beautygrind

Don’t Sleep Your Day Away: 5 Benefits Of Getting Up Earlier

In lifestyle, productivity on October 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm
sunrise on village

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As a child, I never had trouble getting up early – and I mean super early.  Like 5 am early.  This was not a problem during the week when I had to go to school.  The weekend, on the other hand, was a different story.  My mom, after having worked all week, looked forward to getting some extra shut eye – at least until 6:30 but there I was – padding into her bedroom, waking her up, wanting to eat and play.  At 5am.  On a Saturday morning.

Not wanting to stifle all that young energy and realizing that I might just be one of those early risers, she would set up my snacks, toys, books and showed me how to turn on the television so I could entertain myself until she awakened from her slumber.  She also purchased dark blinds thinking they would keep the sun out of my bedroom and make me sleep a little later.  Those didn’t work.

Fast forward to my adult years.  I still wake up between 430 and 6am – depending on what my schedule is.  Do I occasionally fall into a pattern of hitting that snooze button and sleeping later?  I sure do.  But since I don’t like feeling frenzied or like I don’t have any control ever my life, I usually get up when I wake up.  Waking up early helps me to be productive, focused and punctual.  I like the feeling of easing into my day and having a good amount of time to do things like workout, review my day, get dressed – all without arriving at my destination all batsh*t crazy.

But then there is you.  Maybe your internal clock doesn’t go off that early or you get up 45 minutes before you have to leave your house.  Perhaps you are a shift worker who gets off work at 1130pm so waking up at 5am is out of the question.  You might be a night owl and find yourself to be more productive later in the day.  Cool.

If, however, you are looking for reasons why getting up before sunrise/ 5am-ish can be beneficial, continue reading…

Fewer Distractions.  First off, when you get up earlier, you get the opportunity to reflect in peace.  This is particularly important if you have a family or roommates.  You will also have free range of your entire living space before everyone else gets up.  Serenity is a beautiful thing.

Gain More Time.  If you are an entrepreneur, student or even someone who is working on a particular project like writing a book, you can gain an extra 5-10 hours a week (or more) just by getting up 1-2 hours earlier.  This can be a good thing especially if you have a full time job.  You will have more mental clarity when you get up earlier and when you get home from work (or wherever), you can focus on other things that require your attention – like your family and friends.

Peak Energy, Creativity And Better Organization.  Assuming that you have had a good night’s rest, you wake up with better mental clarity and you will have more energy to actually start your day.  Those ideas that were on your mind before you went to bed are more likely to be executed.  You can also do things like get ahead of traffic and make sure you have everything you need for your day before you run out of the door.

Wellness Habits Are Put Into Practice.  How many times have you said you want to work out, eat a healthy breakfast, pray/meditate or even take the time to look nice before running out of the door?  Well when you get up earlier, you can actually do all of these things.  When you are able to put these habits into practice, it can enhance your overall well being, focus and confidence.

Sets The Tone.  Getting up early helps to set the tone for your day.  Doing so can foster a sense of accomplishment which can be the foundation of your day, making you feel in charge, able to make solid decisions.  Imagine feeling like a boss before you even leave the house?

Interested in learning how to get up earlier and take charge of your day?  Try the following:

  • Know your why.  Figure out why getting up early is important to you or why you think you should.  Do you have a specific goal you are trying to reach like start a business, write a book or workout and can’t seem to find the energy to do it after a long day? Do you want to feel more focused and in control of your day.  Knowing your why can help you stay committed to you goal or focus.
  • Start small.  If you are used to sleeping to whenever, abruptly trying to get up earlier can be painful.  Start by setting your alarm for an earlier wake up time in small increments.  If you usually wake up at 7am and you decide you want to start waking up at 5am, the thought alone is agonizing and chances are you won’t make that transition.  Instead, start by setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier and once you adjust to that time, then you can add on another 15 minutes or so until you are accustomed to waking up at your new time.
  • Plan to go to bed sooner.  Simply put, getting up earlier can be related to getting in bed sooner and getting a full night’s rest.
  • Put the alarm away from the bed.  Having your alarm clock by your bed can encourage you to keep hitting the snooze button and sleeping longer than you planned.  Instead, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room.  But please, when you shut the alarm off, don’t crawl back into bed.
  • Leave the room.  After shutting off that alarm, turn on the lights and leave your room and don’t look back.

