Raise your hand if you’re a morning person…
Personally, I oscillate between being a morning person and a night owl. I often struggle to turn off my brain when bedtime rolls around, even when I give myself time to wind down (sans screen). Since I started working for myself, I find it difficult to ‘switch off’ and often have my most productive hours outside of the traditional 9-5 structure (like 8pm on a Friday…) Regardless, I’m well aware of the benefits of waking early and am hoping with a bit of practice, I’ll learn to love 6am starts again soon…
For those of you who are best friends with your snooze button and looking for ways to enjoy your mornings a bit more, read on. Fortunately, becoming an early riser can be learned at any age. And while this post is just as much for me as it is for you, I hope you find it useful.
We’re all aware that excessive use of technology before bed is not doing us any favours. That said, watching a movie before dozing off can be oh so tempting. I’ve found what works best is doing things that are near impossible to do with technology – a lengthly, drawn out skincare routine or even treating myself to a monthly massage just before bed. In the past I’ve struggled to read before bed, but I’ve been reading Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming and it’s hard to put down!
Start your day off right.
Someone recently asked me how I stay motivated throughout the day and for me, it’s exercise. It helps clear your mind and focus on what you’re hoping to achieve. Another idea is to start your day off with an activity you enjoy, taking the dog for a walk or meeting a friend for breakfast, you’ll look forward to getting out of bed so much more. I find early morning gym sessions are a lot easier than after work gym sessions because I’m usually half asleep, so it goes by a lot quicker and wakes me up.
Again, if you can, avoid looking at your phone or checking your emails until after you’ve had breakfast or gone through your morning activity. I’ve been storing my computer and phone downstairs, so I often forget about them until about an hour or so into my day. I find I’m less distracted throughout the day if I give myself time to meditate, eat breakfast and get dressed. Get an actual alarm clock and hide your phone in another room.
I’ve recently started meditating and it’s completely changed my mornings. My dad has meditated every morning for as long as I can remember, and he’s the one who inspired me to start. Since I’m a novice, I’ve started off by using mindfulness apps like Calm and Headspace, but eventually I’d like to meditate without my phone because isn’t that really the point?
Eat your favourite (and biggest) meal of the day.
Skipping breakfast isn’t an option for me, and I often spend more time preparing my first meal of the day than other meals. I love having poached or scrambled eggs on toast with sautéed spinach or granola and coconut yoghurt if I’m in a rush. Oh, and a coffee (I’ve been having mine with oat milk) is absolutely essential as well.
Plan your outfit in advance.
Or if you work from home, like I do, make sure you change out of your pyjamas. While I’m not suggesting you put on a full face of makeup and heels if you don’t have to leave the house, but changing your clothes is a surefire way to differentiate between relaxation time and working time.
Listen to your body.
If you’re really struggling to get out of bed in the morning, it could be a sign you need to make some changes. Maybe your diet needs a rehaul or you’re not in the right profession. There was a period when I absolutely dreaded getting up and getting dressed, and eventually realised that I was unfulfilled in my 9-5. While I couldn’t make any drastic changes, I started looking for ways I could transition into a career that made waking up easier.
Well, there you have my top tips for improving your mornings. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you.
Photos by Malia Rose Photographer