I’m going to be honest, I have NEVER been a morning person. I’ve always struggled getting out of bed in the morning, and those close to me would know that it’s probably in your best interests not to disturb me until I’d had a cup of coffee and at least half an hour to adjust to the daylight. But this year, I decided to change my habits, try and embrace the early mornings and toast to the new day. Here are my tried and tested tips to have your best morning routine.
The night before…
- Plan For The Morning Ahead – decide on what you are going to wear the next morning, so you are not dithering around when you wake up trying to figure out your outfit. I also recommend putting some workout gear on one side too, if you plan on exercising first thing and really getting your morning off to a vibrant start! Make a list of everything you have to do the following day, put a couple of simple easy tasks to begin with at the top, so you can get some early fulfillment from completing some items from your To Do List before you are usually awake (you could even put – workout -, – have a shower – on your list!). You might also want to plan a reward for your early bird habits – a nice cup of coffee while watching your favourite TV show after your workout? Allow yourself 20 minutes Pinterest time? It is important to reward yourself, this will keep you motivated to turn this ritual into a habit. This is also a time to offload your brain into a journal or notebook, I strongly recommend trying this, I noticed considerable changes in my sleeping habits when I had written down any worries I was anxious about, or things I had to do in the near future. The aim of this is to clear your mind for when you go to bed, so your mind is not still ticking over while you are trying to relax.
- Go To Bed Earlier – there’s no use hitting the hay at 2am and expecting to wake up at 6am feeling refreshed, even Beyonce couldn’t do that (well not consistently). Most people need approximately 8 hours of sleep a night to feel fully functional the next day, however plan accordingly based on your sleep needs and make a goal of what time you will go to bed and stick to it. Plan your evening so that you are winding down an hour or two before you aim to go to bed. Have a relaxing bath with some essential oils, a nice cup of chamomile tea snuggled in bed, read a chapter of your favourite book – whatever it is that relaxes you.
- Put down the electronics! Many studies have shown that looking at screens and scrolling through social media not only keeps your brain ticking over but the light alters your natural circadian rhythm. If you use your phone as an alarm, have it charging over the other side of the room so you are not tempted to check it out of convenience. This also means that you actually have to get out of bed to switch off the alarm, which makes it harder to hit the snooze button or ignore.
This is relevant for television as well. If you feel you need something playing while you drop off to sleep try listening to a meditation or waves playlist on youtube, you can simply type “sleep music” in and there are hundreds of options, from an hour to eight hours. If you are listening on your laptop shorten your screen sleep timer settings to cut down on unnecessary sources of light.
Following on from this, I have found a song on youtube that was put together with the help of neuroscientists which used a study in people to find the sounds and songs that have the most profound effect in reducing stress and anxiety. The song is called “Weightless” – by Marconi Union, it’s 8 minutes long and has quite a mesmerizing video if you are interested in that sort of thing. I typically try and lie still with my eyes closed and just listen to the music as part of my wind down before bed. I was skeptical when I heard the reviews for this song, but if you listen with an open mind and try and relax, hopefully you will find it as useful as I have. Link below.
The morning of..
4. Start your day with a glass of water – this jump starts your metabolism for the day and sets you up for the perfect morning.
5. Feed your dog or cat as soon as you wake up. You can snooze an alarm clock, but it’s hard to ignore a hungry pet pawing at your face at 5am. Pets, unlike you, love routine and will hold you to it.
6. Exercise – even if it’s just some yoga or a stretching session, get moving and set those endorphins pumping around your body! I always feel so much more awake and invigorated when I start my day with a morning workout, and I’m less likely to procrastinate and put it off if I have planned it for the first thing in the morning.
And don’t forget to start ticking items off your To Do List!
7. Have a Large Wholesome Breakfast – Remember when your parents said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? They weren’t wrong. Consuming a large breakfast is key in boosting your metabolism for the rest of the day and keeps your blood sugar levels in a manageable range. Try and include some protein in your meal, so you feel fuller for longer. Omelettes and scrambled eggs are excellent elements to incorporate.
Have you got any more helpful hints or tips to motivate yourself to wake up earlier? I would love to hear from you!