If waking up earlier is something you are interested in and you aren’t successful at first, be gentle with yourself and give yourself some time to adjust.  Also, getting up early is not always about being productive.  Sometimes it’s about being able to take your time which is the most relaxing, loving thing you can do for yourself.  At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you.

Are you an early riser or do you sleep in?  What reasons for getting up earlier resonated with you?  Share your thoughts below.

 

 

Don’t Be Late: Do These Six Things To Help You Be On Time

In productivity on September 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Early is on time.  On time is late.  If you are late, don’t bother to show up.

analog clock sketch in black surface

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Are you one of those people who struggle with being on time?  You are not alone.  There are many people who never arrive on time or struggle to meet deadlines.  As a result, they may suffer the consequences of tardiness – whether it’s a missed opportunity or in extreme cases, termination.  Whatever the case, there are 6 things you can put into practice to help you be on time.

Figure Out How Long Things Actually Take.  Oftentimes we underestimate how long a particular activity really takes.  For instance, that walk to the train station to get to work (or wherever) – is it 8 minutes or is it more like 13 minutes?  It’s probably more like 13  minutes when you account for walking out of your house/apartment, getting to the elevator or stairs to get out of your building then starting your actual walk to the station.  And along the way, what about those traffic lights and the fact that you need to put money on your pass to get through the turnstile – there is always a very long line especially when you are running late.  If you drive, what about the amount of time it takes to get to your car, get in, buckle up and start the car?  This is before you drive off.  And what about traffic and parking?  Every second and every detail counts when it comes to time management and unfortunately people aren’t usually unclear about their time frame, often contributing to chronic tardiness.  What is the solve?  Become clear about the amount of time it takes to complete a task.  Time yourself for a week or so in order to get a clear picture of your time factor.  This will also help you to budget in buffers for unforeseen occurrences.

Get Organized.  The habit of being organized is powerful in the quest to help you not be late.  Learn to organize your living space (even your finances) as this allows for a clear mental space and will help you get focused on the important tasks at hand.  Whether it’s for work, school, a date or even a doctor’s appointment, nothing is worse than running late when you are ill prepared.  If you are always scrambling to find something to wear, you’re not clear on your daily agenda and you can never find your keys, you will always undermine your sense of well being and your ability to be more productive.  Instead, get prepared ahead of time for your day or week.  Use a planner (digital and/or traditional) to plan out your most important tasks.  Use it as a roadmap for what your day should look like.  Pull your clothes (shoes, accessories,undergarments) for the next day/week.  This way you won’t be caught off guard by items that need dry cleaning, ironing or repairs.  If you take your lunch to work or school, prepare that at night so you can grab and go and when it’s time to leave.  Make sure your keys, wallet, purse, etc. are in a central location so that won’t have to hunt these items down.  If you are traveling someplace new, review the directions beforehand and leave early enough to reduce anxiety and to allow for time to find your way if you do get lost.

Get Enough Sleep And Don’t Hit That Snooze Button.  If you are running late often because you always oversleep, you obviously might not be getting enough rest.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting 7-8 hours of sleep can help feel refreshed when it’s time to get up.  In addition, get out of the habit of hitting the snooze and just get up as soon as the alarm goes off.  Repeatedly hitting snooze can actually make you more tired and groggy and it’s very easy to mistakenly turn your alarm off and fall back into a deep thus making you late.

Stay Focused And Do Not Over-Schedule.  Learn to eliminate unnecessary tasks and distractions that won’t contribute to your punctuality.  For instance, if you are working against a deadline for a project, don’t get caught up in scrolling social media, checking emails, or taking phone calls and instead schedule breaks to take care of these things.  Also, set boundaries with those around you to respect your time.  Another way in which people end up running late is trying squeeze in the completion of projects before having to leave for a prior commitment.  Consider this:  Say you are meeting friends at 5 for dinner. You are working on a paper, you need to send an important email by 5, you still don’t know what you are wearing and it’s already 1:30.  You should stop working on that paper around 2:30, take 15 minutes to finish up and send that email take, take about 15 minutes to figure out what you are going to wear and by 3 start getting ready – assuming it takes about an hour to shower, get dressed, etc.  This brings you to about 4pm which is a good time to prepare to leave.  This may seem a bit early since where you are meeting is only 20 minutes away but keep in mind that it’s rush hour and you don’t want the evening commute to make you late.  Allowing these buffer times and considering how much time you actually have and how long each task takes can help you to be on time.

