When I took this morning job, there wasn’t a lot of competition. It was basically, “Dave, we need someone who can be here at 4:45 am and we immediately thought of you.”
No one else wanted to wake up so early. And I understand why: it’s dark, it’s lonely, you can’t party the night before, and you miss breakfast.
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But I’m the last to laugh because, according to Fortune magazine, I have the ideal lifestyle.
The article quotes Samantha Snowden, who teaches mindfulness; here is one of the videos of her from Headspace.com.
“I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, and as a child, I had every manifestation of anxiety you can imagine, from OCD to panic attacks,” Snowden told us.
But now, she’s now an online star, with a psychology degree, a renowned meditation expert, and she told Fortune that getting up before the sun boosts confidence and reduces stress.
Why is that? Because getting up early is like taking advantage in a race. You don’t feel like you’re trying to catch up. You are on the road before the others. And it reduces the pressure on your brain.
And the nervous system responds by not flooding your brain with strange and what-if thoughts, because it knows it has a mattress.
Of course, experts also warn that you should still get your seven hours of sleep, or risk depression and even heart disease. So getting up at five means you should be asleep by 10. For me, it’s around nine.
And to make your early-up routine easier to manage, you can use what’s called “choice reduction”—reducing the number of decisions you have to make in the morning. One option is to lay out your clothes, so you’re not rummaging through the closet in the dark or pre-laying your cell phone, wallet, glasses, and keys.
You can also take a slow walk around the house to relax, check the sensations in your body, think upbeat thoughts, and feel in your pockets to make sure you still have your phone. I usually do about 20 push-ups (some mornings I even do 25 in case the Olympics come around).
The result of all this? Well, if you watch the video, you can see for yourself: The morning crew here is the healthiest working group in the Pacific Northwest. Colleen and Chris look like they could run a marathon, I still have a full head of hair (at least from this angle) as well as a chiseled physique; besides, it’s 7:36 in the morning here and I’m alert. enough to read this comment out loud without errors. Also, I’m up to date with the news because I’ve been listening to the radio all morning!
So, just as the article predicts, I am relaxed and totally ready for the day ahead! Which is the best part because, at this point, my day is actually half over.
Let’s hear it for the early morning lifestyle, morning crew!
Listen to Seattle’s morning news with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 am on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.