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If you are not a morning person like me, then this time of year where we find ourselves getting up in the dark can be a bit of a slog, I mean who wants to leave their cosy bed for this weather we are having at the moment…

After quite a few mishaps of missed trains from sleeping through the alarm clock, searching high and low for car keys (it turned out that I put them in the fridge and the bottle of milk in my handbag, I kid you not….) I thought it was about time that I figured out how to get to grips with this so if, like me, you find early morning get ups a challenge I hope that these five pointers will get you on track to a more mellow start to the day.

1. Having a firm morning and evening routine when you struggle to get up and out is a must. It actually only takes a few minutes to sort out in your mind what you need and it usually starts with preparation in the evening ie. lay your clothes out before you go to bed, maybe prep a lunch box to take with you the following day (leftovers are always a winner, thank god for over catering the Sunday roast), put out your laptop, charger and any other bits you might need for the following day before you go to bed. Just to be doubly sure I also put my car keys on the top of the pile so there is no way of forgetting everything in the early morning haze.

In the morning it is best to wake up at the same time and do the usual shower, dressing and breakie routine that works for you. The more you repeat this sequence the more your body will repeat it as second nature – its that muscle memory again guys, apparently it takes 66 days to form a habit in your mind…

2. Get your exercise over with first thing in your day. It took me years to figure this one out. I made any excuse to prolong the inevitable which just made the day drag on. I was constantly in a state of “oh god I have got to get the dreaded sit ups done, I’ll wait till lunch time, no I’ll wait till when I get home”… you get the drift. Now I just get it done as soon as the kids are dropped off and actually it really helps to get my brain into a positive gear ready for the day ahead. I find that getting my exercise kit on is half the battle (any excuse to cop out later because I didn’t bring my kit!), so lay out your joggers and trainers the night before and put them on as soon as you get going in the morning then you will be on track for success.

3. Make breakfast simple and as nutrient dense as you are able. Sometimes the idea of trying to sort your breakie out when you are in the fuzz of waking up seems like too much of a hassle and it is easy to skip out and then have a sugar crash come 11am (hello chocolate bar!). I often make a batch of smoothies and keep them in jam jars in the fridge or you could make up a few bags of smoothie ingredients in ziplock bags and freeze them so all you have to do is take one out the night before and chuck the contents into a blender in the morning. Check out two of my cereal bar recipes on the blog too as they are another go to breakfast I try to have made up in the freezer.

4. Get the best quality sleep you can. Detox your bedroom of all the usual suspects, phone, TV, poor lighting and make sure you are as comfy as possible in your bed to ensure the best nights sleep you are able to get.

5. This is vital here guys – no snoozing on the alarm button every morning. Hitting that snooze button once can result in a very long doze that could leave you missing your train, bus or lift share and your day will then be off to a rubbish start. I use a daylight alarm clock and it has been a godsend. By using it regularly your body will learn to wake up from the light it gives off rather than the dreaded sound of the alarm clock each morning. Check out the Lumie Body Clock Alarm. It does take a bit of tweaking at first and it may be best to set a back up just till you feel you can trust yourself to wake up. Almost every day I wake up 5 minutes before the noise would come on – its much less stressful than the sound of the alarm clock blaring.

I hope these five tips help you to get up and out in the morning, good luck on Monday and remember no hitting that snoooooooze button.

Have a gorgeous weekend. xo