Set Your Clock For A Later Time Than It Actually Is.  Setting the clocks in your home 10 minutes or so later than it actually is can prove to be helpful in the quest for not being late.  Even when you know that your clock is 10 minutes fast, there is still that initial shock of thinking you are late that will make you move a little faster.

Say No.  Become comfortable with telling people no.  If you have several important things scheduled that need to take place and a request is made of you that you realistically cannot engage in, gently decline or reschedule.  Not saying no is a disservice to you and the person making requests of you.

9 Things You Can Do To Help You De-Bloat

In fitness, Health on September 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Either your clothes shrunk or you might actually be bloated.  Have no fear because there are several things you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you reduce bloating.

woman measuring her waist

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You ever have those times that no matter what you do, you feel a little bloated?  Perhaps you have over-indulged in you favorite foods or maybe you were away on business and you don’t have access to what you normally eat so you eat what is available only to end up feeling like Professor Sherman Klump.  In most cases, there is nothing to fear because even those with the healthiest of eating habits and lifestyles can have this experience.  Below are several tips to help you gain some relief from occasional bloating.

Warm/Room Temperature Lemon Water.  When you wake up first thing in the morning, head to the kitchen and have yourself some warm water with fresh squeezed lemon (half of a medium to large lemon in 8 ounces of water).  This wakes up the digestive system and will help move waste right along (wink).  Want to get the most juice out of your lemon, pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Also, consider adding fresh ginger to your lemon water as ginger is great for it’s de-bloating properties as well.  Read about the additional benefits of lemon water here.

Lower Your Salt Intake.  Generally speaking, lowering your sodium intake is one of many important steps to take to help decrease your risk for hypertension, headaches  and other health concerns.  But a diet high in sodium also causes your body to retain water so it’s a good idea to find other spices to season your food with.

Increase Your Fruit And Vegetable Intake.  Before you raid your refrigerator and throw out anything that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, there are some things to consider.  When buying fruits, choose fruits that have the combination of being lower in sugar alcohols and high in water such as blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and oranges.  Papaya and pineapple are also great fruits to eat because they have the enzymes bromelain and papain which help to de-bloat.  When it comes to vegetables, reduce the consumption of bulky and cruciferous vegetable such as kale and broccoli which can cause gas and bloating and instead choose veggies like baby spinach and zucchini.  When it comes to meat, keep it lean which is often easier to digest.

Drink Water.  This seems obvious but many people do not drink enough water which leads to dehydration.  Aside from headaches, skin problem and fatigue, dehydration can make bowel movements more difficult and even close to non-existent, thus causing gas, bloating and puffiness.  It is recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water (approximately half a gallon) a day for optimal benefits.

Increase Your Fiber Intake.  But slowly that is.  We all know that fiber is beneficial because it helps to keep you regular.  However, too much fiber at once can do more harm than good by actually causing painful bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.  The recommended amount of fiber is 20-25 grams a day.

Spice It Up.  Adding spices to your food not only makes it more flavorful, but can also help you to de-bloat.  Certain spices such as tumeric and cayenne contain properties that are anti-inflammatory as well as aids in digestion and banishes gas.  Consider adding one or both of these spices into your warm lemon water for healthy digestion.

Consider Reducing Dairy.  For many, dairy can cause a many digestive problems (lactose intolerance).  From cheese to ice cream, consuming dairy products can cause gas, diarrhea and general discomfort from the inability of one’s body to break down lactose.

Take A Probiotic.  Probiotics can be a good remedy for bloating because they help maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Go To Sleep.  Sure you have a lot to do but sleep deprivation has many adverse side effects.  Aside from brain fog and irritability, sleep deprivation increases the hormone cortisol which increases belly fat so make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  Find out more about sleep deprivation here.

If you find yourself experiencing prolonged bouts of bloating, seek help of a medical professional for diagnosis.