Most people need a morning routine to start the day well, because let’s face it, we’re not at our most academically and intellectually inclined when wiping sleep out of our eyes. That morning sense of very slight disorientation as our brains boot up to operate for the day ahead can take a little time to get going, particularly as we get older, and so a nice routine helps us fall into habit and get going with confidence.
But morning routines aren’t necessarily the same all year around. After all, most of us find it easier to get out of bed in the middle of the summer than we do in the winter. A warm, nurturing environment, bright sun pouring in through the window, and getting out of bed into a nice temperature can all be wonderful, and that gives us more energy.
The winter can be a lovely, cozy time, but it’s not particularly great for waking up. After all, a cold bedroom, freezing tile bathroom floors, and an exterior environment that may very well remain pitch black for a couple of hours are rarely the best way to greet the day.
So - how might we both adjust and perfect our winter morning routine? Never fear, because we have the answers below:
Energizing Breakfast Choices
A great breakfast is always important, especially in the winter when your body burns more calories trying to keep you warm. Energizing breakfasts can be a great option in winter, and also give you that comfortable inner-warmth you’re looking for. For example, you might enjoy wholemeal toast with eggs and avocado, perhaps a little salmon, or heated birchers with delicious berries.
A colorful, filling but not tiring, and robust morning meal is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face, so prioritizing this is ideal. If it takes thirty minutes for you to feel hungry in the morning, you might instead enjoy a freshly made pot of coffee using authentic, sometimes flavored, but still delicious coffee beans. You can also enjoy fresh fruit juice to hydrate you after that diuretic, which is important in winter.
Winter Skincare Regimen
In winter, it’s unfortunately quite easy for our skin to crack, because a lack of moisture in the air can be unhealthy for us. That’s why it’s good to have a healthy skincare regimen in place, using worthwhile products and protective creams that help us overcome those issues. You might even warm up your hands to get the blood flowing using squeezy stress balls.
You can learn a lot about your skin during the winter, and checking the causes of uneven skin texture can be a good place to start. From there, you can put together a skincare plan after your warm morning shower, and feel nurtured and ready for the day.
Preparing Your Car for Cold Commutes
Anyone who lives in an area with heavy snowfall will know the continual winter battle of clearing up their car each day. But you don’t need to welcome twelve inches of snow each night to plan out your morning around getting your car ready for work.
That might involve scraping ice from the windshield (never use hot water), turning on the engine to run for a while before you get in, gritting or shoveling ice and snow from an inclined driveway, and topping up your antifreeze levels if appropriate. If you have the function, you may even switch on your heated seats to make sure your bottom doesn’t freeze up through your thinner-fabric office trousers. That’s always a good start to the day.
Time Management for Dark Mornings
It’s so easy to lose yourself in the dourness of a dark morning. It’s harder to wake up and feel alert, and especially to use the sun as your guide for when to get out of the house. Sure, you have clocks, but nothing beats that inner sense of timekeeping which is often taken from you when everything remains pitch black.
That’s why time management methods can be so useful. You might set up a repeating alarm for the same time every morning, to make sure you get out of bed. Then you might work with simple time blocks - twenty minutes to wake up, enjoy coffee and breakfast, thirty minutes to get ready, and twenty minutes to enjoy a little meditation or read a few pages of your book. You can adjust those timings of course, but having that kind of metronomic timing will help you enjoy a productive, easier morning. As it takes us longer to “wake up” in the winter, having an extra ten minutes you wake up earlier for can be ideal, too.
This way, you can wake up and head into work feeling refreshed and focused, which will often beat most others in your workplace, rocking up with seconds to spare chugging coffee just to stay awake.
Seasonal Mental Health Practices
Winter can be tougher for our mental health than the warmer months, with seasonal depression serving as a common issue experienced by many people. This is often because we lack natural access to sunlight, in which case our vitamin D levels can be lowered. That’s why it’s important to supplement them if you can, to restore your healthy levels despite the lack of a natural source.
Moreover, it might be that if you work a 9-5 job, you find yourself never really going outside to see the brightness of daytime except for lunchtime. Light therapy can be helpful, especially if you have time to do it in the morning, but you might also exercise each morning to feel better in yourself when waking up, too.
Supplementation and exercise can be valid methods of improving your seasonal mental health, but of course, if you’ve noticed a continued difficulty managing your mood, then there’s absolutely no shame in visiting your doctor and talking to them about a persistent struggle. In fact, it’s worth not necessarily dismissing yourself for seasonal depression if you think the problems are more pernicious.
With this advice, you’re certain to perfect your winter morning routine for the better, and cultivate a healthier outlook on your day-to-day living. It may take a little time to get there, but doing so will be a balm for your spirit during the darker periods of the year.
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