DR. WALLACE: The good news is that I’m thrilled to be back at school in person. The bad news is that I’m always late to my morning classes! I prepare to be on time every day, and I definitely have the best intentions of being on time to my first morning class.
I set two different alarms in the morning to wake me up, but occasionally, it still doesn’t work out for me; I press the snooze button multiple times.
Throughout my lifetime, I’ve often struggled to be able to get up on time, but now it seems this challenge is getting harder and harder. Are there any suggestions you could offer that could help me to break out of this “tardiness funk” that I often find myself in? — Often tardy, via email
OFTEN TARDY: It appears your genes have determined you’re not a morning person, and I can sympathize that this can be a challenge to change. But sympathy is not what you need! You need to take consistent actions that will become habits, which will get you where you’re going on time.
You can try the following suggestions I’ve listed below. Hopefully some, or all, of them can help get you into a timely morning routine that will ensure your punctuality:
No. 1: Get enough sleep by setting a realistic bedtime, and then be determined to stick to it.
No. 2: Immediately get up when your alarm goes off. Do not use a snooze button. Even better, you can place your alarm across your bedroom so that you will have to walk over to it in order to turn it off.
No. 3: Immediately upon waking, let light into your room. Open your drapes, curtains or blinds to let sunlight or ambient light in.
No. 4: Plan a fun or interesting activity for yourself each evening before you go to bed. This could be eating a special treat, drinking a special tea or coffee drink, or even taking 10 to 15 minutes to read a book or website you enjoy. Having something fun or exciting to do for a quick 10 minutes is a fun way to start your day. Simply plan for these 10 to 15 minutes in advance and build them into your wake-up time.
No. 5: Take a quick, cool shower or brisk bath right after you turn your alarm off! This will help remove the “sleep” from your eyes and the yawning from your mouth.
No. 6: Take a brisk walk, jog lightly on a treadmill or even do some stretching and jumping jacks to get your blood pumping. Anything that you can ease into that is mildly aerobic is perfect for getting your body to lean into the new day before you.
It may be best to rotate a few of these ideas and test them out for a week to see which ones work best for you. The key is to get your mind and body into a routine — one that will run like clockwork!
IN THE ‘FRIEND ZONE’
DR. WALLACE: I’ve recently had a few dates with the same guy; we’re both 17 years old and I thought we got along pretty well. We watched a few college football games on television together this past weekend and he got really excited when his favorite team reached the end zone.
Our dates have all been strictly platonic. He hasn’t once tried to kiss me or even hold my hand. I didn’t think he was seeing anyone else, and I was pretty happy because I just thought he was being a gentleman and was taking things slowly with our relationship.
I thought wrong, apparently, as he just yesterday texted me and informed me that he had “officially” broken up with me, but that we would always remain friends. It’s weird how he’s so into college football. When he broke up with me, he specifically used the word “officially” like he was a referee in a football game or something.
Did I do something wrong, such as not cheer enthusiastically enough for his favorite team? — Now on the sidelines, out of the game, via email
NOW ON THE SIDELINES: You were put into the “friend zone” apparently because this guy does not have romantic interest in you and sees you more as a buddy. It’s interesting that he wanted to watch football games with you, since that’s usually what male buddies do.
In answering your question here, I’m assuming you asked him why he was breaking up with you and he did not give you a specific reason. If you have not asked him yet, do tell him you are asking about the specific reason “for a friend.”
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.