Winters are a time when you just want your world to pause and getting to school, college or work is not a priority, as you snuggle underneath your blanket and shut off the alarm on your clock. If wishes were horses, this would have been a reality. Waking up in the morning is sometimes the toughest thing to do during winters. You want to wake up happy and start your day on a good note, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day. In North India, winters are harsh and long. While for a city like Kolkata which is humid almost nine months of the year, winters are a welcome break. As temperatures fluctuate, sometimes it is a pleasant breeze to liven up your mood and sometimes it is freezing cold. Sometimes Kolkatans experience a cold winter morning but a not so cold day ahead. Yet waking up in winters is the challenge and here is what you can do to make winter mornings easier and make sure you don’t reach school, college or your workplace late.
- Put an alarm tone that is pleasant and soothing to the ears. It could be your favourite song or chirpy music without lyrics. Do away with loud alarm tones that wake you up suddenly making you grumpy. The winter weather makes you feel light and happy. So make the experience a pleasant one by choosing the right alarm tone which will help you slowly break away from dreamland and not make it such an ordeal to get out of bed.
- Set at least two alarms, one for 15 mins prior to the time you want to wake up and one for the actual time. This will give you some time to stay in bed between waking up and actually stepping out of bed. Winters being a time when you have a tendency of lazying around more than in summers. Keep some buffer time for your body to warm up and your mind to make you get out of bed. After a short period of lazying around time, it gives you some mental satisfaction of a mini snooze. After all most often you tell yourself, “I wish I could go back to sleep.”
- Get up and get going. Winters are a time when you could go for a walk around the lakes in South Kolkata, enjoying the nip in the air. Your brain will probably convince you it is a bad idea, but if get a group of friends to motivate you, winter mornings might actually be a great time to walk around the lakes alike a dreamy scenario with light fog seen in the near distance of the lake. It is just about starting off on one day and keeping up the tempo. Walking in winters is much more pleasant than walking in the sultry summer heat. What do you do if there is no lake in the vicinity? Walk in and around the nearest park and enjoy the greenery as you walk awhile. Do it for the experience even if you are not a fitness freak. It might take waking up 45 minutes earlier and setting out for a short walk if not long and warm up your body. You are sure to be on time to work and feel better opposed to dragging yourself out of bed and just running to work.
- Sleep early and tell yourself the night before that waking up in the mornings is not difficult. More so if you have an important meeting the next day and you have a tendency to oversleep. The more you tell yourself it is tough waking up in the mornings, the more torturous you will find it. It is all about tricking the mind. After all, no one wants to get out of bed when they are warm under the blanket. You know you have to get up ultimately, so make the process easier by telling your mind that you are going to wake up on time.
- If you have the luxury of being served bed tea, nothing like it. If not, then a good thermos flask to keep your tea or coffee warm. This is sure to warm your body before you step out of bed. A great idea would be to have hot green tea in the thermos flask. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine compared to coffee while amino acid L-theanine in green tea gives you the right amount of push to energize yourself and liven up your mood. What’s more, with antioxidants to cleanse your body, a few sips of green tea as you step out of bed is not a bad idea.
Here is what you can do to keep sufficiently warm and enjoy the winter. Thank your stars you are far away from the freezing cold weather in North and Central India.
- A warm bath in the night is bound to transport you into dreamland effortlessly and ensure a sound sleep. A good sleep is a must, rejuvenating you when you wake up. Why bathe on a cold winter night? It helps you sleep better and raises the body temperature. The body temperature tends to fall a few hours before bed time. A warm bath is an ideal way to even out the body temperature and ensure you are sufficiently warm and cozy as you get under your blanket and slip into dreamland.
- Another tip you can try is soaking your feet in warm water preferably with a hint of salt which helps to warm your feet. Follow it up with applying cream or a dash of olive oil on your feet and some massaging of the feet. Slip on a pair of socks which not only helps you keep your feet warm but also saves you from dry feet and cracked heels. Wake up the next morning with your feet feeling better and softer. Plus you don’t have your feet touching the cold floor while in a sleepy state, in an attempt to find your slippers.
- Put on a cap in the evenings long enough to pull over your ears. The face, head and chest are more sensitive to changes in temperature than the rest of the body. But covering them only helps in protecting you from feeling cold. It is a myth that most heat is lost through the head. While a hat does not prevent heat loss, since the head is sensitive to change, you are bound to feel the cold hitting your head.
- Eat hot food like porridge or sip on some soups and beverages to warm up your body. It is best to avoid having too much cold food which doesn’t necessary help to keep the body warm but at the most, it satisfies your taste buds. A warm tomato or chicken soup sprinkled with herbs like oregano and spices like pepper are soothing for the throat too. If warm porridge is what you are opting for, try preparing it over the gas burner instead of the microwave oven. The warmth of the fumes warms you up too.
- Kolkata may not be freezing cold, but there are spells of chilly winter days. Unlike people used to living in cities with extreme cold temperatures, it is a different ball game for Kolkatans. Especially when temperatures earlier in the day are much lower and tend to increase in the middle of the day and a sweater maybe then is not required. What is the best thing to do when you are stepping out for school, college or work? Try wearing layered clothing. You don’t have to wear thermal innerwear as that is not necessarily practical in fluctuating temperatures; try wearing a t-shirt or a slip underneath which will keep you warm and yet which are not woollens. So when temperatures rise during the day, you just have to discard one sweater or jacket rather than two woollens or jackets which you have to lug along everywhere.
So keep warm and enjoy the cold winter months before sultry summers set in the city of joy.