Back when I was in high school, I remember having frequent sleepovers with two of my best friends. One of them was a “morning person” and the other was not. I was also in the anti-morning category. I remember ever so clearly my “morning person” best friend trying to wake us up by singing way too loudly, way too early. She told us she loved to wake up extra early on school days so she could have extra time in the morning to watch TV or do whatever she wanted before having to head to school. I remember my 16-year-old brain thinking, “Kara, why in the WORLD would you do that?!” I prided myself in sleeping in as late as I could. Hitting the snooze button multiple times had become my high school routine.
Fast forward ten years… and ironically enough, I am one of those obnoxious morning people. I love mornings….it is without a doubt my favorite time of day. I think the change was gradual, and all started when I changed my morning routine. I have seven things that I do most every morning. Of course, my routine may be slightly different when I’m out of town, and all seven things may not always happen on weekend mornings, but for the most part, these seven things are done to start my day.
#1 Wake up early. Hitting the snooze button is not a good idea. Allow plenty of time in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee, eat a good breakfast and do everything you need to do with time to spare. Rushing around in the morning is not a good way to start the day. Start slowly by waking up 10 minutes earlier each day until you’ve reached a time that allows you plenty of morning time. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is crucial to being able to wake up early. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more pleasant to be around when I’ve gotten enough sleep.
#2 Something productive. Whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, folding a load of clothes or taking the dog for a quick walk, do something productive. It feels good to accomplish something right when you wake up.
#3 Water. Lots of water. I drink at least 8-16 ounces of water right when I wake up. Remember, you’ve just gone 7-8 hours without drinking ANY water, so your body is dehydrated! I’ve also found that this helps to wake my body up.
#4 Coffee. After I chug lots of water, I make myself a cup of coffee. If my husband is awake, I make him a cup, too. Not much is better than spending a few minutes slowly sipping on and enjoying my coffee with no interruptions. No checking email or scrolling through Instagram, just me and my coffee. And usually my dog. And occasionally my husband (I’m still working on him with this whole “morning person routine”).
#5 Write. This one is a fairly new one for me. About two months ago I started a gratitude journal. Every morning, I write down three things I’m grateful for, and I reflect on something good that happened in the last 24 hours. It doesn’t take much time, and the value is huge.
#6 Meditate. Usually done while drinking my coffee. I don’t do the traditional meditation and sit on the floor cross-legged with my eyes closed. It’s simply 5-10 minutes that I spend concentrating on my breathing and doing my best to clear my brain and not ‘think.’ I believe meditation can be different for everyone, but very beneficial.
#7 Work out. I love to work out… but if I don’t get it done in the morning, it ain’t happenin’. I’ve tried working out in the evenings, and it just isn’t for me. For whatever reason, my energy level is much lower after 4 pm. I love getting those endorphins first thing in the morning and knowing that I’m done for the day. Try morning workouts, lunchtime workouts and evening workouts and see what your best time of day is. Don’t forget to take 1-2 rest days a week!
This is my personal routine and one I look forward to each morning. I think that this routine is largely why I love mornings so much. I challenge you to create a morning routine that you look forward to waking up to do! Try adding in something new to your newfound routine every few weeks. I can’t wait to see if it’s helping you become one of those “morning people” you used to shake your head at!