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After “springing forward” an hour for Daylights Savings, many of us are more sluggish than ever. Losing an hour of sleep is nothing new to first responders but losing an hour of pay is just unfair. So, this is your pep talk, your morning – or nightly for overnighters – motivations to get you moving again.
Morning Motivations for Your Body
First, we’ll start with motivating your body. Sometimes, you just have enough time to roll out of bed and into your uniform. But, if you can manage it, fueling and moving your body is the best way to maintain better health and get through the next 24 hours.
- Coffee – This stuff runs in most first responders’ blood. Each person has a preference and coffee doesn’t care how it’s served. Hot, cold, creamy, black, sweet, strong… What’s your flavor? While many argue that coffee is a diuretic, the caffeine does provide a quick burst of energy and wakes you up. Plus, it’s about the tastiest stimulant you’ll find. You know you have a long shift ahead so grab that juju juice, that elixir of life, that don’t-yell-at-every-single-person-you-meet drink, and go get ‘em!
- Tea – For a gentler dose of caffeine with less crash after, and far more antioxidants, green or black tea provides a more relaxing entrance into the crazy of the day. If you can spare a moment or two to sit and enjoy a cup of hot tea, you’ll go into that shift feeling refreshed and ready.
- Water – Maybe this should be first (if you want to get technical), but water is crucial. Nothing drains us more than dehydration. Start the day with a glass of water to get your body functioning and drink water throughout the day to keep the gears moving. How much water each person should drink has been debated for a long time. As long as your urine is clear, you’re drinking enough.
- Breakfast – Eating a breakfast with protein, healthy carbohydrates, and antioxidants can give you longer lasting energy. Things like eggs, bananas, oatmeal, berries, and nuts will keep you going and serve your body well. “Choosing the best foods to eat in the morning can help curb hunger and kick-start a person’s metabolism for the day” (Medical News Today, The best breakfast foods for health, 2018).
- Stretch – There’s so many benefits to stretching. Stretching first thing in the morning gets your blood moving and helps prevent injuries. Stretching also feels great and helps our bodies feel more ready for the day.
- Breathe – Yes, this seems obvious as it’s part of being alive, but it’s important. When you first sit up and swing your legs over the bed, take a few slow, deep breaths. Get some oxygen into your lungs, hold for a second, then let it out slowly. You’ll feel better and more awake.
Morning Motivations Your Mind
Let’s do a little brain digging. Yes, it’s not what you want right when you wake up, but as much as it’s essential to start your day motivating your body, you need to motivate your mind too! When you get your head in the game, the rest follows.
- You’re Worthy of the Day! No matter where you are mentally, you are worthy of the day ahead. No, we’re not talking about the things you might experience but the day itself. You are worthy of waking up, worthy of living, and worthy of being seen.
- Do Your Best. That’s all there is to it. It’s all you can do. Do the best you can with the information and resources available to you in each moment, and you will have done what you can do. You can’t ask more of yourself.
- Be Thankful. A mind full of gratitude finds the best in others, their day, and in themselves. When you spend the day being thankful, you find beauty in the simplest of things. Your perspective becomes a whole lot brighter.
- Stay Goal-Focused! When you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, you stay on track with a plan. You see a good end in sight and aim for it. You feel less like you’re aimlessly driving down a sleepy road and you hone in on the mission.
- Listen to Music. Find the music that works for you to get your day going right. Whether it’s rock, country, metal, or classical, if it gets you moving and in a good mood, it’s going to help you tackle that day.
- Fill Your Thoughts with Good Stuff! You might keep a motivational book nearby or have a picture of someone you love close to your bed. Whichever it is, spending even a few moments thinking about someone or something that makes you feel good can motivate you throughout the day. It starts your mindset for a good day and keeps your perspective positive.
- Stay in the Moment. This means stay off social media for a time, paying attention only to self care and those immediately around you that need you. Take an extra moment to smile at your kids or spouse. Take a second to look outside and see the sky. Give yourself a good clean deep breath. Feel the floor beneath your feet. Social media can wait; you’re busy taking care of yourself.
- Move Forward. No matter what’s going on in your life or what worries you may have, today is your day. It’s not going to repeat itself. You can’t go backwards in time, only forwards. What will you do to move the day along? What’s your short list of to-do items? What’s your goal? No matter your motivation, you need to move forward. It’s the only way to get where you’re going. So, get up and move.
We get it. It’s junky weather this time of year. Winter is dragging. Times are tight and stress is high. But you know what you need to do. You know you can do it. Try these morning motivations starting now. Brighter days are ahead. So, let’s get up, get motivated, stay focused, and march on!