I won’t go so far as to say I am a morning person.
*family and friends explode with laugher in the background, spit flying, heads thrown back uncontrollably*
If being a morning person means that I’ll smile or even carry on pleasant conversation, I’m really not.
Being a morning person, to me, means being a more productive human being and not feeling deranged and murderous every time my alarm sounds.
The new year motivated me to kick my habit of waking up late, then getting nothing done for 3+ hours after that. I hated it. It made me feel guilty. I felt like a useless lump. My days felt short, but I didn’t want to face the horrors of AM hours. Please, Lord Jesus, no. Anything but that.
I don’t want to jinx it. But for the past week, I have been waking up around 7-7:15 every morning (even weekends), without hitting snooze, and I start my day 30 minutes after that, with no accidental murders, no dragging my feet, and no physical pain or emotional breakdowns.
I am okay.
Say it with me if you’re scared. I will be okay.
Here’s a list of tips if you want to perform the miracle of transforming yourself from an AM ogre to an AM less-of-a-person-who-wants-to-kill-you-me-and-anyone-who-gets-in-my-way, emotionally stable type of individual.
#1. Don’t go to bed late.
Oh no. I said it. Let the suffering begin.
When you’re just starting, you’ll have to force yourself to go to bed “early.” For me, this is 10:30-11pm.
Lights must be out at a decent time or getting up will be too painful.
Set your new wake up time to 1-2 hours earlier than you would usually wake up. The shock factor of the alarm somehow jolts your body into reality faster than if you were to set it to, say, 9am.
I can hear you freaking out. Stay calm. It gets better after #3.
This is how I use alarms to wake me up.
- #1. I hate the buzz of an alarm clock. In fact, it ticks me off so much that I’ll fall back to sleep out of pure spite. Instead, I set my alarm to radio/CD track. However, I’m a heavy sleeper so music alone does not wake me up.
- #2. Sleep Cycle App. Not sponsored. Keep your phone on your bed, and this app will track your sleep cycle. It can feel when you toss and turn, so it will sound once you’ve begun to awaken on your own, besides ripping you from deep sleep like other alarms do. I set this alarm for 7-7:30 then my radio alarm for 7:30, exactly, to finish the job.
#3. Don’t hit snooze.
It’s a long dark lonely road of bad habits that lead to laziness, which leads to a wasted day, which leads to a wasted life.
Don’t go down that road.
#4. Chug, chug, chug, chug!
Studies show that drinking water when you first wake up helps you gain consciousness faster. Sometimes, I have left over green tea in a mug by my bed from the night before. Green tea has caffeine so it’s a perfect morning beverage, hot or cold.
This is WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS!!!!
To be a morning person, you must disintegrate the horrors of the morning time. Instead, turn morning into a time to look forward to.
Mornings are as quiet and peaceful as night, but with all opportunities set before you! You can paint your nails right now. You can read a chapter of that book. You can draw/write/photograph/go on a walk/organize your wardrobe/paint a cathedral/watch the birds/eat a huge meal/learn a new language, all before your day starts!
I just told you that you don’t have to wait until AFTER work to do fun things! Think about it.
So, instead of scrolling through Pinterest or watching that last YouTube video, save it for when you wake up. You’ll have something to look forward to.
#6. Make your bed.
Accomplishing a task first thing in the morning works fantastically with your mental health. This one little routine convinces you that you are a super-hero/Santa Clause hybrid, and that you can do all the tasks of your lifetime in this one, 24-hour day.
#7. Write your to-do list in the morning instead of at night.
Writing my to-do list at night stresses me out. However, after making my bed and turning into Wonder Woman at eight in the morning, all those tasks suddenly feel attainable (as does fitting into the super suit), and miraculously, I am motivated to get to work, saving Gotham.
(Cue all the comic book geeks losing their minds.)
Once you’re awake, stay away from busywork and social media traps like the never-ending Instagram scroll or Netflix binge. Do the most important things first. Smell something citrus-y or spray your face with water (I read those help). It’s all about repetition, waking yourself up pleasantly, and getting right to work.
You’ll begin to feel better about yourself, more productive, and less stressed.
Soon, you may even call yourself a morning person.
Just kidding. We’re not reaching for the stars. If you can wake up at 7 without wanting to claw your own eyeballs out, I say you’ve succeeded.
Now on Snapchat! RebekahKoontz