Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 Benefits of Waking Up Early

     Waking up early in the morning one of the best habits you can develop. It's an essential key for productivity & overall well-being. If you aren't already an early riser, it's never too late to change! Discover the benefits of gaining a couple extra hours each day. You'll never go back, I guarantee it! For today's 10 Things Thursday, I'll be sharing some benefits, common misconceptions, and lovely things about early rising. Enjoy, then see for yourself!

     1. Coffee. This is my favorite motivation for waking up early. A hot cup of flavored coffee (Hazelnut is wonderful!) can turn a cold, dark morning into a warm heaven! Instead of heading to your local Starbucks every morning, make your coffee at home and save tons of money. I use Nescafé Clásico instant coffee- A few spoonfuls, some hot water, a little creamer and you're good to go!

     2. Peace. Morning time is one of the most peaceful times of day. When the rest of the world is still asleep, only the gentle noise of birds singing fills the air. No honking cars, no screaming children, no soccer balls. Just you, your cup of coffee, and your peace of mind. This rarely ever happens, so do as Depeche Mode says and Enjoy the Silence!

     3. Energy. It's a common misconception that the longer you sleep in, the more energy you'll have for the day. It would make sense, but don't be fooled! More sleep does not necessarily mean more energy! Hitting snooze over & over again will never work! Take it from a girl who was late for school almost every day of Junior High- When you wake up in the morning, really wake up. Force yourself to get out of that warm, tempting bed and splash some water on your face. Whether you wake up at 4AM or at 9AM, you will still be sleepy. So just wake up and go.

     4. Head start. You'd be shocked by how many things you can actually get done before 10AM! Make a to-do list for the day, and I guarantee that you'll crunch through half of it while the ordinary you would still be dreaming away. Once you've got everything done in the morning time, what do you worry about for the rest of the day? That's right, absolutely nothing.

     5. Sunrise. We all know what the sunset looks like, but have you ever really seen the sunrise? It's a whole new atmosphere, a whole new feeling. Watching the sunrise can be a romantic and magical thing. Grab a blanket, find a way to get up on the roof without decapitating yourself, and enjoy the show.

     6. Beauty. Yes, ladies... Not only will you have more time to perfect your hair & makeup, but waking up early brings a world of other benefits to the way you look. Waking up at 11AM, skipping breakfast, and not having enough time to wash your hair can take a major toll on your mood. Congratulations, you're now sleepy, hungry and dirty-haired! The girl who wakes up early is a smart one. Say goodbye to pillow marks, bed-head and smeared eyeliner for good. You might even have enough time to curl your hair or create a fancy updo, like a waterfall braid. Why the heck not?

     7. Good day. Do you like to feel rushed, frazzled and sleepy as you fly out the front door late for work? Or would you rather be rested, relaxed and ready for the day? Unless you're some sort of masochist, most people would choose the second option. The way our morning turns out often sets the mood for the rest of the entire day, and becoming an early riser can dramatically change the way you go about your life. You can get everything done before noon and walk out the door cool, calm and collected. Oh yeah, baby!

     8. Breakfast. Warm pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and crispy bacon taste way better when enjoyed while watching the sun come up. Not only that, but you don't have to rush- You have time to cook your breakfast right. No more grabbing a stale pop tart as you run out the door, or skipping breakfast altogether. You might even gain enough extra hours in the day to take a special trip to a breakfast café once a week! Woohoo!

     9. Exercise. An extra couple of hours in the morning leaves plenty of time for a jog, a quick bike ride or an at-home yoga session. Saving your hardcore abs workout for the end of the day often gets put aside for more important things like homework, cooking, and just plain being too exhausted. Exercise in the morning so you can cross it off your to-do list and get on with your day!

     10. Morning sex. Just kidding, unless you're into that type of thing.

Bonus Round: How to Wake Up Early!
     We all know how beneficial waking up at an early hour can be, but how do we get there? Here are three of my tried-and-true methods.
     1. When you wake up, stretch as you lay in bed. Stretch each part of your body one by one, slowly and carefully. Stretching wakes up your muscles and gives your brain a boost, just enough to help you get out of bed!
     2. Set your alarm clock for the morning, and place it on a high shelf or an out-of-reach nightstand. This age old trick really does work. It forces you to get out of bed and walk to the alarm clock in order to shut off the annoying beeps. Well, look at that- You're already standing up and out of bed! There's no turning back now!
     3. Have something to look forward to. Nothing gets you out of bed faster than the excitement of having something to wake up to. Remember how early you sprung out of bed as a kid on Christmas morning? Well, why can't every morning be that way? Start a new job or project that will get you going. 

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