaned and, and, and! We may need to tackle meal prep in the future, but for now try making a nutritious breakfast. You will feel good that you took that time for yourself.
3) Avoid Social Media
You’re around social media all day, everyday. Why start your day with it? Seeing who’s doing what, why you’re not good enough and comparing your entire life to a strangers.
Ditching the phone in the morning will again give you more opportunities to GET SHIT DONE! Read, do something new! You have all this time and yet you reach for your phone. It’s subconscious. It’s programmed into your routine and that’s okay. But, the more you fight it, the more time you’ll have to do more important things.
4) Move, Eat and Drink
As we said earlier, your body goes through physiological changes throughout the day. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning. To take advantage of this, workout in the morning.
If you prefer to move in the afternoon or evening, rock on, but there is a benefit to exercising first thing.
Morning workouts can boost your metabolism and energy levels. It may also help you stay consistent and keep your self-discipline in check throughout the holiday season.
Water… it’s good for you. If you’re having a difficult time getting the recommended amount, try front loading your day. Now, this works for some, but not so much for others, so play around with amounts until you find what’s right for you. Start with half a glass, then go to a full glass and so on and so forth. You can also try adding lemons or other citrus fruits to make the process more fun and healthful.
Lastly, eat some good food. We suggest eating as many whole foods as possible; food that is close to nature and therefore contains a high amount of nutrition. But… last time we checked you weren’t a robot. Eventually we want to stick to fruit, veggies, quality protein sources, and other real foods, but for now… JUST EAT!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about it! This is the right time of year to make the most of what you have. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Small progressive changes lay the foundation for real results. Drink a little more water, set the alarm earlier and move often! You’re worth it!