Mornings can be difficult. Even as an accidental morning person there are days when the thought of leaving my bed is enough for me to consider giving up my career, relocating to a cabin in the woods and living off my own grown vegetables and answering to nobody.
The worst type of mornings are those when tiredness takes over you, or when you’re so rushed that you nearly forget to put on shoes. For some, almost every day begins like this. Unfortunately, there will always be mornings and in the city, and chances are, you probably start your workday at the standard time. There’s just no getting around them. But what if you could develop ways to actually enjoy themost important part of your day?
Here are a few tips for NYGal’s to mold you into a morning friendly person.
1. Electronics Before Bed
It sounds obvious but can be easily looked over by the time 11 o’clock rolls around and you’re more awake than you were at 3 pm at your desk. You suddenly have all the energy to delve into researching who killed Sister Cathy online and finally get around to finish reading War and Peace (when will it end?) on your Kindle. However, this is the most crucial of times to get into a routine that will impact how you feel the following morning.
Avoid using your phone, laptop and other electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. The Sleep Foundation reported that around 90% of the population admitted to using an electronic device before sleeping, yet this could massively disrupt your sleep pattern. They said that when using them it…
“delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is largely due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. The more electronic devices that a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep.”
2. Unwind & De-stress
As mentioned before, the night before will directly affect your morning. So, make sure to de-stress from the day. Stretch, have a bath, play soothing music. This will enable the body and mind to relax and prepare itself for sleep, instead of running through all the things in your head that worry you the minute you close your eyes. “Will I ever get the dream job?” “Am I getting enough iron?” “Should I invest in a Dyson Air Purifier fan?”
3. Old School Alarm Clock
Buy an old alarm clock that doesn’t have the option to hit snooze on. Find one in an antique store or online, like this pink on here.The description for that one reads, “Loud alarm clock for people who are heavy sleepers, mild loss hearing. No snooze button, good helper for people who has trouble waking up.” Okay, so it doesn’t make complete grammatical sense. Still, it will get you up in the morning.
The reason: Snoozing isn’t as great as it feels and can have an adverse result on your alertness in the morning. In an article published in the New Yorker exploring the “snooze” effect on the body Maria Konnikova wrote…
“It may seem like you’re giving yourself a few extra minutes to collect your thoughts. But what you’re actually doing is making the wake-up process more difficult and drawn out. If you manage to drift off again, you are likely plunging your brain back into the beginning of the sleep cycle, which is the worst point to be woken up—and the harder we feel it is for us to wake up, the worse we think we’ve slept.”
4. Electronics After Waking Up
Don’t get into the routine of waking up and scrolling. For some reason science can’t explain, time seems to fly past during these introductions to the day via Instagram and a news app. Also, do you really want to see someone’s bikini photo in Cancun before you head to work that morning? Do you want to know if yet another species is extinct before you’ve had your breakfast? I don’t. Instead, put some music on, or your favorite podcast and use the time you would usually spend scrolling on your phone to make yourself a healthy smoothie. You’ll feel much more confident about starting your day! Which brings us on to the next point.
5. Don’t Skip Breakfast
You know it’s the most important meal of the day and yet you still skip it or pick something quick (and not very nutritional) on your way to work. Of course, we understand that you can’t make a photo shoot worthy breakfast every morning. But there are plenty of quick and affordable breakfast ideas that won’t take an hour to prepare and can even be transported. Try overnight oats, or make them in a to-go bowl. I make a batch of these granola bars and keep them in the fridge for hectic mornings.
I also pre-make smoothies and keep them in the freezer and just add coconut water before blending one and taking it with me to work in a flask. This way I’m not eating heavy, sugary things that will leave me tired and hungry an hour after I eat them.
6. Exercise Your Body (And Mind)
Even if you’ve promised yourself, by the time you settle in after work the last thing you want to do is exercise/go to the gym/go for a jog. Especially now the days are getting shorter and it will already be dark by 5 pm. Go to bed a little earlier so you’re not losing sleep and wake up in time for a quick 20-minute stretch to get your blood flowing. This will make you feel less groggy and more alert in time for work or whatever else you need to accomplish that day. In addition to that, it will also clear your mind, again, preparing you to have a productive day.
There are plenty of videos online or classes that are held specifically for people wanting to exercise before work. Try something new, like Pilates. If you fancy a day off, or really don’t feel like it’s your thing, then try meditating for a while and emptying your mind. It’s like wiping the slate clean before life bombards you with whatever it will and you’re a bit more prepared to handle it.
7. Make a List
On a pen and piece of paper, even on your phone (fine, you can use it now) make a list of things you want to achieve that day, things you want to do, things that make you happy, things that make you unhappy that you’d like to change and face.
8. Appreciate It
As we all know, mornings may not be the most thrilling of times and many prefer to sleep through most of them. Although, if you have to get up early you might want to take in how wonderful it can actually be to watch the world wake up. Birds are chirping, the sun is rising and the whole day is ahead of you and could possibly be a great one. Take five minutes to watch the people and things happening at this time from a window or park bench, preferably with a cup of tea or coffee.