When I used to hear the phrase “morning person” I pictured someone who preferred to go to bed early in order to spend more time awake in the early morning. That they specifically liked doing their workouts or other activities in the morning as opposed to the evening.
After working as a personal trainer who started their shift at 6:00am, and living the new mom life of waking up at all hours, my viewpoint has changed. Now I define a “morning person” as anyone who is able to embrace a positive mindset after waking up and who tries to make the most of their morning regardless of why or when they woke up. It’s a valuable skill to have, one that not only benefits you but those around you as well.
I was once sleeping over at a family member’s home and over-heard a young child excitedly speaking to her mother shortly after they had both woken up. The toddler was chatting away, asking what they would be doing today, if she could have pancakes for breakfast, if she could have her hair in two braids instead of one.. and her mother wasn’t replying to any of her questions.
Worried, I peeked in the room and the mother, noticing I was there, replied to her daughter in a harsh tone “mommy needs coffee before she can talk to you.”
I was an undergraduate student at the time but I knew that one day I wanted to start a family of my own. That encounter left a lasting impression on me and I vowed to stop using the morning as an excuse for my own grumpy behaviour. Today you’re snappy at your parents when you have to wake up early but one day that could be you, too irritable to match your child’s excitement. Better to break the habit now I thought.
Here are the universal tips I learned along the way.
Whether you stayed up late cramming for a 9:00am exam, or you start work at 7:00am, or your children are waking you up at all hours of the night-These tips are for you.
Tips for the Night Before
Knowing you have an early morning ahead of you can be stressful from the night before. As the hours get closer to when you were hoping to get to bed and you’re still not done everything you were planning to do anxiety can strike. This can make it harder to fall asleep once you finally get into bed.
How do you ease a wound-up mind and fall asleep as quickly as possible?
- No screen time 30mins before bed
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible
- Charge your electronics in a different room, even your cell-phone!
- Try switching to cotton sheets and a down comforter that will help regulate your body temperature better than synthetic fabrics and fillings
- Instead of focussing on all of the things still on your to-do list, fall asleep thinking positive thoughts.
- Go over all the parts of your day that went well
- Start looking forward to tomorrow
- Imagine waking up happy in the morning
- Get excited about what you’ll have for breakfast the next day
- Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities
- Repeat your positive mantra
How to Make the Most of the Morning once you Wake Up
Waking up early means you get more hours in a day to enjoy life around you. Have you ever watched the sun rise? It’s beautiful.
The streets are quieter, it’s a perfect time to go for a walk. You’ll notice all the little charms your neighbourhood has to offer. The house might be a calmer environment than usual, a great time for a yoga or meditation session. Or reading a book with your morning coffee. Perhaps most significant, is the chance at more quality time with your loved ones. It’s a gift impossible to know how long you’ll have the privilege of enjoying. That notion has been engrained in my fibre since losing my father. Now, I make the most of every day with my loved ones-the morning being no exception.
How do you start your day off on the right foot?
- Don’t press the snooze button. It only encourages you to prioritize those five minutes of extra lounging over seizing the day. Mindset matters, and starting your day off with thoughts like I just need five more minutes get in the way of you genuinely appreciating the start of a new day. Embrace productive thoughts like I can’t wait to make the most of today.
- Smile. Your alarm has gone off, it’s a new day, you’re here and you’re ready to give it your all!
- Wash your face with cold water.
- Smile again. This time at your reflection and say something positive about yourself. I’m beautiful, I’m strong, I’m capable. Even if you’re only thinking it and not saying it out loud it’s still helpful.
- Have breakfast. Even if you don’t feel hungry. The first few bites might not be satisfying but it’ll get there, and you need your energy to seize the day. These are breakfasts I found easier to stomach on very early mornings:
- Overnight Oats (Greek Yogurt, Rolled Oats, Apple, Raspberries)
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Turkey Bacon BLT
- Make your morning drink of choice: Coffee, Tea, Warm water with lemon and appreciate it’s aroma and comforting flavour.
- Appreciate something or someone around you. Your loved ones, your pet, your home, your neighbourhood. Take a moment and feel that gratefulness.
- Do something that makes you happy. Even if you only have a few minutes.
- Stretch or do a morning salutation
- Spend some time with your pet
- Hug your loved one tell them how much they mean to you
- Read one of your favourite poems, here’s a favourite of mine
Now you’re all set to seize the day! Make it count (=
What’s your favourite part of your morning routine?