How many times do you hit the snooze button before you actually get out of bed in the morning?
If you’re like me, you may struggle with getting up early. I have always been a night owl and on the odd occasion I have been called upon to get up before my usual alarm time (8am) I have found myself to be more productive first thing. But the next day I fall back into my usual routine and tend to sleep through my alarm, crawling out from under the duvet somewhere nearer 8.30 (or even later). Who wants to get out of a warm snuggly bed on a cold, grey morning?
Well I did, as it happens, because I wanted to challenge myself to be more productive and lead a healthier lifestyle. You may well ask ‘how does getting up earlier equate to living a healthier lifestyle’?
The benefits of getting up in the early hours of the morning are enormous as you can make a huge difference to your health and mindset simply by adjusting your sleeping pattern. Healthier sleeping patterns have been proven to reduce obesity and waking up earlier provides you with the opportunity to eat a proper breakfast, fuelling our bodies with the right stuff to make the most of the day ahead. It also helps with stress reduction and management, as we remove the rush of the morning and replace it with time for ourselves, loved ones, and surroundings. Fitting in morning exercise energises the rest of our day as fresh oxygen encourages cell renewal and purifies blood, curing old aches and pains.
It seems simple doesn’t it, but getting up early is often overlooked as a way to improve health and wellbeing. Free Office Finder (www.freeofficefinder.com) created the #EarlybirdChallenge and challenged me to spend a week getting up early (and I mean early!) to see whether it helped me become more productive and whether it made a difference to my health or wellbeing.
On day 1, after the initial ‘shock’ of prising myself from my nice warm bed at 5.45am, it was great getting up and knowing that I had the whole day ahead of me with lots of time to accomplish my daily tasks. Typically I’m up, showered and ready to start my work day at 10am but this time I found I was ready in record time and out the door less than an hour later. I hadn’t planned what I would do with my extra time in the mornings so I took myself off for a long walk around the local park, watching the sunrise and generally feeling rather smug with myself for being an ‘early bird’ for a change!
Whilst I was about an about on my early morning walks, I found lots of scenic areas, noticed the leaves were turning brown and that Autumn was well and truly on it’s way. I took some time to take in the surroundings and found my mind was clear for the day ahead plus I’d managed to get some exercise without really thinking about it. I’m not going to lie – by 5pm I was so tired I felt like I could sleep for a week but after an early bedtime of 10pm and a deep sleep, the next morning I woke early again and repeated my new early morning ritual.
Also on an early walk I discovered a park gym – free to use outside gym equipment in communal areas which are becoming more widespread throughout the UK – so I will be spending some more time there in the mornings too. Plus I’ve invested in a sunrise clock which simulates the sunrise with the aim to wake up naturally earlier in the morning (especially as the mornings become darker in the winter months). Generally I felt more refreshed when I woke up, more productive during the day and more accomplished at the day’s end.
You have 25, 000 mornings in your lifetime. So what are you going to do with yours?
If you’re up for taking the #EarlybirdChallenge get involved by sharing your images on social media – perhaps go somewhere new for breakfast, take a yoga or exercise class or enjoy your local surroundings. Trust me – it’s worth it, get out there, explore the world and find a brand new way to start your day.
Thanks for Reading,