Mornings... if you are like most people - you are tired, grumpy, and just want to pull up the covers and stay in bed. But alas - we are adults and life won't take care of itself. Becoming a morning person is merely a matter of good habits and the right mindset. Here are 10 tips to help you have a successful morning.
Get to bed...On Time!
Going to bed at a consistent time helps your body achieve a rhythm (Circadian) and make it much easier to crawl out of bed in the morning. You should leave yourself at least eight hours of sleep per night, this ensures that your brain has plenty of time to rest, digest the day's content, and be ready for the next day.
Make the Mornings Easy
Make your morning easy! Have things set-up for yourself when you wake up, allowing you to make coffee at the click of a button, or pull out a pre-made lunch before hustling off to work. My favorite is having the kettle full of water and dry coffee in the french press, this way all I need to do is turn on the kettle and wait.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius
Go to bed Sober
Having a little nightcap can be pretty nice, a fun way to relax after work, but it is negatively affecting your sleep. Although you may feel that you get to sleep quickly, the quality of your sleep is diminished and can make your mornings that much harder to start. Going to bed sober reduces that morning grogginess and allows you to be fresh from the get-go.
Wake Up at your FIRST alarm
I know, it sounds terrible. Sometimes all we want is that little bit more sleep. 5, 10, or 15 minutes sounds like a pretty good time to continue laying in bed, but the reality is that by smashing that snooze button you’re taking time away from yourself to get ready for your day. This makes you more prone to stress, rushing around and accidents. How many times have you forgotten something or spilled your coffee when you had all the time in the world to get ready for work?
The morning chug
Drink your water! Think of the last time you had a drink of water in the morning? The night before? Most likely. During that dry period your mouth calls sleep, the body loses water during respiration meaning that when you wake up your water tank is heading towards E. Glugging down a good glass of water (8ish oz) tops up your body’s hydration reservoirs allowing for clearer thinking and better movement.
“Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” Wayne Huizenga
Leave the phone down
Starting your day by laying in bed and checking all the social media streams, emails and whatever else is too easy to do. In fact, it sets the pace for your day...scrolling...scrolling...scrolling away your morning. In the morning you are fresh, the day has not left an impression on you at this point. Don’t allow superficial influences like Instagram to set your mood for your day. Take charge, leave the phone down for at least the first 30 minutes, if not an hour, and proceed with your day and your immediate surroundings.
Sleeping is generally a static activity and your body settles in for a good night's slumber. When you wake up feeling stiff and maybe a little slow, it’s good to get your body moving. A quick 15 minute morning walk is a wonderful way to start your day. Not only are you circulating blood and waking up your body you are also exposing yourself to natural light. Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning helps set your circadian rhythm which is a huge factor in determining when you get tired and when you wake up. It’s your body’s natural clock.
Make Your Bed
You’re right, I’m not your mother, but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t make your bed. Making your bed in the morning is setting up your day for success. It gets your mind in a state of success. Making your bed is an easy task, takes very little time and after it is done you can already say you have been productive. Starting your day off on a productive foot feels great and gets you ready to continue your productive streak throughout the day.
Have a quality Breakfast
If you are one of the millions of people who eat breakfast everyday, make sure it is of quality and healthy. Don’t start your day off with a bad breakfast, there is really no reason. By bad, I am saying of poor quality, such as sugary cereals and refined carbohydrates. Getting jacked up on processed sugars first thing in the morning may taste good, but in the long run it won’t keep you satiated for long and with every sugar high….comes a sugar crash.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Steve Jobs
Mornings can be rushed, hurried and frustrating, but they don’t have to be. By practicing at least some of the tips above your mornings will begin to feel sacred, the calm before the storm of the day. In this newly founded special time of the day you will also find that you have more time for activities such as mindfulness. Being mindful doesn’t mean sitting with your eyes closed, criss-crossed legs and meditating, but it does mean to reflect. In the morning, as I said earlier, your mind has not been influenced by the goings-on of the day and so it is relatively calm and clear. By utilizing this clear-minded state and ruminating on aspects of the day ahead you will be more likely to remember things you need to do and not be surprised when they crop up later in the day.