How To Handle Mornings When Working/Studying Remotely

By Gan Ling Lin


Ever since the pandemic started, everyone is stuck doing things from home – students having to resort to online learning, and working adults having meetings from the comfort of home. Waking up early in the morning for work or school is hard enough, but now that your workspace is in the same room as your bed, or where your comfortable sofa is, how do you resist the call of your bed?  

Part of the reason why your bed is even calling out to you in the first place is because you are still tired, and you need more sleep. 

Here are a few tips that may help you keep awake, without the need to go for a run or caffeine shots.   


Healthy snacks 

Caffeine-rich drinks such as coffee and energy drinks are most commonly promoted for people who are tired and need an energy boost, but if you are not a fan of caffeine for health reasons or just dislike the taste of coffee in general, you can opt for snacks that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can be found in nuts, seeds, and soy products. So, when you are tired, pop open a bag of mixed nuts and munch on or you can drink a cup of soy milk with chia seeds or flax seeds.  


Drink water 

One of the simplest ways to stay awake is to drink enough water because dehydration has been found to affect a person’s cognitive performance such as concentration, short-term memory issues, and alertness among other things. Plus, drinking water will force you to walk to the toilet which is also one way to escape that drowsiness.  


Go to another task 

Sometimes when we work on one thing for too long it can become boring and repetitive. Study shows that monotonous work can decrease alertness and increase fatigue. Shifting between tasks, even just shifting to doing simpler task, can raise alertness. Another method is to do tasks that are more interesting or thought-provoking when you start feel sleepy. 


Breathing exercise 

If you are one of those who do not like to do physical exercise first thing in the morning, there are other exercises you can do to stay awake such as breathing exercises. 

The first method requires you to breathe in deeply, using your abdomen not your chest. Then exhale through your mouth. Do it for a few times. 

Another method is to breathe rapidly. For this method you only breathe in and out through you nose. You should aim to achieve three breaths in a second. For your first try, you can do this exercise up to 15 seconds and add 5 more seconds on your next try.  Breathing exercises are beneficial as it increases blood oxygen levels in the body which help with mental performance and energy. 


Jumping jacks 

If you don’t mind working out first thing in the morning, jumping jacks is a must try. However, under other circumstances doing jumping jacks may be inappropriate. Working from home or studying from home with the camera turned off, you can do a set of jumping jacks that is enough to get the heart pumping. Exercise releases adrenaline, a potent stimulant. 


Listen to loud/energizing music 

Start your day with loud and energetic music. Listen to it while you brush your teeth, change your shirt, have breakfast, or while driving to work. According to a music psychologist, the ideal song to help you wake up must have these three characteristic: start gently and builds faster, positive lyrics that help motivate you for the day ahead, and strong beats. This is characterized by songs with 100-130 beats per minute.  


Here are some songs that fits the criteria:  

“Hit the Quan” by iLoveMemphis 

“On top of the world” by Imagina Dragons 

“Rather Be” by Clean Bandit 

“Money on my mind” by Sam Smith 

“Love myself” by Hailee Steinfeld 

“Confident” by Demi Lovato 

“Wake me up” by Avicii 

“Viva la Vida” by Coldplay 


The feeling of not being able to keep your eyes open and not being able to concentrate on your work or class can be irritating at times, especially if you have a deadline that’s coming up. Not only that, but going through your day in that state can make being at work or in class a dreadful part of your day. So, try out these few methods and have a great day!