Photo cred - Steven Pigeon
We don't need to tell you that mornings can be the worst. There's that moment of pure dread as you look to your blaring alarm clock, knowing full well that you need to get up, yet your body and mind are rejecting the idea with vehement hatred. Let's not even get started on Monday mornings, where the effects of a long weekend of partying make everything even worse.
If only we could all be morning people, but unfortunately, that isn't the case. That doesn't mean all is lost and we're doomed to loathe every single morning of our lives, because there are some simple things you can do to make your mornings easier and overall more productive. Some are simple, some a bit more involved, but all are easily accomplished during a Montreal morning, no matter your routine or schedule. Continue reading and find out how you can make every morning in Montreal more productive.
Photo cred- Tumblr
1. Eat Protein For Breakfast
When you got some time in the morning, try to also include some protein in your breakfast. Whereas complex carbs found in pancakes, waffles, or other standard breakfast dishes will likely just slow you down and make you sleepy, protein induces wakefulness. Nearly every cafe boasts some form of egg-filled breakfast sandwich, but if you want a truly protein-filled morning meal that will definitely last you a good portion of the day, head out to your favorite Eggs Benedict brunch spot, or try a new one and make the morning a little more exciting.
Photo cred- Tumblr
2. Get Caffeinated
Maybe the most oft-heard way to increase one's productivity in the morning is coffee, and that's because it works. A bit of caffeine will increase your energy levels and alertness, and on an emotional, coffee is incredibly comforting, especially to caffeine-addicts who can't start their day without a cup of Joe.
Photo cred- CBC
3. Bike to Work
We got Bixis, so why not use them? Not only is this a greener way of getting to work, a bit of exercise in the morning induce the secretion of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in your brain, all of which increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Accomplishing all that while on your way to work is a morning productivity triple-threat
Photo cred- Irene Pylypenko
4. Do Some Morning Yoga-Meditation
Meditation, as a method to collect and focus one's thoughts, has been proven to improve one's overall performance, especially when multi-tasking and when in high-stress environments. Sounds like school or your office, right? You could just meditate by being still and silent, but fusing your meditation time with a yoga sesh will add a light workout to the process, thus increasing your morning ernergy levels. For the thrifty, free yoga sessions are held in Parc La Fontaine on Sundays, but those looking for a daily studio can check out our list of Montreal's best yoga studios.
Photo cred- Nicholas Ferguson
5. Avoid Naps Like The Plague
There's evidence for and against taking naps, as a 20 minute power nap has been known to improve one's midday wakefulness, but we're not talking about the afternoon here people. Plus, in reality, most of the time you try to take a short sleep you just fall nose-first into a downward nap spiral that lasts 3 hours. As a consequence, when you head to bed, your not sleepy in the slightest, and the next morning is extra awful because you fell asleep at 3am and only got 5 hours of sleep. Make sure you don't fall into a nap spiral by avoiding these Montreal spots that simply scream "nap time."
Photo cred- Sand Box
6. Eat Fruit for Breakfast
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Most of us haven't eaten in a good long while once we've gotten up, so break the fast (get it?) of slumber with some nutritious fruit. Ideally your breakfast would consist of a bit more than just fruit, but given that you're probably super pressed for time, fruit make for an ideal on the go meal to jump start your morning. Filled with vitamins and minerals, fruits will make sure you body can function properly, and the carbs inherent to fruits will provide long-lasting energy throughout your morning. During the summer season, stock up on locally grown fruits at one of Montreal's farmers markets.
Photo cred- Tumblr
7. Tea Yourself Awake
Coffee definitely isn't for everyone, so if you're the type who can't handle a caffeine-loaded cup of java, opt for tea as a morning energy boost. Most black teas have nearly the same caffeine content as a cup of coffee (while being lighter on your system) or go for green tea, which has enough caffeine to provide some early morning energy along with some antioxidants to leave you feeling healthier. DAVID's Tea is the Montreal go-to, but be sure to check out one of Montreal's many tea shops and cafes where you can energize and use as a quiet work space.
Photo cred- Tumblr
8. Reward Yourself With Food
You may be noticing a trend here: food is crucial to improving one's energy levels. While the past two pointers involved foods that will physically make you more alert, here we're turning to the emotional side of eating. Mornings suck, but having a light at the end of the tunnel can make the whole process a lot easier, giving you something to motivate you as you push through your early hour woes. Before heading to work/school, but after you've got all your morning stuff done, stop by your favourite Montreal bakery, croissant spot, or bagel place. Rewarding yourself with a treat will improve your mood and add a silver lining to your morning.
Photo cred- Leta Shy
9. Work In A Morning Workout
A workout goes a long way in the morning. As previously mentioned, a light workout will get your brain pumping chemicals that are serious energy and focus boosters, plus your metabolism will be jump started, meaning your body is getting into active mode too. The effects of a solid AM workout even extend into the evening, as expending a good amount of energy in the morning will ensure you fall asleep easier at night, and more sleep equals easier mornings. Style of workout and length of time varies per person, but both cardio and weight training workouts have been shown to aid in the morning struggle. Those of us who have a solid hour should head to one of Montreal's many gyms, but if you only have time for a quick run or workout, check out these jogger-friendly city-spot and outdoor park gyms.
Photo cred- Tumblr
10. Stay Consistent
Most of us living/partying in Montreal have two schedules: weekday and weekend. Weekdays play out like you'd think, so waking up around 8 to head to work/school, trying to be productive, then ideally hitting the hay around midnight. Weekends are a free-for-all of God knows what where, even though your body wants you to sleep at an early and wake up at a reasonable hour, your shut yourself up with alcohol and go partying 'til 4am and wake up past noon the next day. The consequence? A messed up sleeping schedule that isn't rectified once Monday hits, making that morning (and all after 'til you've fixed your sleep cycle, if ever) more of a struggle. As hard as it may sound, try and go to bed, or at least wake up, around the same time on weekdays and weekends. You may have to lose an hour of partying, but waking up at 10am on a Saturday will make rising at 8am on Monday a hell of a lot easier.
Photo cred – Piknic Electronik
Bonus: Get In The Sun
A little bit of sun goes a long way when it comes to morning productivity. First, opening your blinds and letting natural light act as an alarm clock is a much more comforting way of waking up. Second, vitamin D levels have been proven to improve/decrease workplace efficiency. More vitamin D means more energy, in the morning and all day. A relaxing walk to work will help with your vitamin D levels (while also providing some exercise) but if you want to load up on some rays in a more relaxed environment, check out these choice Montreal tanning spots.