If you’re like many Americans working a 9-to-5 job, then you are probably itching for a little sunshine and R&R come May. The fatigue you can feel after working many long months without a break is real, but it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of life. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do every day to feel more refreshed and energized.
So, what’s the secret? Keep reading for tips to establish a positive morning mindset to drive the rest of your day, and ideas for combating those pesky mid-afternoon screen headaches—both of which are sure to curb your weekday lethargy.
Setting Up a Winning Morning Routine
If you struggle to wake up and get your day started on the right foot, try implementing the simple tips below into your schedule.
Make up your ideal sleep environment.
Even though you won’t be back in bed until much later, setting up your ideal sleeping environment in the morning can help ensure that when you’re ready for bed, it’s already a relaxing place to be. The most obvious solution is, of course, making your bed, but it could also include setting up a diffuser, doing a quick clean-up, or having a good book at the ready on your side table.
Take a cold shower.
This may seem like just another wellness trend, but there are actually quite a few benefits to a quick cold shower as soon as you wake up—especially if you’re a morning workout person. It can help increase circulation, improve exercise performance, and can even improve your mood. Commit to a five-minute cold shower a couple times a week, and see for yourself.
Put some thought into your outfit.
This tip is especially important if you’re working from home. While it’s tempting to roll your eyes at people who are get ready as if they are going to the office, if you’re feeling a lack of motivation, why not try it? Putting together a nice, professional outfit and placing a little more effort into grooming can put you in a work mindset first thing in the morning.
Make a morning playlist.
Music is a surefire way to put you in a better mood in the morning. Create a playlist one that you know will put you in the right frame of mind and help you start off your mornings on a high note. And switch it up every so often so you don’t get tired of the same old tunes.
Don’t check your phone.
Opening your eyes and immediately checking your notifications, the news, or social media apps is a hard habit to break, but once you do, you’ll realize how beneficial doing other things can be. Set aside time for meditation, writing in a gratitude journal, or doing a brain-teaser, such as a crossword puzzle, instead.
Preventing the Midday Strain
Afternoon headaches and eye strain from working on a computer all day can put a huge damper on productivity—whether or not you have a well-established morning routine. Check out these ideas for preventing them.
Invest in a pair of computer glasses.
Computer glasses work to reduce eye strain by blocking out blue UV light, reducing damage to the retinas. These light waves are short and full of energy, and they are the same light waves emitted from the sun—hence why they are so strong. Computer glasses are different from regular eye glasses, and should only be worn while on the computer.
Limit the free time you spend on screens.
Remember to take breaks while working and get outside, if you can. Reserve most of the time you spend in front of a screen for work. This is important for your mind, as well as your body, as sitting for too long can cause fatigue, too.
Get an annual eye exam.
Stay on top of your eye doctor appointments, especially if you’re getting frequent headaches. It’s always a good idea to get an annual eye exam, even if you don’t feel that your vision has changed. There are things going on in your eyes you can’t see or feel, and when you have the proper prescription and care, you’re less likely to experience problems down the line.