Feeling the stress from all the work-related chaos lately? With labor shortages and record occupancy rates we have weathered the highs and lows of the industry over the past year. From Property Managers to home buyers we are all feeling the stress this summer. To combat the stress I’d like to share a few things from my routine that I’ve trained myself to do over the years. So let’s dive in to 4 Steps to a Stress-Free Morning Routine
“The trouble with an alarm clock is that what seems sensible
when you set it seems absurd when it goes off.”
― Rex Stout, Three at Wolfe’s Door
Do not get me started on alarm clocks. I have experimented with many and hated all of them. Sudden jolts to wake up is not what you are looking for in an efficient morning routine. Have you ever been scared by a mischievous friend or person? Do you remember how it felt? Some people, especially veterans, do not like to be suddenly jolted from an unexpected event. So how do you combat this? Well, It’s simple, a slow and methodical form of music that is thought provoking and relaxing. Every morning I wake up to soft sounds of a stress-free world. I avoid music with lyrics and look for something with a few characteristics.
Tony Anderson – Rise (feat Salomon Ligthelm) is a great example. I’ve gone the extra mile and set up speakers through-out the house that will play my wake-up playlist. There is nothing better than to wake up to a stress-free and relaxing home while not having to worry about headphones or carrying a speaker with you from room to room.
- Music that does not have loud and sudden changes to notes.
- Inspirational or thought-provoking.
- Relaxing & pleasant.
- Each person is different, perhaps these tips do not work, but these are my usual go-to.
Finding the right speakers that could play in multiple rooms was a real pain. I’ve settled on changing all my speakers to Smart Speakers, to include my home theater with a solid application to handle setting up playback in multiple rooms.
Dark and Bright Ambient Lighting
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”
When I was very young, I was awakened by a bright and powerful light. “Time for school” was what my step-father said. To this day I still remember that moment when my peace was shattered by a powerful white light. Ambient lighting is a very important step when it comes to a morning routine.
In every room I have installed Smart LED strips for Ambient Lighting. With this setup I can use my phone to set colors to illuminate each room on a set schedule. I have meticulously controlled each bit of light that shines into my office and bedroom, as well as any other room I use during my routine. Have you ever walked outside at night from a brightly lit room? Did you remember how dark it was initially, but overtime you began to see more detail? What happens here is a process called Dark Adaptation. In visual physiology light causes pigments in your eye to decompose which will reduce sensitivity to light. While in darkness, molecules in the eye regenerate, basically your eye adjusts to see in low light conditions. A sudden change from dark to bright is more or less of a shock to your physiology and can be disorientating. My goal is to gradually increase the light overtime. To keep my physiology in line with a slow and gradual change. Same concept with music: the massive sudden change needs to be controlled and gradual.
When it comes to colors, I am meticulous with how they are shown. After a few seconds I begin to awake to the sounds of my musical playlist. Just before I step out of bed, my lights fade in from black to a color temp of approximately 6,700 kelvin, a cloudy daylight color. This provides just enough lighting for my eyes to clearly see where I am going. A key thing to take from this is that my lights are set up under my bed, providing an under glow, which lights the room. Walking into the bathroom the lights are about 5700 kelvin.
Once my routine brings me to the kitchen my eyes have adjusted enough to tolerate brighter lights. In the kitchen the lights are much brighter, around 4,000k just below the direct sunlight threshold.
This one is a no-brainer. I will not dive deep into this other than to say that you need something to eat. I tend to alternate between a meal, water and a supplement / meal replacement drink. Alternating it with food & meal replacement drinks every other day seems to help the most with my concentration in the morning.
News & Updates
This is something I consider a very important step in maintaining a stress-free morning routine. A system that provides instant access to multiple news and media sites. To cut down on the temptation to navigate the internet while at work, I have set up a few folder bookmarks where I can open all tabs from within the folder. Each bookmark inside the folder navigates directly to a page on a site that summarizes the news or other interests. This allows me to consume the latest news and media as quickly as possible. After consuming as much information as I can I am less tempted to do so while working.
Just be sure to allow enough time in your morning to complete this task before work.
At this point I am ready to carry on with my day, either it being work or a relaxing weekend. I’ve had a great morning experience that will carry on through-out the day.