The Good Habit: Rise early
Endless words of wisdom have been written about the benefits of starting your day earlier and easing into it. Doing something first thing in the morning that puts you into the right mindset for the rest of the day is priceless, however, not all of us manage to do so.
I am a classic NOT morning person, who would rather sleep in, have breakfast and then go back to sleep. My energy levels are best midway through the day and I have learned the hard way that I should really make an effort to make my own mornings a bit nicer and everybody else´s, too.
People used to be afraid of greeting me, before I had had my first coffee in the morning and work colleagues avoided 8am meetings with me like the plague.
It was finally when my 5-year-old started calling me “Morning Ogre” that I decided I should probably do something about my attitude in the early hours of the day, so I decided to convert.
But how does one become a morning person if your DNA is the one of an owl´s?
The bad news is: it does not really happen and certainly not overnight. However here are a few tricks that may help you along the way and that may ease the pain:
Go to bed earlier:
Dah, OK that´s not rocket science, but we all tend to overlook this small detail. If you are usually grumpy in the morning at 6am after 7 hours of sleep, how on earth do you expect to be cheerful at 5am after only 6? So, skip that movie or whatever it is that´s keeping you up late at night and hit the pillow sooner, much sooner that you usually would.
Allow yourself ample time in the morning:
Whatever it is that you are planning to do with your extra time in the morning, don´t rush it. Wake up even sooner (see above) to enjoy 10 minutes of undisturbed news reading, or coffee sipping, or just wandering around the house trying to wake up and be a person. Rushing into the day is never good, so treat yourself to some downtime, even if this means skipping a few minutes of sleep.
Do something that energises and makes you happy first thing is the morning:
Whatever it is that makes you feel good; do it before you start the rest of your daily routine. Go for a run, a swim, hit the gym. Meditate, cook, write your journal, read a book. Set aside 30-60 minutes in the morning to have some ME-TIME. It may seem a bit odd to be doing your nails at 5am, but believe me: it can be done!
Treat yourself to a nice breakfast:
Eat and drink things that will make you feel good for the next few hours. Try to make it healthy ie prepare a green juice, eat fruit, proteins. Remember to hydrate, as you have spent the last 6-8 hours without fluid intake and will be a bit dehydrated. Make yourself a nice coffee or tea. Have whatever you enjoy, but most importantly: don´t skip breakfast!
Make your bed, open the windows, take a shower, do some stretching. Get some daylight on your face. The sooner you get your blood flowing and energy levels up, the less groggy and tired you will feel.
So those are only a few tips on how to become more of a morning riser. Maybe challenge yourself to try them out. As the days become longer now that we are heading into the spring, you may find it also easier to wake up a little bit earlier every day.