Rise and Shine : Why It Pays to Be an Early Bird

“Wake up early – It’s great to live in the mornings ”

– Mehmet Murat Ildan

I had spent most of my late teen years and early 20’s “thriving” by burning the midnight oil and waking up on the late side of morning – giving me just enough time to get myself up and prepped before heading out the door and face the world. Back then, I was convinced that sleep was overrated, “I could sleep as much as I want when I’m dead“, i thought to myself.  At the time, I was getting by with as little as 3 to 4 hours of sleep each night.

You probably have seen it coming – eventually something’s gotta give and as the years progress, I found it harder and harder to be at my best on a daily basis and often feeling as if I’m under the weather. With that said, being the stubborn person that I am,  even with these side effects, it still took some time for me to give up my night owl days – mostly because night life was just too far enticing for a 20 something (now former) social butterfly.

Fast forward to age 26, thanks to my unhealthy lifestyle and habits, I ended up getting gout on my right foot. On a one fine day, I found myself waking up with an excruciating pain on my big toe which had become beet red and swollen to three times the size of its normal size. For those of you who are not familiar with gout, it is a form of an inflammatory arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood usually brought upon by anything from stressful events, alcohol  to other illnesses. But here’s the real kicker: as it turns out, it  is rare for those under the age of 50+ to get gout which means that i must’ve done quite a number on my body to get it at a young age.

Fortunately, by this time,  my eyes were finally wide open and I have come to accept the situation as a wake up call.  From there on, I promised myself to get my act together by adopting a healthier lifestyle and decided that becoming a morning person would become a big part of the life changing transformation.

Though the transition was rough the first couple of weeks,  it wasn’t too long till I began to start feeling much better both physically and mentally.  Whilst being an early riser may not be for everyone, through my own experience, I have found that the early bird does catch the worm.  Here are five top reasons why I personally believe that it pays to be a morning person:

1. Have a calm yet invigorating start to the day.

By waking up at least 2 hours prior to getting out the door in the morning, you give yourself enough time to indulge on your morning rituals  instead of having to rush through the morning.

Depending on your preference, you may use this time for meditation, to plan for the day ahead, to work on a hobby or to have an indulgent 20 minute bath or perhaps, if you wake up early enough, all the above!

By setting aside ample time to get yourself ready for the day for the things that give you joy and serenity, you will bound to start the day fully recharged with a kick on your step and ready to take on the world by the time you have to head out the door.

2.Catch one of nature’s greatest shows.

One of my all time favorite things to do is to watch the sunrise and the only way one can catch a glimpse of one of nature’s greatest feat is to wake up early enough to see it. I found that each beautiful sunrise is different from the next yet it never fails to captivate and to mesmerize.

Whenever I watch the sun rises while breathing in the morning fresh air, I am once again reminded as to how truly beautiful the world is and how fortunate we all are to be living in it.

3. Have time for breakfast.

I love having an indulgent and healthy breakfast in the morning along with my cups upon cups of my favorite elixir, coffee. Breakfast is also my time where I set aside time to chat with my loved ones and/or catch up on the latest news and happenings before I’m off to seize the day.

As cliché as it sounds, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it surprises me as to how many people tend to skip it because they feel too rushed in the morning.

By making time for a hearty breakfast, you provide your body (and this certainly includes your brain) with the nourishment that it needs for you to be on top of your game until lunch time rolls around.

4. Get more productivity

Whenever I have some work or tasks that I was not able to get done the previous day, instead of opting to burn the midnight oil, I now  leave them to be done in the mornings. I’ve come to realize that I am much more productive and focused after a restful slumber than if I we to force myself to get it all done the night before.

If I happen to be anticipating an insanely busy day ahead, I also use mornings to get a head start on the day’s tasks. This way, I am able to lessen the work load for the rest of the day and prevent myself from being too overwhelmed or burnt out.

5. A great time for a work out 

If you’re anything like me, by the time you step out of the office, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym or do ANY type of exercise. Personally, I prefer to use my time in the evenings to check out a new restaurant for dinner, hang out with friends or simply head home and have some downtime before winding down and hitting the hay.

Knowing that I usually make excuses to get out of exercise in the evenings, mornings make the perfect time to squeeze in a great work out. As you might already know, when we exercise, we produce and release endorphins aka our body’s “happy” hormones that helps us to  feel more energized, lifts our mood and be more ready to tackle whatever the day throws at us.

Having been both a night owl and an early riser,  there are still times where I find it hard to stop myself from repeatedly hitting the snooze button in the morning. With that said, knowing what i know now, I truly feel at my best when i do rise up early and make a point to get the most out of the day.  In short, it’s safe to say that I don’t foresee myself reverting to my old ways anytime soon.

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