If you struggle to get out of bed as we move further into autumn, you’re not alone. The change in seasons can affect your bodily rhythms; you may feel more tired than usual or lack the motivation to get up and go on a Monday morning. And, if your Monday’s hard, then how are you going to kick your exercise and well being goals for the rest of the week?
The good news? There are some simple hacks that can help you embrace the darker mornings so that you start every autumn week on the right foot.
1. Plan an awesome week … on Sunday
Now, don’t get us wrong. Sunday is, for most people, a wonderful day of rest and relaxation spent with family and friends. But if you can give yourself just half an hour on Sundays to plan your week ahead, then you’ll give yourself a better chance of starting the week out right. Write a to-do list, check your calendar, make dates with mates to exercise in the mornings before work. And highlight the activities you’re really looking forward to, so you’re focused on the fun stuff.
2. Sleep, sleep, sleep
You know the drill. Adults need around 7-8 hours of solid sleep every night to give their minds and bodies a chance to restore themselves. Yet over a third of Australian adults are chronically sleep deprived. They’re not getting enough sleep. And without good sleep behind you, then your chances of waking up raring to go on a Monday morning are pretty slim.
3. Introduce artificial light
As the mornings become darker, don’t let that get in the way of your exercise or well being routines. You can convince your body that it’s time to get up and get moving simply by flicking on a light. Grab a head torch and hit the streets for a morning run or brisk walk, and you may get the added bonus of a beautiful sunrise.
4. Fuel up with warmer foods
An absolute perk of colder mornings is the opportunity to change up your breakfast. Goodbye, cereal, hello, creamy porridge. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to the delicious fruits and berries you scattered all over your muesli, then grab some frozen bags of berries. A cup-full can defrost while you’re doing your morning workout, ready to stir through a warm bowl of nutritious porridge.
5. Be gentle on yourself
Many people get to Sunday night and say, “This week, I’ll do more exercise.” Or, “This week, I won’t have that sugary snack each arvo.” It’s like Mondays are the unofficial day to reboot. You might get through Monday full of awesome willpower, but by Wednesday you may find yourself falling off the wagon again. Do a mid-week reboot – reminding yourself that it’s completely normal to slip up – particularly as the seasons change and your natural systems are re-setting themselves to align to the colder weather.