Struggling to find your motivation first thing? These expert tips will help boost your get up and go.
For many of us, working from home continues to be the new normal. For many others, we’re being encouraged to return to work if we’ve encountered a period of not being able to.
Whatever your situation, it’s natural to feel a lack of motivation with a change in daily structure. It can also send us into a morning lull, and we may find ourselves sleeping in more than we used to. However, during these moments of uncertainty, maintaining a routine is key.
Alister Gray, Executive Leadership Coach and Mindset Expert explains that ‘routines bring a level of certainty and security amidst a time when uncertainty can often feel overwhelming. Daily routines help us to stay focused, maintain productivity and feel fulfilled by activating the reward system in our brains when we complete tasks.’
Alister, who is also Founder of Mindful Talent, adds that waking up early allows us the time to prepare ourselves for the day ahead. But what if the thought of an early start sends fear through your veins? And routine seems impossible?
Some of us are naturally more productive in the evenings and this can carry on into our night time routine. The night owls among us will know all too well the experience of staying up late into the night and then struggling to wake up the next morning. It can be difficult to bring our day to a close when we are able to entertain ourselves long after the sun has set, whether it be watching another episode of that boxset, continuing a conversation with a friend or just simply scrolling social media on your smart phone.
Help is at hand though, here will we cover some simple lifestyle changes that can help you to feel awake when that early alarm goes off.
A good night’s sleep can make you feel like a new person. And that’s not surprising when you consider just how many health benefits sleeping well can have.
‘Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy bugs and germs. Sleep also helps to reduce stress, support mental wellbeing and improve heart health,’ says Euan MacLennan, Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs and Medical Herbalist at an NHS practice in London.
For more tips and advice on how to sleep well, read our useful guide on natural ways to improve your sleep
For Lucy Gornall, Personal Trainer at DigMe Fitness, the big secret to being a morning person, is simply getting to bed earlier: ‘I go to sleep between half 9 and 10 and find that getting up at 5 is barely an issue as I will have had at least 7 hours sleep,’ she says.
A night time routine to help relax your body and bring a sense of calm is essential. Why not try Pukka Herbs Organic Night Time tea, a soothing and calming blend which contains valerian. Also available is Pukka Herbs's Organic Night Time Berry tea, a new addition to the night time range, containing restorative blend of organic berries, calming chamomile, valerian and echinacea for seasonal wellness.
Along with a regular routine, keeping a consistent bedtime can also help us to become early risers. Waking up at the weekends can be more difficult for those of us who work Monday to Friday. Following a continuous routine gives our body clock time to adjust. Wake up early each morning and you’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish throughout your day.
Incorporating the right foods into our diet can help to lift brain fog and improve your mood, helping you to feel more refreshed on waking. Nutritionist Jenna Hope recommends eggs, as the yolks contain choline, which is pivotal for supporting memory, mood, and cognition. As well as eggs, enjoy oily fish and nuts.
‘Omega-3 in oily fish is associated with improved concentration and better cognitive performance. Nuts (specifically walnuts) and seeds are also a source of ALA omega-3 which is converted into EPA and DHA, the active forms of omega-3,’ Jenna explains. ‘Vitamin D from the sun as well as foods such as salmon, mushrooms and eggs can boost brain-power.
For an extra energy boost try adding in some energising herbs to your morning routine. For a sustained energy boost drink Pukka’s Supreme Matcha Green tea, matcha is full of powerful antioxidants and is a great alternative to coffee.
Meditation is a great way to ease you into the day and can help you to wake yourself up in the mornings.
Yoga and meditation teacher, Kirsty Gallagher, recommends meditating for 5 to 10 minutes upon waking.
‘Sit quietly as soon as you get up and focus on your breath; deep breath in and deep breath out, allowing yourself to become calm and present. As thoughts come into your mind don’t get caught up in them or dwell on them, simply acknowledge them and let them go, returning your mind back to your breath.
‘Feel the calm, the peace, the presence. This one pause will make the biggest shift to your day and all that follows.’
Kirsty recommends downloading podcasts or audiobooks from some of the world’s most inspirational people.
‘Allowing their words to infuse and shape your day can be really beneficial, particularly if you begin your mornings listening to their positive mantras. From Robin Sharma to Anthony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle to the Dalai Lama, to Louise L Hay or Oprah Winfrey,’ she says. ‘There are lots of amazing and accessible guides.’
It’s hard when we’re bombarded with negative news but Alister Gray, Executive Leadership Coach and Mindset Expert, says we should focus on all the things that are great in life.
‘We have over 70,000 thoughts per day; it’s suggested up to 80% of these thoughts are negative in their nature as our brain constantly scans and searches for threats in a bid to keep us safe.’
Try to give yourself a set amount of time to read the news. When time’s up, move on and focus on something else- ideally something happier!
Journaling was big in 2020 and it looks like it will be even bigger in 2021. Alister explains that a great way to develop motivation is to connect to your reason ‘why’. ‘If you are unsure of your ‘why’, then spend time considering this.
Journaling as part of a morning routine is a great way to delve deeper into your motivations, asking questions such as, ‘What would make today great?’, ‘What am I grateful for today?’, and ‘What inspires me most in life?’
‘Take a moment to make a pact with yourself that you will wake up earlier tomorrow than you did today, and then in small increments each day, work towards the desired time,’ says Alister.
‘If you are waking at 8am and you wish to wake up at 6am, I’d suggest that you break it down; aim for 7.45am and reduce it by 5/10/15 minutes each day.’
You can also set wake-up intentions such as listening to a podcast or going on a morning walk, getting some daylight first thing is a great way to wake your body up gradually and will give you something to look forward to before bed.
Even something as simple as making time for a calming morning drink can motivate us to get up and out of bed. Kick-start your mornings with Pukka Herbs latest blend, Fresh Start tea This fresh and zesty blend is the perfect morning tonic to kick-start your day, whilst providing a refreshing, caffeine-free boost. A fusion of nature’s finest awakening ingredients – lemon, sweet fennel, and coriander
Lucy from DigMe Fitness says that placing your alarm across the room means you have to physically get up to turn it off. When you're up and out of bed it's much easier to get started with the day ahead.
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association