I don’t think I’ve always been a morning person, but rather developed the habit out of necessity. Being a notoriously busy person means I have to be organized and structure my day thoughtfully in order to get anything done. That means getting up early and getting right to it.
There is a lot of research out there that suggests that morning people are more positive, more productive, more efficient, goal-oriented, and even possibly happier, but from my perspective, there’s no one way to be successful, and plenty of night owls do quite well in life so take it for what you will.
For me, mornings are my time.
There’s something about the quiet of the morning that starts the day in a really positive way. I love getting up bright and early and getting work done in complete silence – before anyone in my house is up and before the streets are flooded with cars – I can sit with my coffee and knock out quite a bit of my to-do list even before breakfast.
Even when I worked in an office, I loved coming in extra early so I was the first one in and could start my day in a nice, quiet place.
But, however much I love mornings is about how much my boyfriend Patrick hates them. He once told me that each morning is worse than the one before it, and he’s not the only one who feels that way! If you are a person who has circadian rhythms longer than 24 hours, then you will have the natural proclivity for staying up late. You can try to fight it, but your body will always win.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that does not reward night owls. If you aren’t a morning person and yet you routinely have to wake up early to get to work on time, chances are you’re going to be pretty unhappy with your schedule.
So for those of you who dread mornings like Patrick does, I’ve put together a few tips that will help you hate mornings just a little bit less.
Have something to look forward to in the morning. You know that feeling kids get on Christmas morning? They’re so excited and can’t wait to get up in the morning? Find a way to create your own everyday version of that. I love breakfast, so I like to have something really delicious in mind to make in the morning. Maybe you get up and walk to your favorite coffee shop or you wake up early enough to read a favorite book or watch an episode of your new favorite show – whatever it is for you, create an enjoyable task that can be your reward for getting up. Yes, that probably means you need to get up even earlier, which leads me to my next point…
Get up earlier than you need to. Are you one of those people who hits the snooze button a million times before actually getting up? I had a friend who set 10 alarms in 10 minute increments until she would finally get up. What?? Does snoozing your alarm make it any easier to get up by the end? Absolutely not. In fact, I bet it just makes you dread getting up even more and probably makes you anxious for the inevitable moment when you have to drag yourself out of bed. Set your alarm earlier than you need so you have time to drink coffee, eat breakfast, go on a walk, watch a Netflix show, and then you can get ready for your day. When you feel rushed in the mornings, that only creates more anxiety about waking up. It will never be easy to physically get out of bed, so just get it over with so at least you can take your time getting ready.
Move your body. It’s no lie that a morning workout can set the tone for a great day. But, if you aren’t one of those people who can just pop up out of bed and run six miles, that’s okay. You don’t have to move a lot, but it will definitely help you wake up if you start to get your blood flowing. Even just a light stretch sesh or a quick walk around the block will help get you going and wake you up. Back when I used to do a full hour workout before work and would wake up at 5 am, I would actually sleep in my workout clothes to make it easier. Sometimes I would even wake up at 4:30 am so I had time to lie there in bed and wake up a bit before heading to the gym. It sounds miserable, but it was actually really nice to have the time I needed to get everything done.
Stop saying you’re not a morning person. If you truly want to enjoy mornings more, you have to stop sh*t talking them! Instead of saying to yourself “I’m not a morning person” or “I hate mornings,” start saying the opposite! I’m a big believer in the idea that what we focus on becomes reality, so start telling yourself how great mornings are and eventually that will be true.
Use your mornings well. This quote by Mark Twain has always stuck with me: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” What I take this to mean is that it’s best to get your worst task of the day over with so you can feel satisfied for the rest of the day. So, think of the one thing on your to do list that you know has to get done but you really REALLY don’t want to do. Get up early so you have time to get it done, and then enjoy how relieved and less stressed you feel the rest of the day.
What do you guys think? Any other tips for mornings? Let me know in the comments!
Photos by Jenna Sparks