Sunday, 12 October 2014

The lazy girl’s guide to getting up early!*

I hate mornings. I’m good at waking up, but I literally wake up in time for me to get ready and rush out of the door for work. There’s no time for messing about, no time for extravagant breakfasts or wardrobe malfunctions. I decided to take the #EarlyBirdChallenge with the team at Free Office Finder. I set myself the task of waking up earlier than usual for a whole week to see what benefits it would have on me. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. As someone who usually does not get up earlier than midday at the weekend I wondered how I was going to cope. 

We face around 25000 mornings in our adult lives, so what is the harm in making the most out of them. Think of all those extra hours I could use being productive and getting things done. This is the goal for Free Office Finder #EarlyBirdChallenge which aims to get everyone up a bit earlier than usual and doing a bit more in the mornings than normal. I never have time for anything in the morning and I rarely have free time in the evenings as I try to work 2 jobs and fit in a social life as well as blogging, so I was looking forward to giving this a go.

I set my alarm for 6am on day one, and hoped that I wouldn't snooze through it. 
I woke up and ran myself a bath. I popped in a bath bomb and had a good long soak. After having a bit of a pamper session, moisturising, cleansing, toning, face masks etc I decided to get ready for work. It was so nice to take my time and pick out an outfit instead of grabbing whatever is on the washing pile. I also seemed to have loads of motivation. I don’t think I've ever been so productive on a Monday! 

Lush Bath

Day 2 I woke up again at 6am. Today's shift patterns were 8:30am-17:00pm and then 18:00pm-22:30pm so I knew I had very little time for tea. I took the opportunity this morning to prepare all of my meals for the day so I could grab them on the go. I felt so organised! And I made much healthier choices by pre-planning my meals as opposed to grabbing something quick - which admittedly would have probably been crisps and chocolate.

On day 3 I was motivated and ready to go. Up I got at 5:30am and went to the gym. I couldn't believe how dark it was! It was really empty, I loved it. I did just over an hour in the gym and managed to get on every machine without having to wait for anyone to finish. It feels great to be this productive before work, and something I am starting to enjoy. Exercise in the morning really energizes you for the rest of the day, as well as being really good for your body and mind. Even when I left the gym at 7:45am to walk to work the city was so calm, and there were a lot fewer people around which really gave me a chance to soak up the atmosphere and really experience the culture of Norwich. the air was crisp and I was very much awake.

The Gym Norwich

Day 4 saw me waking up at 7am. I didn’t have work until 10am so I got myself ready and decided to take my dogs for a walk once it was light outside. Ruby (pictured) loved her walk and not only did I benefit from the fresh air, I also got some exercise and my dogs did too. The dogs are usually a bit hyper so it was nice that they were relaxed for the rest of the day after a nice morning walk. It’s not only me benefiting from this early morning business!

I wasn’t really sure what to do today on day 5 of the challenge so I woke up early anyway and slowly got myself ready for work. Once I was ready I still had an hour before I had to leave so I used my time to read on my kindle. I’m currently reading Safe Haven but have had very little time lately to read so it was really nice to catch up this morning before work. I would love to have more time to read books and waking up early has given me the opportunity to do so!

Day 6 I knew was going to be the hardest. A Saturday. If I’m not working, I rarely leave my bed on Saturdays and I have been known to roll downstairs gone 2pm and I am not exaggerating. Technically waking up an hour earlier today would have been cheating, so I decided to stick to my weekday plan of getting up at around 6am.This gave me an extra 6 hours of the day! I got up and prepared a good breakfast to start the day. I've been browsing recipes all week and wanted something more challenging than the usual toast or cereal so I made myself Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon. They were delicious, and a lot more indulgent than what I usually go for. These were so easy to make, I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe (here). I might even do a whole separate post on these, they were THAT good!

Potato Cakes With Salmon and Scrambled Eggs

Day 7 I made plans to go for an early morning breakfast to end the week, something I lack the motivation to do usually and also something that I had hoped would motivate me to wake up and to congratulate myself for finishing the challenge. I got myself ready and headed to a local cafe not far from where I work called ‘Bond Street Cafe’. I went for the All Day Vegetarian breakfast. I usually struggle to make some toast in the morning but here I was at 7am eating a full breakfast. I was so happy - it was absolutely amazing. The breakfast kept me going all morning until lunch and I was full of energy.

Overall, after taking the #EarlyBirdChallenge I have really reaped and discovered the benefits of doing so and can confirm that waking up earlier really has its positives. I feel more refreshed throughout the day, I even feel like I want to carry this on, the extra hour in my day really helps me to relax and get things done. I've loved having the extra time to fit in exercise and I feel more awake than before. Having a good breakfast each day has also been really beneficial to my energy levels and I have found myself snacking a lot less during the day. My mindset is a lot more positive, I feel like I have wasted so much time in bed in the past!

I challenge you all to get up an hour earlier, see what it can do for you and let me know in the comments how you feel!

*This post was sponsored by The views and opinions expressed are my own and I was not influenced in any way. 

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