I’m pretty sure my mum is out there laughing at this blog post title, because I’ve been the exact opposite of a morning person my whole life. I remember as early as seven or eight my dad forcibly removing my duvet from the bed in the morning to make me get up, I just HATE mornings. Being a morning person seems to be something hardwired, you either are or you aren’t and I certainly am not.
But throughout 2018, I realised that my health issues actually mean I’m much more productive in the mornings than I am in the afternoons. I seem to hit a wall at about 2.30pm which means I’m effectively useless after that point, so I’ve been putting in the work to make morning’s a little easier. I’m by no means a fully fledged morning person, and it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me, but there are a few ways I’ve made mornings just a little easier on myself.
I wanted to arrive at my desk at 8.30 feeling awake and ready to tackle my to do list, rather than sluggish and spending the first hour nursing a coffee. To achieve this I knew I needed my mornings to feel invigorating and refreshing, I needed my morning routine to be a positive, awakening experience rather than a rushed and painful one.
Consistent alarm times.
This is the one I hated. I realised that by the end of the week I was doing well at getting up with my 7.15am alarm, but Monday morning I was all out of whack again. If you’re getting up at 7 in the week but sleeping in til 10 on the weekends, it’s naturally going to be hard to adjust back into that rhythm on a Monday morning. As much as seeing 7am on a weekend sounds like an actual nightmare, I try and keep my weekend wakeup times within an hour of my weekday alarm, so the adjustment on a Monday morning doesn’t feel so horrific. Also, it’s a great excuse for an afternoon nap on the weekends!
Get some natural light ASAP.
Certainly my Lumie Lamp helps with this, but getting a dose of bright, natural light first thing in the morning really makes a difference in how awake you feel. As soon as I’m up I open the blinds and crack the window a little too. The combination of daylight and fresh air does wonders for waking up your senses!
It sounds silly, but I was making my first coffee of the day to drink in the car on the way to work, or once I got to my desk. This generally meant that for the first hour of the day I was blundering around in a decaffeinated haze. Now, I get up and brush my teeth and wash my face while my coffee is brewing, and I have a hot oat milk latte to drink while I do my makeup, pick out clothes and pack a bag for the day.
Set expectations for what you want to achieve.
In the evenings, I write myself a little morning to do list. I want to have a good breakfast, enough time to style my hair, twenty minutes to move and twenty minutes to just be. When I’ve written it on the list, something in my brain shifts and I feel obligated to achieve it!
Do something in the morning for you.
When the only thing you have to look forward to in the morning is going to work, you’re never going to feel inclined to leave the warmth of bed. I’ve been scheduling in an extra 20 minutes to my morning routine, so I have time to do something just for me. Whether that’s making myself a slap up avo-toast breakfast, doing a short yoga sequence, a quick walk around the block or something as simple as slapping a face mask on and drinking my first cup of coffee with a book on the sofa, it’s nice to have something planned for the morning that I’m excited for!
I know, I know, but working out in the morning really does wake you up for the day. I’m not talking full on bootcamp style workouts but I’ve started swinging by the gym on my way to work a couple of mornings a week, just for 15 minutes on the treadmill and 15 minutes on the bike. That half an hour does more to wake me up than a coffee does, and also, 80% of the time I’m too tired after work for a workout, so I feel good about finding a way to get that gym sesh in!
I’m by no means a fully-fledged morning person, it’s still work, but I do find mornings much easier since implementing these changes!
Are you a natural early bird? Or do you have to work at being a morning person like me?