The rational part of your mind says “I should really get up now” whilst the other says “But I’m so warm and cosy! Just 5 more minutes in bed can’t hurt”. So the battle between these thoughts begins. Before you know it 5 minutes in bed turns into 30 minutes.
Most of us are familiar with this scenario. But what if getting out of bed early on a cold morning wasn’t such a struggle?
Below are some ideas on how you can develop the art of getting out of bed ninja style so you get the most out of your day and feel more in control.
1. Aim for a smooth transition out of bed
It’s the first minute or so when we get out of bed that we fear the most and is arguably the most painful.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. Minutes of painful cold air can be reduced to mere seconds with the right equipment and tools nearby. I personally recommend the following –
Slippers/socks next to the bed: A wise woman once gave a friend a pair of socks as a present. As he unwrapped the gift she said –
“If your feet feel good, the rest of your body feels good”.
She went on to argue the benefits of good cotton socks. I was sold.
Avoid cold feet at all costs. Invest in a pair of good quality warm socks and/or slippers. It will be money well spent.
A robe: A warm, soft robe will also help to soften the blow of the cold air as you prepare yourself for the day.
A wheat pack: For a bit of luxury and to help you warm up in the morning try a wheat pack. These are easy and cheap to make (check out How to make a microwave heat bag). They also work a treat if placed on your lap when working at your desk or eating breakfast.
My dad (a very resourceful man) recently made a wheat pack out of a pair of old non stretch denim jeans and 1.5kg of wheat. I call dad’s creation “The Eternal Wheat Pack”. You heat it in the microwave for 4 minutes and no joke, it provides hours of warmth!
If you go for early morning walks and can’t stand cold fingers, try making some mini wheat packs – microwavable mitten warmers. Must ask dad to make me some of these!
2. Have something in your environment that pulls you out of bed
Would the smell of fresh coffee get you out of bed? Or perhaps an irritating alarm clock that you can’t quite reach? Set up things in your environment that will propel (or force) you out of bed.
3. Practice saying positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are statements that become filters for us and if repeated enough times can guide our behaviour.
At Runaddicts.net blogger Johnny Palmer suggests that early morning runners say to themselves affirmations such as “I love knowing that while I am up and about exercising early in the morning, I am beating 99% of the world to the best possible start to the day” and “Being an early riser and sweating my butt off before I even start my day is how I roll”.
You may want to just say “I enjoy getting up early and making the most of my day”. It works best when we phrase our affirmations in the first person, present tense and as if already done. It also helps to repeat them first thing in the morning when we are a bit sleepy and before we go to bed so they become part of our unconscious mind.
4. Get excited about something
When I’m really excited about my work I leap out of bed. I can even find myself waking up at 3am thinking, “Is it still that early? Hurry up and get to a suitable hour so I can get into the day!” The fact it’s cold and dark outside doesn’t even enter my mind.
Before you go to sleep, try to think of something that you’re looking forward to doing the next day. You may want to write this down.
If nothing comes to mind, it may be time to shake things up a bit, step out of your comfort zone and introduce something new into your life. Whenever I start to lose my excitement and enthusiasm for life, I sign myself up to a course (dance, cooking, meditation, etc) or set myself some kind of challenge (to cook a new healthy meal each night, write my next book by the end of the month, etc). New experiences can provide you with insights and introduce you to mind expanding ideas and people.
5. Jump out of bed
We can spend a lot of time in bed thinking “Do I get up now…or give myself another 5 minutes….I really should get up…” and on and on this goes. Stop doing this (it’s pointless).
Software developer David Cheong suggests –
“One trick I’ve found to be very effective in being an early riser and to stop myself from rationalising is to simply jump out of bed instantly. Once I am outside the comforts of the warm and cosy bed, I’m more likely to actually wake up and stay up.”
The more you practice getting up ninja style the easier it will get. Why? Because it has positively reinforcing effects. When you get up earlier than you usually would, you’re more likely to take action on the areas that are important to you. Subsequently, it doesn’t take long before you start to see results and feel great about yourself and your life.