Welcome to the inaugural post of the soon-to-be underwhelming and probably-not-famous blog, ‘How to Be an Adult.’ It’s my first blog post, so I figured I would tackle the first thing we all have to do in the morning: waking up.
Now, if you’re like me (i.e. lucky), then this is probably one of the hardest things you have to do throughout the day. I am, admittedly (and purposefully), not a morning person. There are fewer things that give me as much masochistic pleasure as hitting the snooze button for the umpteenth time while I drowsily convince myself that breakfast isn’t that important. Now, have I mastered the art of waking up? No, not at all. Did I hit the snooze button three times today? No. I hit it twice and then shut off my phone because I couldn’t be bothered to hit it a third time five minutes later. With that being said, I have learned some great strategies in my time as a young adult that have made my lazy days less frequent and my mornings less abrasive. I hope that you can take all, one, or none of these strategies to heart tonight as you lull yourself into a wonderful dreamland completely unprepared for the harsh light of the morning to rip you from your slumber and thrust you into the world so diametric from your nocturnal utopia. (I’m clearly very passionate about sleeping.)
Strategy 1: Smart Phone Apps
If you’ve been a follower of my bloggish musings since my last series, you’ll know that I have a certain penchant for solving all of my worldly problems by downloading problem-specific apps. Wow, look at that; there are HUNDREDS of apps that aim to remedy this exact problem. I could go into a whole blog post about all of these alarm applications, but I don’t write that series anymore–so you may as well go and tell past-Grant to replace the useless Uber/Taxi ‘Tech Tuesday’ blog with a more useful post. (He probably won’t do it though, past-Grant is a jerk.) Instead, I’ll just focus on my app of choice: Alarmy.
Despite the hilariously awful name, Alarmy has forced me out of bed more times than I want to count (mostly because that would be a boring thing to count). The basic premise of Alarmy is that it requires actions outside of the normal ‘snooze button’ functionality to shut off the alarm. For example, one of the options requires you to ‘shake’ your phone upward of 100 times in order to wake up; another option requires you to solve a series of math problems in order to quiet the discord of daybreak. However, as time went on, I would start to wake up an hour later than my alarm and wonder how on earth I shut it off. As it turns out, my brain, in an effort to stay asleep, developed a savant-esque proficiency at third grade mathematics–but only between the hours of 6:30am and 6:31am. It also developed the mental and physical dexterity to shake my phone off while still maintaining my much-need and under-deserved REM. My favorite option on Alarmy (and the one my brain can’t cheat) is the ‘Take a Picture’ mode. This unique function requires you to take an inaugural picture and then set that as your ‘snooze’ button; therefore, once your alarm goes off, you will have to hop out of bed and recreate your first picture. For example:
THIS IS MY SINK. And this is how I choose to end this section.
Strategy 2: Force Yourself/Go Natural
This section is divided into two sections because I have no idea how to organize a blog post. The first strategy is a tried and true method of forcing yourself to get up. To put it simply: put your phone far enough away from your bed, so you have to get up to get it. Trust me, no amount of pillow throwing or quiet whimpering will magically turn off the alarm. It doesn’t, however, stop you from going right back to bed afterward–so placing an obstacle along the path is generally a pretty good idea. I have included a picture, as if this concept was simple enough:
The other method is to rely on Mother Nature to wake you from your slumbers. We, as carbon-based lifeforms, have been designed to wake up with the sun–so you may as well listen to your genes and do it. However, the sun will rise when it will and you don’t have time to wait around for Sol to rear its lazy head. This is why many people will opt for the technologically natural alternative: light alarm clocks. These little wonders will create an ever brightening light that wakes you up gently instead of blaring Abba in your ear (not only ruining Abba for you, but also any subsequent Mamma Mia viewings). I’ve never tried it myself, mostly because I don’t have 100 dollars to spend on an alarm clock–but to each his own.
Strategy 3: Practice
Like anything in life, if you want to get good at something, you have to practice it. But how do you practice waking up? When my inability to consistently wake up reached its peak several years ago, I resorted to any and all methods of remedy (all of the above strategies and then some). However, the following strategy had the most effect on me. I hope everyone as reveille-challenged as myself will find solace in this practice.
Basically, what you do before you go to bed is simulate waking up in the morning. So, I will set my phone’s alarm for five minutes (I am sure to place the phone far away from my bed and set a ‘take-a-picture’ Alarmy) and then get into bed. Five minutes later, my alarm goes off, prompting me to get up and go to the bathroom to start my morning routine. Then I repeat that two more times before I go to actual bed. Fortunately, by that time I have gotten so used to being in bed that not only do I fall asleep earlier, but also, when it’s time to wake up, my body is already conditioned to go to the bathroom immediately to start my day. I know it seems a little obscure, but this honestly helped me so much when past-Grant (i.e. jerk) refused to wake up in the morning like an adult.
So there you have it. Like any of my posts, feel free to use all or none of these strategies. And for those of you who have no problem getting up in the morning, I hope you can at least find a sense of calming schadenfreude in the absurdity and struggle that waking up has created for people like me. Also, if you have any sure-fire ways of waking up, feel free to comment below, email me, or find me in person and tell my face.