The Cranky Waker's Guide to Booting Up

Your brain operates much like a computer. We have processes and weird hardware and sometimes our drivers don't quite match up, but we manage with some of the buggiest software I've ever witnessed. Thus, waking up properly in the morning, comparable to warm-booting (cold-booting would be stopping and restarting your heart or something) is an important step toward mental health.

Now, this method is based on my particular needs, however, it should be a good starting point for anyone who is typically oversensitive and somewhat angry in the morning. Mix and match activities to your own tastes.

First, when you wake up, don't open your eyes. Bask in those last vestiges of deep sleep and slowly come out of it. Snapping to full awake mode probably isn't very good for you.

Next, sit up slowly. Open your eyes. Look around. This is where it gets different for most people; I have a processing disorder, so I desensitize a bit before moving around too much, but it's fun to do this part one way or another. Run your hands up and down your arms, first petting lightly and then pressing firmly. Watch what you're doing. This does two things; it gently activates both sets of nerves (surface and muscle), and it lines up the input from your eyes and the input from your nerves. Do the same with your legs and torso.

Then stretch. This can range from full-out yoga to just wiggling around a bit. For those of us short on time or just too lazy to do much, stretching your arm up and your leg down, first on one side and then another, is perfectly good. Just something to get you moving.

Get out of bed and rock on the balls of your feet, once again watching carefully what you're doing. The inner ear gets confused easily, so orienting it first thing can't be bad.

Finally, go take a shower, you stinky bum. And put on some clothes! Kids these days. No shame at all.

This doesn't take as long as it looks. Five minutes with this ritual is normal for me, but if you take the time for yoga or reciting epic poetry, don't blame me if you miss your bus.