The year is still young, and most of us are struggling to keep up with resolutions we committed to back in January. Well, if your resolution was to become more of a morning person, then you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a helpful list of guidelines to help you wake with the sun (or before it, if you prefer!) and stop the blare from that pesky alarm clock in its tracks.
So, what does a morning person look like?
Yes, there are people who naturally rise at the crack of dawn and get more done before nine a.m. than others do all day. But if you’re not one of them, don’t sweat it. Not everyone falls into the coveted “early bird” category. For most of us, throwing the covers back in the AM is more a matter of discipline than it is biology, and that’s ok!
I’m a prime example of a night owl turned early bird. Getting out of bed was always a chore for me. Now, it’s a normal part of my life, and it’s due to my current position here with Bedrooms & More.
My normal workday begins at 6:30 a.m. (yes, you read that right). Because of this early start time, I try to wake up around 5:00 a.m. to give myself enough time to stretch, dress, eat, and walk to the bus stop. Basically, enough time to let myself become a person. I think you all know what I’m talking about.
My previous job allowed me to start as late as 9:30, which at the time felt unfairly early. But now it’s half a year down the road and I feel that my 6:30 start time has had a positive effect. I’m more organized, I sleep better, and I’m up early on the weekends, allowing me to get more out of my free time. Even though it took me a while to adjust, I’m thrilled with the positive changes as a result of my early schedule.
So if you want to reap some of the awesome benefits of getting up early and embracing that morning person life, read on! I’ve compiled a list of simple steps to help you get more out of your day and start your mornings bright and early.
Getting out of bed is hard enough. Help yourself out! Check simple tasks off your morning to-do list before your head hits the pillow the night before. This reduces the time you’ll spend getting ready in the morning, and will also keep you from experiencing unnecessary stress. Mornings should be centered around feeling good and forming a positive outlook to carry you through the rest of your day.
Take a few minutes the night before to complete simple tasks such as setting your alarm, packing a healthy lunch, and choosing what clothes to wear. It will make getting out of bed the next morning that much easier, and you won’t find yourself rushing around trying to get things done!
Then Go to Bed!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. There’s nothing worse than making plans to get up early and get things done, only to hide under the covers when your alarm clock sounds. So turn those electronics off and hit the hay!
But not so fast. One important practice to remember:
Change your sleep/wake times gradually
Adjusting to a new sleep/wake schedule needs to be a gradual process in order to be successful. You can’t alter your schedule drastically overnight and expect to experience instant positive results. Be kind to your body; make the adjustment in small steps.
If your normal wake up time is 8 am, and your end goal is to wake up at 6 am, change your schedule in increments of 15 minutes. This means you want to go to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier. Don’t subtract from one end and not add to the other! Sleep deprivation won’t get you where you want to go.
Make an additional 15-minute change each week, until you hit your goal. This should be gradual enough that your body adjusts and you have time to get used to the new routine, both mentally and physically. Feels too fast or too slow? No problem! You can always tweak the plan to meet your individual needs. Remember: this isn’t a race; it’s a lifestyle change, and those take time.
Do NOT hit that snooze button!
Whatever you do, resist the urge to “snooze” in the morning! Hitting the snooze button and falling back to sleep, only to be jolted awake again 9 minutes later, can leave you feeling groggy all day because your body isn’t given a proper chance to fully wake up.
Also, it’s not a great way to start the day from a mental standpoint. If the first thing you let yourself do upon waking is to make the decision to sleep longer, you’re perpetuating a less-than-positive outlook that can carry through to the rest of your day.
Get Some Exercise
Working out in the morning feels great! It energizes you for the day ahead and gives you a sense of accomplishment. All of this before your day even starts; how can you beat that?
But if your schedule is anything like mine, a morning workout may prove difficult. I would need to get up around 4:00 am every day to get a full workout in before heading to work. Yikes! No, thank you.
Instead, my workouts happen at the end of the day, at least during the week. That said, I am careful not to exercise too late into the evening, leaving at least two hours before bed when my workout wraps up. I try and leave at least two hours between the end of my workout, and the time I get into bed. Exercise is great for helping you sleep, but if done too close to your bedtime, it can keep you up.
It’s the most important meal of the day, so don’t neglect it!
Preparing a healthy breakfast each morning is a great way to practice self-care. It provides an energy boost and helps you to keep from snacking before lunch. It also encourages you to continue making healthy choices throughout the rest of the day.
If you’re not someone who likes to take the time to cook a full breakfast in the morning, there are other options! Consider whipping up a batch of overnight oats, healthy cereal bars (they exist!), or a yummy bowl of fruit and yogurt.
I like to prepare a mix of nuts and dried fruit in plastic containers over the weekend, and grab one on my way out of the house when I’m a little short on time. It’s healthy, easy, and delicious!
If you do give yourself enough time to eat, sit down and really enjoy your food. Then go out and tackle your day with a full stomach and a smile. You’ve got this!
Finally, Think Positive!
Studies show people who wake up earlier tend to be happier, healthier, and more positive. Doesn’t sound too bad, now does it?
For me, the best part of waking up early is the amount of time I now have to dedicate to myself. It doesn’t matter if I’m hitting the running trail, doing yoga or quiet meditation, or just sitting back with a hot cup of coffee and a good book. The time alone is invaluable, and I’m a much happier person as a result!
I’m positive if you give these tips a try, you’ll be calling yourself a morning person in no time. Now go out there and seize your day!