Six things to do first thing in the morning if the dark starts are getting you down

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It’s hard to not be affected by the weather – especially when you know we’re on the downward slope to winter. The darker mornings can make it much tougher to get out of bed.

However, there are some things you can consciously do as soon as you wake up to make the mornings a little easier. While these tips might not magically turn you into a morning person, they’ll go a long way to making these cold, dark mornings feel slightly less painful.

1. Actually get up

Obvious, but effective. When the alarm goes off and it’s cold and grey outside, your first reaction might be to hit snooze and stew under the covers, dreading the day ahead. However, it’s much better to jump out of bed at the first ring (easier said than done, we know) – it’s like ripping the Band-Aid off, and you’ll feel more positive for it.

Read: Why you should keep exercising through winter

2. Open your curtains and turn on the lights

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While not all of us suffer from full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it’s common to feel a bit more down than usual when the weather is grim and warm sunshine is a distant memory. That’s why it’s a good idea to open your curtains and turn on the lights when you wake up – even if it’s not exactly bright outside, the combination of natural and artificial light will help kick start your circadian rhythm and alert your brain it’s time to start the day.

If you really struggle in the mornings, you could invest in a lamp that mimics the sunrise, increasing in brightness, making it easier for you to wake up gradually.

Read: Explained: What is seasonal affective disorder?

3. Drink a glass of water

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It sounds basic, but there’s a reason why we’re always told to drink water in the morning. If you’re feeling low in energy first thing, you could be dehydrated – and a large glass of water will help rectify this.

4. Put on your favourite song

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While nothing can actually change the fact that it’s cold and dark outside, you can control what happens inside your house. For a quick mood-booster, why not play your favourite happy song when getting ready for the day ahead? It’s an easy way to raise your spirits. Dance along for an added endorphin rush.

5. Eat a good breakfast

They say start as you mean to go on, and having a decent breakfast is the perfect way to set you up for the day. Focus on anything that will give you energy – for example, wholegrains may help you stay awake and alert until lunch, and protein will keep you feeling full. For a cheap and easy breakfast, try porridge with peanut butter and sliced banana.

Read: Wake up to the right breakfast

6. Write a to-do list for the day

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To help combat any overwhelming feelings and worries about the day ahead, try writing a to-do list for what you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be intense – it could be simple things such as getting dressed, answering that work query that’s been playing on your mind, and maybe calling your mum – but it could help make things feel more manageable.

– With PA

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