Does anyone else have an awful time sticking to a good morning routine? Whenever I read advice on how to improve your morning, I get sudden a burst of inspiration to wake up earlier, take things slow, and have some cozy time to myself before work begins. Then I do it for a day and fall right off… never to return. (It doesn’t help that I’m not a morning person at all.) So lately I’ve been trying all the things to make mornings more enjoyable and motivating. And while I’m still not a morning person and wake up much later than I plan 6 out of 7 times, I’ve actually found a few things that set me up for a good day.
BTW. I really tried to get my cat in this shot. Cat time is important. But all he wanted to do was sniff the coffee so it didn’t really work. Anyway. Here goes…
How to Improve Your Morning: morning stretch
A past fitness-expert-client told me: always stretch your body before you even get out of bed. Stretch out those legs and arms, and toes and fingers. Do a quick body scan and loosen everything up again. Then it’s not so alarming when you get out of bed and aren’t ready for the day. This helps me because since I deal with a lot of muscle tension, I need to remember to stretch.
Practice a mindfulness exercise before you start the day. The body scan above is a great start–it requires you to tune into different parts of your body, rather than taking everything in at once. You can also take some deep breaths and set an intention for the day, or think about your goals before settling into the craziness of your inbox.
anticipate the cold!
Had to throw something out there for those of us in colder states, as I never worried about this when I was in SoCal for several years! If you’re not a morning person, you probably have an even tougher time getting up when it’s cold out. Keep some warmer clothes and socks nearby so you can’t use it as an excuse. Simple but effective!
set a pleasant (but not too soothing) alarm tone
Some people don’t have soothing sounds as alarms because, well, they’ll sleep right through it. But as someone who is sensitive to sound, I pretty much always wake up to my alarm. (That doesn’t mean I get up. I know snooze all too well.) And when I do, I’m immediately a little on edge, because some annoying sounds just ripped me from my slumber. That’s when I realized, why DO I have such an annoying alarm? I went through mine and set it to a tone I actually kinda like. It doesn’t have me dancing out of bed, but at least I don’t start off on a negative note.
I admit I’m not always the best at this, but another trick to improve your morning right from the start is to take a moment to think about a few things you’re grateful for. Even if things have gone wrong, what’s gone right? How are you grateful for the work you’re about to go do (even if it’s a job you don’t like, it’s supporting you, right?)? Yep, it’s cliche, but it really does improve my mood.
journal (while snuggling pets, if you can!)
Any morning journalers (or planner writers) out there? I try to at least take a few minutes each morning to write in a journal and then transition to my to-do list. And yes, more often than not, I do this in bed! It allows me to wake up my brain and have some cozy “me time” while I sip my coffee. (Actually, it’s me and my cats time, but you get the idea.) If this is toooo close to sleep for you, take a throw blanket to another room and journal there. The concept is the same: quiet time, reflection, and a teensy bit of productivity.
How do your mornings tend to go? Anyone have a successful routine they love?