10 Ways To Make Mornings Better
Although I am an avid fan of mornings, I fully recognize and respect the other half of the population who functions better after hours and is simply forced to operate on the sun’s schedule because that’s the way the world works.
Night Owls, I totally see you and feel for you, even envy you when it’s 10:00 on a Saturday night and I’m fading fast.
I get that asking you to pop out of bed at 6 am and enjoy mornings is the same thing as asking me to stay awake and alert past 9 pm.
However, I do have beef with the members of your community who openly bash mornings and refuse to even attempt to make them a more pleasant part of their day.
I mean, look, we all have to wake up. No one’s avoiding mornings anytime soon (or, ever?) so I think we might as well try and learn to enjoy them, right?
For all my late nighters out there dragging their feet and snoozing the alarm 17 times, this one’s for you.
Here are 10 ways to make your mornings better.
1. Get as ready as possible for tomorrow, tonight.
Save only the necessary tasks for tomorrow for the morning.
If you’re not a morning person, eliminate as many activities from your morning as possible! Lay out your clothes.
Get breakfast ready.
Make your to-do list.
Have coffee ready.
Pack your bag.
All of the “fluff” between you getting out of bed and out the door— do as much of it as you can the night before.
This will not only help you save time, but it will give you more time to do something you might actually enjoy, which brings us to point #2:
2. Budget in at least 10 minutes of free time.
If you’re go, go, go from the minute you wake up to the minute you start your commute, no wonder you don’t like mornings.
Budgeting in at least 10 minutes of time into your morning where you get to choose what you want to do can totally change not only how you feel when you wake up, but how the rest of your day goes.
Instead of waking up and doing the things you have to do to start your day, imagine having 10 minutes where you can watch a YouTube video in peace, read a chapter of a book, play with your dog, enjoy a bowl of cereal, or even just scroll through instagram if that’s what feels good.
Giving yourself 10 morning minutes to just be and do whatever you want (besides sleep!) helps you start the day with a clear mind and positive outlook.
3. Limit yourself to 1 snooze.
Look, I know it’s tempting to try and create more sleep-time for yourself if you hate mornings, but every time you hit snooze, you are only prolonging the inevitable— and deeper than that, you are programming your subconscious to always “snooze” your way through unpleasant situations.
Think about it.
Where else in your life might you be “hitting snooze?” Do you habitually put off other tasks and to-do list items?
Even as a morning person, I admit it feels good to have that 5 minute cushion between the first alarm and actually rising, but limit yourself to a single snooze, and then get up & go.
4. Make the bed.
I know it sounds silly but I know not a single person who started making their bed and regretted having done so. It’s so symbolic and subconsciously linked to your outlook and management of the rest of your day.
Just try it.
5. Wipe your eyes.
Again, I know it sounds silly, but it seriously wakes me up so much to wipe my eyes with something cool when I wake up.
I tried to get into the habit of washing my face completely, but it just didn’t stick, so instead, I started using either a face-wipe or a cotton pad doused with micellar water to wipe my face and my eyes and man, it feels so good!
It’s the equivalent of a cold shower minus the lack of breath and unpleasantness.
It’s a physical, sensory-related wake-up to help you transition from 8 hours of eyes-shut to however-many-hours of eyes-open.
6. Make a morning playlist.
Hop on Spotify or YouTube and put together some jams to help you wake up.
Music has crazy mood-altering effects, so help yourself start the day in a good mood by waking up to a playlist of your favorite songs to sing or just relax and listen to.
7. Pick a morning podcast.
Especially if you live alone or just wake up alone, having a morning podcast almost feels like waking up with a friend or two! It also helps wake your brain up and give you something to think about besides how tired you are.
Some of my favorites for easy morning listening are Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard, The Bobby Bones Show, The Joe Rogan Experience, and sometimes My Favorite Murder.
Ugh, *eye roll.* I know you’ve heard this a thousand times.
As soon as you can, get moving in the mornings.
Maybe you aren’t willing to make exercise part of your morning routine, but even something as simple as stretching, 10 push ups, or a quick dance sesh can drastically alter your mood and help you go from sleepy to ready-to-roll in just a few minutes.
I personally love a good 5 minute foam roll + stretch session, but when time (and privacy) permits, I also like to blast Lizzo from my bluetooth speaker & dance around while I cook breakfast.
9. Get a good night’s sleep.
We seem to forget that sleeping well makes waking up so much easier.
If you’re staying up late just because you can, watching TV, scrolling social media, eating, etc and then wondering why mornings are so dang rough— there’s your answer.
Aim for 8 hours of actual sleep, not just “laying in bed” time.
Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by making the room dark, turning down the air, and falling asleep to a guided meditation or soothing sound instead of a TV show or passing out on the couch.
You’ll get much higher quality Zs and feel much more rested when the alarm goes off
10. Greet the day
Finally, my favorite practice of all: greeting the day.
To greet the day is to actively participate in your waking up instead of just letting it happen to you. Simply changing the way you think about waking up can actually make waking up easier.
Instead of being a victim of mornings, greet them.
Welcome them, embrace them (even if you have to pretend at first) and at quit dragging your feet through an unavoidable part of the day.