Your alarm goes off right next to your bed, but you aren’t ready to get up yet. Rolling over and hitting the snooze button one more time won’t hurt right? Think again. Your alarm goes off again, and you realize you’re about 45 minutes late for whatever you were actually supposed to be doing. Now that you’re late, your mood drops significantly, and your day is off to a pretty horrible start. Not the way you wanted to start your day, right?
Mornings set the tone for the rest of your day. Waking up to constant meaningless routines like a robot doesn’t sound like a good start to the day, does it? Enjoying even the earliest part of your morning is important, especially when you find yourself in times of stress. Changing up your routine and mindfully going through those first few hours will not only move you towards great mornings but will also bring about positive, creative habits throughout your day. Still having a hard time beating that alarm? Here are some tips for starting your day off right.
Try Moving Your Alarm Around
We’ve all done it. Hitting the snooze button, especially on grey mornings, might seem like a fantastic idea. Think again! After the first alarm goes off, your body releases adrenaline at the sudden jolt of waking up. If you fall back to sleep, even for a few minutes, you’re throwing off a delicate chemical balance in your body. Setting multiple alarms or moving your alarm to the other side of the room (but on a louder volume, requiring you to get up to turn it off) could be the difference between being ready and alert or dragging after that extra 15 minutes of sleep.
Plan Your Day and Set Goals For Yourself
Planning your day can be as simple as little reminders of what you need/want to get done or a colorful to-do list. You can make these the night before, you can make these when you wake up, you can sing a song about it in the shower. However you decide to plan out your day, whether it’s a shift at work and an activity you enjoy or running a bunch of errands, finding out what your goals are for the day will keep you active and focused upon waking up. Personally, I make a to-do list a few mornings a week. Even though I work a lot, I set goals for myself to get done every day. It may seem repetitive, but it really helps to build routine and determination to get through your day.
Let There Be Light
We get it. Closing your curtains and embracing a dark bedroom before you sleep is the perfect way to float into dream land. SIKE. Ever heard of blinds? Invest in some. Even tilting them just a little bit to let some light in makes a world of a difference. If you think blinds would somehow throw off the aura of your room, try a lighter color of curtains. Even white, cream, or sheer curtains will let in enough light to get yourself going in the morning. Not only will your biological clock develop a little faster with incoming light, but it will also appreciate the sunshine.
Put Down the Phone
Between the hordes of texts, emails, and Facebook/Instagram likes you probably won’t get in the overnight hours, you’re wasting time when you could be getting a jump-start on your schedule/accomplishing your goals for the day. You’re paying more attention to everyone else rather than starting your day focusing on YOU. Try starting your day off without touching the phone. You’ll thank yourself later when you have 25 minutes to sit and relax before rushing out the door.
I like to start my day with stretching, running, or a little yoga. It gets my blood moving and helps me wake up to prepare for the day ahead. With running, I also double a workout for the day and don’t have to worry about it later on. Stretching/yoga can help loosen the muscles and lower your stress levels as well. As long as you find a way to get moving, you’ll be off to a good start.
Whether you enjoy a calm and peaceful morning to the tune of classical music or you need to get pumped up with some “Uptown Funk,” music can stimulate your brain and gear you towards the type of day you want to have. (Yes, I’m guilty of blaring “Uptown Funk” almost every morning. Sue me.) Try creating a morning playlist. We have them for parties, workouts, and sporting events, so why not have one for when you wake up? Guest of a Guest has a great article out with song ideas to get you through your week, so be sure to check it out!
Mom always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Did you know most doctors think so too? Bypassing breakfast not only slows your metabolism and promotes weight gain but it also leads to increased stress levels on the body. Even if it is just a muffin and some Greek yogurt or a banana with a granola bar, eat something healthy to get your body geared up for the day.
And, of course, thank your lucky stars
Every day above ground is a good day. Think about that for a minute. You are alive, you have the ability to wake up and make these decisions about your day. Never take advantage of that. I look around every morning at what I have in life, and I carry that mentality throughout the remainder of my day. It really places the little things in a proper perspective when you see the big picture: you are alive, you are well, and you control the outcome of your day.
A lot of these tips might seem like common knowledge, but even the smallest changes in routine can make big strides towards a good day ahead. Wake up on the right side of the bed, start with a positive attitude, and know what you want out of this day. Finding joy in the little things about your morning can make a world of a difference not only to you but to those around you as well.
Featured Image by Loren Kerns.