Trust me when I say that I am no morning person. I haaaaaaate them. I’m the sort of person who will quite happily moan about how there is not enough hours in the day. And secretly, I know that a way of being able to achieve more in those 24 hours is to simply get up earlier. But I stand by what I said. My body just hates it.
I’m the sort of person who would sacrifice absolutely everything for that little bit longer in bed. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes which I fully well know is not really worth it at all. But I do it anyway! That often means I’m rushing around in the morning like a headless chicken and scoffing my breakfast in the car on the way to work. This year – I have been trying to focus on the things that I want to be better at. And one of those is to be better in the mornings. Rather than it be something I dread, I’m hoping these little tricks and tips will help me kick-start a healthy and productive day.
Let some natural light in.
Try and have your curtains or blinds open so that some natural light is able to get through into your bedroom. It’s always much more difficult when it’s dark because our bodies assume that it’s still nighttime. Oh, we wish. But on a serious note – the rising sun and the morning light will help us with our own biological clock. You might find that your already half-awake for when that dreaded alarm goes off.
Set your alarm 15-30 minutes earlier.
My alarm goes off and I snooze it. Just a few extra minutes please. But it only feels like a few seconds before the alarm goes off again. And guess what – I snooze it again. Sometimes, it can take me half an hour to get myself out of bed. Truthfully. But by being aware of this and setting your alarm even earlier might help. As you can tell, I am not the sort of person who is able to get straight out of bed as soon as the alarm goes. I’m really not that gifted. Instead of setting my alarm for 7am with the potential of getting out around 7:30am, I’ll try setting it at 6:30am instead. And if I really insist of having that ten-minute snooze (or two!), then I can and still be good for time.
Prepare everything the night before.
There’s nothing worse than waking up to a list of million things that you need to do before you go to work. So make sure it’s all done before you go to bed the night before. My biggest peeve is waking up to a dirty kitchen. That’s one way of guaranteeing a bad start to the day. But preparing everything the night before can save you a lot of time. Things like making your lunch; having a shower the night before; laying out your uniform, preparing your bag, etc.
Listen to some music.
Playing your favorite, up-beat music can really help you wake up faster. Singing whilst your brushing your teeth and dancing whilst I’m doing my hair, is an instant mood-lifter. If you feel like you spend too much time on certain things in the morning – i.e. like doing your makeup – then you can use each song as a time limit. Play one song and by the time it’s finished, aim to complete whatever it was that you were doing. It’s a good way of managing your time more effectively and stops me from going back into that frightening zombie-like state.
Make sure you drink.
I always forget to do this. And it’s so simple. Of course – you’ve been asleep all night so your body is bound to be dehydrated by the time you wake up. Have a cup of whatever you fancy – whether it’s a mug of tea, a large glass of cold water or some refreshing fruit juice. Whether it’s the first thing you do when you get up or something you just sip on throughout the course of the morning. Just make sure you have a drink nearby. I can’t survive the morning without some form of caffeine so a mug of tea and a glass of water usually does the trick.
Read motivational quotes.
I appreciate that this isn’t to everybody’s liking. But if I wake up in a particularly bad mood, I’ll read a motivational quote or two. My outlook on certain things or situations can instantly change and it can help me to redirect my focus from something negative to maintain a good frame of mind for the day ahead.
Sit down and enjoy your breakfast.
I am improving when it comes to breakfast but there’s no denying that there’s still a lot of room for improvement. I used to miss out on breakfast all the time; meaning that I got peckish around 10am and would start snacking on absolutely anything in sight. By doing everything else that I’ve suggested, it should give me more time to actually prepare, sit down and enjoy a decent breakfast. We all know that it’s the most important part of the day and it’s always drilled into us that we should give it more attention than we currently do. Your morning meal helps us to replenish your low blood sugar and therefore, provides you with the fuel you need to kick-start your metabolism for the day.
Plan your day.
Start the day by thinking about the things you need or want to achieve. You can keep a mental list or if you’re forgetful like me, make a small checklist in your diary. This doesn’t have to be exhaustive but it helps you to maintain your focus for the day. And there’s nothing more satisfying then being able to tick these boxes off by the end of the day. It also helps you to avoid those stressful moments when you forgot something important last minute that maybe you should have done last week. Oops.
Do some gentle exercise.
I went through a phase where every Monday morning, I would go swimming before work. I am a victim of the ‘Monday Blues’ syndrome but by exercising in the morning before work, I really felt a sense of achievement before I even actually started the day. Studies have shown that people are more likely to stick to their routine by exercising first thing. Get it over and done with. There are less excuses and distractions that will crop up throughout the course of the day. Personally, I found it a good opportunity to reflect and plan my day but you don’t necessarily need access to the gym. Take a walk around the block and kill two birds with one stone by taking the dog with you. Getting some fresh air first thing and doing some gentle exercise can work wonders. It’s just all about getting the motivation within you to actually get up and do it .
Avoid social media.
This is probably the easiest and most simplest step that would most likely make the greatest difference to my mornings. I’m easily sucked into the realms of social media first thing in the morning. And before I know it, half an hour has gone and then I get annoyed because I know I could have used that time way more effectively. The best thing is to just leave the phone alone and not get tempted in the first place. Easier said than done though, right?
Do any of you guys struggle as much as I do in the mornings? Any other advice or tips would be much appreciated. I need all the help that I can get when it comes to getting up..