Waking up isn’t fun for anybody. The jarring sound of your alarm disrupting your peaceful sleep can make the morning almost unbearable. I for one used to despise the mornings. And while I don’t exactly love them now, I do feel better about them because of the little steps I’ve taken to make them tolerable. Here are six of them:
#1: Stay away from your phone
The first thing I used to do every morning was check my phone. I didn’t think anything about it. To me, it was the most practical way to check up on everything I’d missed while I was asleep.
However, I recently came to the conclusion that going on my phone, particularly going on social media, was not a productive way to kick off my day. In spite of my love for it, social media has toxic elements. Research shows that frequently using social media can lead to higher levels of loneliness, envy and anxiety, which makes a lot of sense. I mean, who wouldn’t feel a little insecure scrolling through Instagram and viewing dozens of photos of people traveling and accomplishing incredible things?
It’s better to channel your morning attention + energy into something that can’t and won’t upset you. Whether that’s a cup of coffee, specific skincare routine or something else you enjoy, allow it to be the first thing you give your focus to when you wake up.
#2: Don’t hit the snooze button
Are you one of those people who has, like, 20 alarms go off in the morning before they actually get up? I used to be one of those people. However, in the recent years, I’ve turned against the snooze button. And here’s why.
Reluctant night owls (myself included) will set our first alarms to go off a lot earlier than we need to wake up, allowing us to ignore it or hit the snooze button. The idea behind this is that having multiple alarms will help us gradually wake up + get out of bed more easily when the time comes.
This sounds good in theory, but I’ve found those minutes between my first alarm and my last to be wasted time. I can never fully fall back asleep after the initial alarm wakes me up, so I stay in a state between unconsciousness and alertness the entire time. That time could’ve been more wisely spent knocking items off my to-do list or even getting a bit more time of rest. This in-between nonsense, however, wasn’t doing me any favors.
Instead of using the snooze button, I make an effort to get up as soon as I hear my alarm go off. It took some practice. But once I got in a routine, I was able to stop wasting my time and start using it more effectively.
#3: Create specific goals for the day
I am a big believer in goal setting (as you may have noticed from the myriad of posts I’ve written about it). Having goals provides me with the sense of balance and structure that I crave. But most importantly, it helps me begin each day with a purpose.
When I get up in the morning, one of the first things I do is write a list of every goal I have for the day. I tuck it in my planner and check off each item as it is completed. What I’ve discovered about this strategy is that keeping a list forces me to stay on track. In addition, research has confirmed that people who write their goals down are more likely to follow through with them.
#4: Think about what you’re grateful for
If you aren’t into mornings, a great way perk up your mood + make things seem brighter is to reflect on everything in your life that you’re grateful. I try to practice gratitude every morning, even if it’s only a quick thought before I start getting ready for my day. I find that having those positive thoughts in my mind helps me head into the day with a renewed sense of purpose and reminds me to focus on what matters.
#5: Have something to look forward to
Mornings don’t have to be all bad. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to include at least one ritual in your morning routine that makes you excited about waking up. Whether it’s a cup of coffee, a specific breakfast food or a listening to a podcast you love, do something at the start of your day that makes getting out of bed worthwhile.
#6: Drink lots of water
This is one I am currently working on myself (albeit with little success yet). We all know about the health benefits of drinking water. From clearing skin to flushing out toxins, water drinking can have many positive effects. Many researchers say you should drink water first thing in the morning–before you have your first cup of coffee. When you wake up, your body is dehydrated from going the night without water. Drinking coffee dehydrates you even more, so it’s a wise idea to get some water in your system before you ingest caffeine. Though this can be challenging, I suggest having a cup of water ready to go as soon as you wake up. A few sips is better than nothing.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?