Winter – it’s cold and dark, so where the hell does waking up at the crack of dawn fit in?
Some of us have early classes… early meaning before 10AM! I had to wake up early 3 days a week last fall and I’m not going to pretend it was easy.
The first few days I had to physically throw myself out of bed. I cursed myself for having responsibilities and stumbled around my apartment like a wounded animal. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
Despite this rocky start, it wasn’t long before I began to recognize the many benefits of rising at a decent hour:
Breakfast: Let’s get real. Breakfast food is some of the best stuff out there. Bagels, pancakes, cereal, fruit- it doesn’t get much better than that. Having time to actually eat it is a precious opportunity. Not only is breakfast food delicious, it’s part of a nutritionally balanced diet.
Beating Traffic: If you’ve ever commuted anywhere between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. you know that driving on any major highway near your house is equivalent to being in the fiery pits of hell. If you’re not lucky enough to be jetting to work at the alarming speed of 5 mph, you’re vehicle is probably in “Park”. Leaving a bit earlier will give you a head start, allowing you to avoid some of the disgruntled commuters who are willing to maneuver their vehicles in any way possible to make it to work on time.
Making Use of Public Transportation: Taking public transportation is a pain in the ass. You need to find a place to park at the bus/train stop, make sure you have tickets, and get to the stop/station in time to do all of this nonsense. Waking up early ensures that you’ll have a parking space, and most likely one of the best seats on the bus or train. Who wants to sit next to that overweight businessman who falls asleep on your shoulder anyway?
Not Looking Like a Mess: You know that guy who runs into class with his clothes falling off and unkempt hair, looking like he slept in an alleyway last night? That was me. Sadly, I always had slept at home the night before, I just never had enough time to get myself together in the morning. An extra fifteen minutes can do wonders for one’s appearance.
Avoiding “Haste Makes Waste” Mistakes: You know they’ve happened. Your mind is consumed with getting out of the house, so you forget to walk the dog or leave your cell phone in its charger. They’re not a big deal, but when Spike leaves a few presents on your bed or your car breaks down and you desperately need a tow truck, they can leave a damper on your day. When your mind is clear mistakes like these happen less often.
Decreasing Stress: It’s summer. Seriously, who wants to deal with even a minuscule dose of avoidable stress? Rushing in the morning makes you sweaty. It makes your heart beat fast. It makes you lose things, break things, forget things, and feel tense. Give yourself time. Reserve these feelings for when they are absolutely unavoidable.