We've all been there, some more of us than others; waking up late, realizing the time and rushing out the door with mis-matched socks and half brushed hair... it's definitely a stressful way to start your day. You're probably wondering "why would i want to be a morning person when i can get an extra hour or two of sleep?" I totally understand, i'm still that person sometimes. But i love taking time for myself in the morning. It really sets the tone for the rest of the day. Waking up a couple hours earlier, taking time to yourself and starting your day in peace will make your days a lot more proactive and productive. Mornings are very important because they are almost always the deciding factor of how your day is going to go.
Recently, i've taken up the challenge to really try to wake up earlier and give myself more time in the mornings. On days where i do this successfully, i'm able to be so much more productive and get a lot more done. A Study has showed that over half of Americans said that their most productive and successful hours were between 5AM and noon! I'm going to share with you what has been working for me.
First off lets determine what exactly a "Morning person" actually is. Wiktionary.org described it as "A person who wakes up, without difficulty, early each morning and is alert and active during the first part of the day."
Lets start with the night before. I think that being a productive morning really relies on the preparation from the night before
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Tip Number One
Your nightly routine
Create a relaxing nightly routine that will wind you down from the day. My routine before bed is simple, but relaxing. I start off by getting my skin care out of the way. I start up my essential oils diffuser, fill up my water bottle, and if i remember to, i write in my journal. This to me just winds me down and helps relax me before i go to bed. I try to steer clear of any screens at least 10-20 minutes before i go to sleep. This is when i take the time to write in my journal. Reflecting my day in my journal helps me get out any unreleased thoughts and emotions and helps me sleep better.
Tip Number Two
Your bed time
Establish your bed time and stick to it. The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep, depending on the person. Some peoples 'internal clocks' need more than others. Aim for at least 7 hours and go from there and adjust it as you go.
Tip Number Three
Organize your "grab and goes"
What i mean by my "grab and goes" is what you're going to need in the morning.
1: Clothes. If you plan on working out in the morning, set out your workout clothes/gym bag so it's in easy reach and you're ready to go. Set out your outfit for the day so you know exactly what your'e going to wear, to avoid the stress of trying to figure it out when you're trying to wake up the next morning.
2: your purse/bag. Does anyone else's purse get so cluttered during the day? How in the world does it get so messy? I always make sure to de clutter and organize my purse at the end of the day. I make sure I have my essentials in it. Wallet, keys, day planner etc. I just find that making sure my purse has everything in it and is ready to go the next morning helps me drastically, that way i'm not running around looking for my keys or wallet.
3. your lunch/snacks. Having these ready to get out the day will save you so much time in the morning, because you eliminate the stress of trying to throw something together quickly. Having your lunch and snacks ready for you before hand is such a staple in my mornings! This also saves you money from eating out at lunch.
Customize your nightly routine to what works for you! Whatever you can think of that will help create a stress free morning, do that! Now, lets talk about the morning.
Tip Number Four
Ease your way into it
Slowly get into your habit of waking up early by setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier as each day passes. For example: If you normally wake up at 9AM, set your alarm for around 8:40AM then work your way up to the hour that you want to start getting up at. This will make the process easier than just all of the sudden forcing yourself to wake up at an earlier time.
Step Number Five
Keep your alarm on the opposite side of your bedroom, or somewhere out of reach, so when it goes off in the morning you actually have to get up to shut it off. This will force you to get moving and it will be a lot easier to just stay up. Make sure your alarm isn't something that's annoying.. change it to a more soothing tone... personally I use "Ripples" on my iPhone as my alarm sound, it's much softer rather than the stressful, annoying standard alarm sound. You could also choose part of a song to use.
Tip Number Six
Ditch the snooze button
I know how handy the snooze button is, i'm so guilty of abusing it, but this is actually not a great way to wake up. Snoozing multiple times is going to trick your body into thinking you're going back to sleep, ultimately causing you to actually be more tired. Try your best to start snoozing less and less until you kick the habit for good.
Tip Number Seven
Setting the tone to your day
Open up the blinds, allow yourself some sunlight, this will help you wake up. Make your bed, wash your face, Brush your teeth, turn on your favourite playlist, do all the things that are going to make you feel more accomplished, even if they're just small things. Now you're already feeling a little bit accomplished and you've just gotten out of bed!
Tip Number Eight
Your 'me' time routine
Create some kind of routine. A routine is going to help you have something to look forward to. Give yourself 10 - 15 minutes of 'me time' such as brewing a cup of coffee and creating your list of things to do for the day. I like to take this time to get in my first glass of water and take my vitamins. I also take this time to reflect my thoughts and declutter my mind. I use the Five Minute Journal which is such a staple in my routine. Something so simple as taking literally five minutes out of your morning to reflect sets such a positive tone. I also have recently created my own printable sheet of something similar to the Five Minute Journal (which you can download for free today!) Reflecting your thoughts during your 'me time' in the morning is a great way to set yourself up for a positive mindset to last through the day. (Get the sheets i use for free below)
Tip Number Nine
I love to pump out a quick 10 minute run in the morning, it helps a lot and affects my mood in such a positive way. (Yay endorphins!) If you're someone who just can't find it in you to workout in the morning, stretching is a wonderful alternative. Stretching out your muscles will get your blood flowing and help you feel more awake.
Tip Number Ten
Skipping breakfast is something i'm SO guilty of. I've been really trying my best to take the time to eat a healthy breakfast, because it's so important! It doesn't have to be a huge meal that takes an hour to prepare either, it can be something as quick as cereal! Just make sure you fuel your body with something to jump start your metabolism. Eating something in the morning will help you drastically.
Well, there you go! These are some of the things that are helping my mornings stay peaceful and stress-free. I'm still in the process of mastering my this list personally, but it's going to take trial and error over time to really perfect my mornings. I challenge you to start your days earlier! Remember, not a lot of us are "morning people" but over time if you really make an effort, you will discover that waking up early is very beneficial to the productivity of your days! Overall, make this routine yours! Use these extra hours to create a morning that is right for you. Good luck!
Do you have a specific morning routine that works for you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
GET YOUR TO DO LIST AND ME TIME SHEET BELOW!