I wake up on the wrong side of the bed a fair bit. Maybe it is how I am configured but I am not one of life’s ‘arise and shine’ people. I seldom wake up and feel like shinning. I have to work at anything vaguely resembling ‘shining’. So these things that I am going to talk about doing, believe you me, when I say I live them. I have to, otherwise I will be a grumpy guts in the corner that no one wants to speak to. This will come as a surprise to people who know me because I have got an outgoing and bubbly personality but that is after I get going. I promise you, I don’t wake up like that.
Here are 4 things to do, to help you confront your day, regardless of which side of the bed you wake up on:
I thought long and hard about starting with this as the first point as not everyone is into meditation but whatever spiritual practice you have, launch into it first thing. It helps set you up for the day. It focuses your mind on calmness, possibility and beauty and shifts your gears from whatever you woke up with. The biochemistry you wake up with does not have to be what you go through the day with. You have the power to change the hormones you release into your body that regulate your behaviour.
2. Do Affirmations
We all talk to ourselves whether we know it or not and when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, your self-talk is not going to be ideal. If you are anything like me, it will sound something like:
- Here we go again
- I feel 100 years old
- Why will today be any different, why do I even bother?
- I really need another 30 minutes in bed
- It is too dark outside (in the winter)
On and on it can go unless you are prepared to step in and stop your mind from sabotaging the day before it has even begun. I have a set of positive affirmations I use to replace my self-talk when I wake up in a funk. I repeat these to myself again and again until I gain some semblance of control over my thoughts. The positive affirmations allow me to change channels if you will. They allow me to get on a different wavelength. One that I use frequently is ‘Life works for me’. This normally cuts through a lot of mental debris.
3. Write in your Journal
When you wake up and don’t feel on top of the world, take out your journal and write down how and what you are feeling. You will be surprised how much clarity this brings. Humour me here as I have got no scientific basis for this, but I believe we sometimes wake up in a bad mood because we didn’t offload our frustrations from the previous day. However there is scientific research to show the efficacy of expressive writing to treat major depressive disorders. Do yourself a favour and take up journaling last thing at night. If nothing at all you can just dump all your frustrations of the day onto a piece of paper and create some mental space for new thoughts. The physical act of writing is cathartic. It engages both the right (creative) and left (logical) hemispheres of the brain which makes it very effective. When you write things down, it helps with the thinking process and you realise that things were not as bad as your first thought or you see a different perspective to an old problem.
Nothing will shift your mood better than exercise. There is nothing subtle about it, endorphins are released and suddenly you feel good in your body. If you sweat, all the better as you get rid of toxins through your skin. You raise your heart rate and suddenly you feel alive. For me the more out of sorts I feel, the more rigorous the exercise that I need. Exercise is great for brain fog and helps you clear out the cobwebs. There are people who prefer to exercise at different times of the day but if you are not a morning person like me, then I will say exercise in the morning as that is when you need it most. There is research to show that health benefits will accrue simply by becoming more physically active rather than hitting the recommended 150 minutes a week threshold per week so just get moving.
There you are, four things to help you shift you gears in the morning and seize the day, especially when you least feel like it.