A bad day, often more than not, starts with a bad morning. You wake up late, you’re rushed. You’re graced with some wild stage of load shedding, and you don’t have time to think, let alone get yourself a healthy lunch ready or drink a morning cuppa.
By the time you’re at your desk and ready to work, your entire morning flow has been stomped on. Everyone better watch their step, you are ready to bite heads off for breakfast.
With the recent onset of stage whatever load shedding, colder mornings, and a tight schedule that starts early, it doesn’t take much to turn a bright morning into a painfully achy one. For the sake of my mental health, I’ve had to find ways to navigate my mornings differently, taking into consideration everything that could put a damper on my day.
Today, I’ll be sharing a few of my tips and tricks with you. Let’s dive in.
Your prep starts the day before…
Do it while you’ve got the power!
The first thing that puts a bee in my bonnet in the mornings, is waking up with no power. Stage 6 load shedding greets me with a big, toothy “howzit” in the morning. My cell signal and a strong cup of coffee are not there to soften the blow. To avoid this from happening, I need to prepare in advance.
Luckily, the app, EskomSePush, stays consistent with updating the load shedding schedule ahead of time, so we can plan around this. If you work from home as many of us do, it’s the first and most obvious tip I’m going to give you, is to check your load shedding schedule the afternoon/night before the next day. Also, make sure your notifications for the app are turned on, so you don’t miss any unexpected updates – Eskom loves those.
If you’re hopping straight into work mode in the mornings, a bout of load shedding is just enough to push you off the edge. In my case, I can’t work when the power is off. I need the internet! I’ve had to find other ways of making sure I get the job done.
I’ve found a good flow of working in advance, covering the period load shedding is scheduled for the following day. If there are two hours of load shedding scheduled for tomorrow, I’ll make sure I cover those two hours of work ahead of time. This works well for things you can tackle ahead of time.
However, there’s always a meeting or something more hands-on that may require your attention. I like to use my phone’s internet connection in this conundrum! You can connect any of your devices (laptop, tablet) to your phone’s internet connection, via a mobile hotspot. As long as your phone is charged and your data is topped up, this is a nifty hack when you need a stable internet connection, fast!
Don’t forget about your creature comforts
If you’re not a happy person without your morning cuppa or brekkie, then we share a common enemy: early morning load shedding. I’ve learned the ways, though. In the evenings, I like to prep a small flask of coffee for the morning. I prep my brekkie along with my lunch, which minimises the morning rush by a lot. I usually go for overnight oats, or a savoury brekkie with boiled eggs, Provitas, avocado and cheese. I pop it all in a box in a lunchbox in the fridge and it’s ready to go the next morning.
Charge your devices before you hit the hay
One massive lesson I have learned is to keep my devices charged. I put everything on charge before bed, even when it’s load shedding. I know that, when the power comes back on, they’ll charge up and be ready to use in the morning. There’s no greater stress than waking up in the morning and discovering you can’t work until the power comes back on. So charge up!
If you’ve got the budget for it, consider investing in a power bank to keep your phone charged, or even a mini UPS, that will keep your phone, laptop, and internet running for a while once the power is off.
The morning comes, and load shedding meets us…
Right, you’re awake. There’s no power. You reach for your phone first thing, there’s no cell signal. It seems the cell towers are impacted by the load shedding too. If you look at it from a different perspective, this may work in your favour. Now you can really take the time to soak up the morning, no urgent pings heard.
Start the morning without tech
There’s nothing like a spot of mindfulness before the day gets busy. Open the curtains and let the sun in, listen to the birds. I like to go outside in my waking moments and bask in the sunlight (if there is any) for a few minutes before I go back inside. Stroll through the garden with your flask of coffee in hand, and take a few moments to gather your thoughts. Doing this instead of laying in bed for half an hour helps me feel more productive and ready to tackle things.
Get your morning endorphin release…
Because I’ve handled my work for the morning the day before, I’ll take the time for a 15-20 minute workout before I hop on to my charged devices. Connecting with my own body before jumping into a tight schedule is a great way to get me feeling ready for the day. An endorphin release in the morning is a game-changer!
By the time I’ve worked out and showered, the power is just about to come back on, and I’ve improved my daily routine, with no load shedding blues. In the end, time management is key. If we can plan ahead, there’s always a way to avoid the brunt of load shedding and still enjoy your day. I hope this has helped in some way!
Feature Image: Getty