“Stop being so miserable!”
My boyfriend has this annoying habit of saying this to me every morning. If you are NOT a morning-person, you will totally understand why it is so, so challenging trying to get up and get going in the AM.
My routine is something like this: I wake up, I crawl out of bed, use the toilet, crawl to my work table, turn on the computer, and work. I try not to talk, drink, eat or smile until 12 noon.
This anti-social behaviour in the morning is a source of amusement to the boyfriend who calls me a whole host of names like “Miserable Git”, “Miserable Guts”, “Tim Curry” (see pic on right), whatever. If attempts at wisecracks and lame jokes do not get me smiling (he has a 100% failure rate so far), he would proceed to irritate me, doing things like trying to hug me (if he’s sweaty from a run), or nagging me about some random unwashed cup in the sink.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not like my pathetic behaviour at all. In fact, I do want to wake up feeling like sunshine, radiating more joy and happiness than Smurfette on LSD. I just can’t. Why?
Reason No. 1: I don’t sleep well
For two days now, I have been falling asleep at 4am. When I do sleep, it is mostly a dreamless one. I wake up feeling (and looking) like something the dog dragged in. Stress has a huge role to play in this inability to sleep. The busier I get, the less I’m able to sleep. The less I’m able to sleep, the more miserable I am in the morning.
Reason No. 2: I’m severely dehydrated
Water makes up a majority of our blood. When we are dehydrated, blood thickens, forcing the heart to pump harder, resulting in fatigue. Fluids are also needed to carry energy-boosting nutrients to the brain and other organs in the body. This is where I will admit that I take horrible care of myself. When I work, I don’t eat, I don’t drink. Then at night, I drink a glass before bed, and have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the loo. If I don’t drink water, I wake up the next morning feeling sluggish and lethargic. Don’t ask me why I do this to myself.
Reason No. 3: My body is protesting
As if it isn’t bad enough that I don’t eat regularly, I don’t eat well. The mental and physical stress I put myself through should mean I need to eat even more healthily. Despite this abysmal attitude towards food, I continue to train for my half-marathon, continue to push myself to meet my deadlines, continue to be everything to everyone. Is it any wonder then that my joints are always hurting, that my muscles are always stiff and sore?
I’m sick of feeling less than 100% in the morning. So I’m hereby declaring my resolve to become healthier and happier. For starters, these are what I’ll aim to do every day from now on:
1. Drink a huge glass of water the moment I wake up
2. Pop my fish oil and Vitamin E & B supplements before going to bed
3. Sleep promptly at 11pm every night (no excuses!)
4. Get a handle on my stress levels. PRONTO
This infographic (taken from hr.sparkhire.com) provides a really great insight into how stress at work can badly affect a person’s health in so many ways. But ladies, you know what I really want? I want to know how you are affected by stress. So if you are game enough, please click here to take a survey. The results will be presented in an infographic in early-November. I want to find out how you deal with stress, what stresses you out the most, and WHO stresses you out the most. Meanwhile, enjoy this one:
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and has recently taken up baking to help her cope with her stress. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.