Morning routine vs Winter!

Anyone else nervous about the winter being just around the corner?

I’ve noticed a pattern of feeling on edge in December and then really low in January and February. To address this, the past 3 weeks I’ve been trying to set up a morning routine where I get up at 6:30, drink tea, do a mindfulness meditation, and then do an exercise (walking, running or yoga).

I am nervous though that this routine will fall apart as the sun rises later and later in the day. But I also know the worst thing for my health is to jump straight out of bed and into work. Anyone have tips on how to stick to a routine even in the winter when it’s dark and cold?

I am considering a SAD lamp or light therapy lamp. If you have any experience with these types of lamps, please let me know!

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I remember last week, I had to get into work very early one day, and so set the alarm for 5.30am, and it was such a shock to see it was dark outside. Did not like that, in September.

But two things struck me…one was that a routine like you suggest, really does work and I just need to get back into the habit of doing the exercise first thing. But I also reminded myself that there are things about winter that I really like, and I find myself starting to appreciate rain like never before!

I guess as the seasons change we need to change with them to keep well? A bit tougher this year, when we’ve just been living though so much change.

One idea is whether people can support themselves and their in their goals here? Checking in with each other about how it’s going. I think making a public commitment too helps? Lots of possibilities to get through the winter in a good way!

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Hey @Nadia. I’ve never used a SAD lamp but always wondered what effect they had. Would also be interested to know if anyone else has used one?

Hey @Nadia,

Just wanted to check-in, and see how you were getting on…starting to feel that cold snap in the air each morning…keep going!

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This is brilliant, thank you so much!

I think it’s true what you said about making a public commitment. Whenever I wanted to have a lie-in or skip the meditation, I remembered that I’ve publicly spelled out how I want my morning routine to look like in this forum!

Thank you as well for reminding me that there are good things about winter. I have really appreciated the cold air against my face while the rest of my body remain toasty under the layers of clothing! Cooking with winter fruits and vegetables also bring quite a fun challenge in the kitchen.

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My friend owns one that she also uses as an alarm, as it will turn on at a set time (5:30 in her case!). She said without it, she wouldn’t be able to be up so early :sweat_smile:

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Love this link - think the UK as a whole could be much better with learning whats in season (which is often cheapest as well as being super healthly) and cooking accordingly.

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Fantastic news, and it’s great to hear how members of the community can support you in reaching your goals.

And I really like your way of connecting with the changing seasons, and appreciating what winter brings…those heart-warming dishes of comforting food…enjoy!

Hi Nadia - I feel you!! I am also very keen to maintain my morning routine. I am a keen member of the 5am club, it make such a difference to the day if you manage to ‘start right’. I do notice a difference in my mental health when I stop giving myself that space before work to exercise, walk the dog and just have some general ‘me time’. I invested in a daylight lamp alarm clock and WOW what a game changer it has been. I purchased a Lumie clock but sure there will be others. Here is the link if you are interested: Lumie® Bodyclock sleep/wake-up and SAD light therapy lamps
Lets also buddy up to keep the motivation going! :slight_smile:

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Wow impressive Helen! Good to hear some real-world feedback on those type of products - might have to look into those

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That is a really good suggestion about the lamp Helen. I too really see a difference in how I am feeling if I get up and go for a walk before work, however I do find it hard in the winter months when it is dark outside. A lamp and reminding myself that it will make me feel better will hopefully motivate me to stick to the routine!

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It really has been a game changer!! I also hate being woken up abruptly. The lamp mimics sunrise so you wake up naturally - tadahh!

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Hi @SophieDennard - welcome to the community!

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I feel like I need this in my life!

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cough expenses cough cough

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I spoke with a Consultant in Sleep Medicine, who said getting outside as early as you could, to get some natural light was really good for better sleep too.

I like early starts too…when the world has yet to start emailing :upside_down_face:

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Can you imagine the form that would have to be filled out…

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hey Nadia :slight_smile: I am also trying to get into the routine of waking up earlier in the morning and go to the gym first thing rather than after work. However, I am not a morning person at all so it’s been a struggle for me! I think I’m going to take a look at the Lumi Lamps too as the light makes a massive difference to my motivation. Getting yourself into the routine initially is always the toughest bit but I’ve found when I have celebrated the small wins, it does motivate me!

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Hi @VeenaL and welcome to the Community :smiley:

It’s great that you can celebrate those wins that aren’t really that small…they are big achievements.

But I also wondered whether it mattered what time you go the gym? We all need to do something that works for us…I use to enjoy going in the evening, instead of being sat in front of the TV.

The other thing I noticed is that if you do start getting up early, it is hard to not do that…I guess the body clock is not so easily adjusted…suppose that’s why we get jetlag?

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+1 welcome to the community @VeenaL.

This thread has really inspired me to reset my morning routine. Having an 8-year-old gives us a general, unrelenting 7 days a week alarm clock for the most part :slight_smile: but putting things in place to make getting up more of a pleasant experience is definitely a good idea.

I’m going to try and work out how to get our google speaker to turn on the radio and gently raise the level too - although it’ll have to be classical as I hearing anything on the news at the moment is likely to cause me to want to hibernate!

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