I am tired
I am tired. Like really tired. Sometimes falling asleep while writing in the morning. But I have never really been tired at all. Yes, there might be a day in which I drank too much the night before and therefor stay in bed way to long. But most of the time after about 8 hours of sleep I am ready to go. Active, full of energy. But in the last couple of days, this just doesn’t seem to work anymore. I have never really looked closely into what is the cause of this lack of energy. It can’t be the lack of sleep. I still sleep for about 8 hours. What has changed then?
Might it be stress? Or maybe bad sleeping posture? Irregular sleep schedules or looking at my phone before bed? Hmm not really. It could be a bit of stress but I don’t feel stressed. Nor do I look at my phone much before going to bed and I have quite a regular sleeping schedule. It couldn’t be one of those. I did notice the weather report for this week. It looked grey. Only clouds with a lot of raindrops coming out of them. No sunny icon to be found anywhere on the map. At that moment it clicked.
RISE WITH THE SUN
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In appreciation of the seasons
It was a sudden change in the weather. About a week ago we were still experiencing warmth. The sun was out and temperatures were up. It felt warm leaving the bed and the sun gave you loads of energy. Now if I look outside all I see is grey muddy clouds dumbing down rain. Not the best of sights if I would say. None the less I get out of bed in an attempt to wake up. I think it must have looked hilarious seeing me falling asleep while eating breakfast, meditating, or writing. My head bouncing up and down like one of those bouncing car figurines. But it wasn’t that I am tired. It is not that I do not get enough sleep. It’s more related to the topic of seasonal change and motivation.
Each season has its own qualities. Not only weather-wise but also on the physical and mental impact, it has on us. Summer and spring are the seasons of energy and loads of activities. This is because Summer and spring are filled with vibrant colors, warm temperatures which make our bodies more flexible, early sunrise, and late evenings. All these qualities add up to giving us a boost in energy. So most of the time these are the seasons a lot of people do stuff. They go out with friends and family and work a little harder.
Autumn and winter on the other hand are slower and more laid back. These are the seasons of reflection and restoring. Just like the animals and plants we too need time to recover. After a full two seasons off bursting with life energy, we need some way to restore energy for the next summer and spring. This does mean that your energy is decreasing as well. The changing of seasons has a massive impact on our bodies and our motivation. There is nothing wrong with this. It is just the way the world works. Just like loads of other animals go into hibernation, we too need some sort of hibernation. Of course not completely. We do not close ourselves off from the entire world. We still go out and do stuff but in a more moderate way. We conserve our energy and take more time to relax. Why do you think advertisements show people under warm blankets with hot choco in their hands enjoying the flickering of candles? It’s because in winter and autumn we long for these peaceful moments.
The weather is grey out and most of the time it’s raining, this is perfect to stay inside. It can be really comfy. But this change in seasons also effects if you feel energized or tired. In my case the sudden shift from summer to autumn caused me to feel tired. Waking up to a dark work and rain didn’t motivate me to get out of bed early. So I slept in. Snoozing the alarm clock over 5 times each 10 minutes. Then I got out of bed and still felt tired. How could this be? Well, it was because of the change in weather that I stayed in bed longer, the combination of the two makes you drowsy and tired. Add a tiny bit of demotivation and you got yourself someone who is slowly falling asleep while writing.
So we know that seasons change how we feel and that it is normal. But can we do anything about it? The answer is yes, of course, otherwise, the title of this post would be misleading. I have used these three unconventional tips to feel energized again.
Wait for what? We wanted to get up early and energized, right? I can completely understand why you would want that. I would want that too. I would love to get up at 5 am and be beast at productivity right away. But in winter, there is just no way that I will be able to do this. I just need a bit more energy. So I sleep in a bit. Instead of trying to put my alarm clock as early as possible, I changed it to as late as possible. Getting just about half an hour to an hour more sleep. This is most of the time enough to wake up energized and motivated. You need those 8 hours of sleep more than ever in winter and autumn because your body is using more energy to stay warm. So stay in bed for a little longer, it will massively help your energy levels and happiness levels during the day. There is no need for a life full of rushing and doing things as productive as possible if you don’t enjoy doing them. So sleep in and allow yourself to be happy with your life. Then you will see that the rest of the day will be productive.
Now of course don’t get more than 8 to 9 hours of good sleep. If you sleep in for about 12 hours you’re gonna oversleep and feel tired throughout the rest of the day. That’s the complete opposite effect of what we are trying to accomplish here. Get your ass in gear if this is you. If this is you read this quote twice and let it sink in.
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Put your alarm clock on the other side… Nope not gonna do that, just don’t snooze
One of the biggest ongoing tips for waking up early is to put your alarm clock halfway across the room. I hate this. There is no way that this makes you wake up in the right way, nor does it mean you enjoy waking up. The biggest thing for me when I wake up is whether I feel motivated and joyful to wake up or not. So my alarm clock is right next to my bed and I am only allowed to snooze it once. Why once? Because I love, and I mean absolutely adore, clicking that snooze button and being able to fall back into bed and stretch myself. Now in these ten minutes I most of the time don’t fall back asleep. It is just time for me to enjoy waking up. Stretching my body, cuddling with my girlfriend to get some oxytocin running through your body. These are all things that make me joyful and happy. Those are the two emotions we should always pursue because they make us motivated and joyful through life.
So instead of making yourself miserable and getting out of bed instantly to turn off your alarm clock, do yourself a favour and just put it next to your bed and only snooze it once. Those 10 minutes will only make you more productive during the day because you are waking up happy and not miserable. Now of course if you love getting out of bed instantly you should do that. I am not here to say that you should stop doing that. I am just saying that you should choose a method that makes you happy in the morning. If you don’t feel happy in the morning your day will have a slow start.
Change with the seasons
Last but not least. Change just like the seasons. Every now and then it is time for us to change. Just like the seasons change, so should our morning routines. We should embrace the quality of these seasons in our own morning routines. In summer we do a morning routine that gets us fired up so we get the most of our long day. In winter and autumn, I like to take more time reflecting. Using the darkness and drowsy weather as an excuse to write more. To reflect on me and think of what I have been doing. Journalling is more than working. This way you work with the seasons. Not against it. I tried hard to keep my morning routine for the summer going, I just felt exhausted doing it. So I changed it up so it fits more to my level of energy in autumn.
Change is something we humans like at least small changes. Changes where not much is at stake. Morning routines are one of those changes. We should strive to keep our morning routines joyful and energizing. So if something doesn’t work for you, reflect, think, change. This way you will be up and running in no time. Changing something gives you new energy and a boost to start again. That’s why I have decided to change my morning routine every season. Not by much, but just tweaking it to feel right for that time of year.
Our morning process is incredibly important for both a joyful and productive life as well as a peaceful life. So design your morning routine just the way you want it. Take these tips as tips and try them. If they don’t work, then don’t use them. I am not here to tell you what you must do. I simply try to give you tips that you can follow and try for yourself.
That said, enjoy your morning. Appreciate its beauty. When you wake up think to yourself how wonderful this life is. Hear the sounds around you, a clock ticking, birds, or cars outside your window. Maybe a dog barking. There is so much going on in the morning that we miss because we are so grumpy of getting up. It is at those moments that we should appreciate life. Appreciate all it gives to us. This is in appreciation of being tired, for it has given me a lesson to change and grow again.