I have vigorously pushed myself to become a morning person my entire adult life. Of course it is not easy, but more and more people ask me how I am able to wake up early, and get my mini morning to do list done. Some days are harder than others, but it is all about sticking to a routine that works for you.
A morning routine should cater to you and what you need to accomplish in the morning to get yourself feeling good and ready to tackle the day. Here are my tips and tricks on how I tackle each day like a #GIRLBOSS.
The Night Before
The night before is a huge section of time that is key in changing a habit and/or lifestyle, especially one that requires an early morning wakeup call. Having a good dinner, drinking a lot of water, going on a walk, doing yoga, stretching, etc., all of these little things really add up, and in the morning your body will thank you.
Don’t just get a good night sleep… get a great night sleep. The number one killer for that is the obsession to the tech world. It’s simple, put your phone away and don’t sleep near it. Also, most experts say that the bright blue light blocks your ability to fall asleep. This blue light is not just your phone. Unplug from everything: laptop, television, iPad, ebooks. Turn them all off and decompress from the day. Talk with your significant other or family, play with your pet, read a book – these are just a few things that you can do to wind down.
For me personally, I have my do not disturb setting preset. I have it set from nine pm through five am, and it has been such a huge factor of being able to get the sleep I deserve. It’s also super helpful when you are trying to get stuff done and don’t need those pesky notification popping up or ringing. Apple has also added a new feature called Night Shift. This feature is in the front home screen option as well as the Display & Brightness settings page. This feature changes the display on your iPhone to a warm tone, not the harsh blue tones that you see during the day. This will help if you end up using your phone or check it every now and then during the night. You can set up a schedule for this feature (similar to the Do Not Disturb) so it comes on during the set hours.
Setting an alarm is great (we all do it!), but don’t set five alarms, ten minutes apart. You consciously know that you have a little time to spare, and you end up snoozing rather than getting up. I suggest the Sleep Cycle app. It costs a little money, but it has changed my morning game. As you sleep, Sleep Cycle tracks your sleeping patterns and will wake you up when you are not in a deep sleep. It also silences all other notifications that may go off during the night. I highly recommend it. Check it out in the app store. (Not an AD, just my honest opinion if you need a little help in the A.M.!)
Mentally preparing an outfit, or physically putting one together, is a great thing to do the night before. It helps you not scramble in the morning, trying to get ready while you are half zombie/half human. There are times when my alarm goes off for a little too long, and whoops, I have ten minutes to get ready, get a breakfast in me, and get to work. By setting these things out the night before, it will help with that early morning rush.
Nightly/weekly to do lists are exciting and fun, but they are also super helpful to get the little pop-up windows out of your head. Write down any tasks/notes that you need to get done before going to bed. Going to bed worrying about all the pending tasks for the next day is exhausting! Let yourself sleep peacefully knowing that you wrote down all the little things.
The Morning Of
Contrary to belief, stretching right when you wake up is not good for your body. Your body is stiff from being immobile for hours. Instead, wake up, smile at yourself, drink some water (!!!!!) and start getting your body moving. After you are up and actually living again, stretching is a great way to get the blood flowing.
You may have noticed those exclamation points for that little water tip. Good! Drinking water in the morning jumpstarts your system. It’s so good for you. I normally drink a glass when I wake up to get my brain going and blood flowing. Rehydrating yourself in the morning is so crucial to starting your day off right.
Rather than checking social medias or emails in the morning, I like to use this app called Elevate. This helps your brain wake up and gets you in the right mind set for the day. The app pre selects three brain games for you. It keeps track of your progress and has achievement stats. It’s a great way to start your morning when you see “Congratulations you achieved three perfect scores;” it’s like a little pat on the back. And who doesn’t want one of those!
In the morning, I like to rinse off as well. Don’t use a steamy hot setting for your shower. Use a medium to cooler temp. This helps to stimulate your body and wake yourself up.
Another great way to get your body up is to meditate, reflect, write in a journal or gratitude log, etc. Something where you are being mindful of yourself is really helpful to starting your day with a clean slate. We all need that! If you are having an exceptionally rough day/week/month, try doing the above at night as well to decompress and get it out of your system before going to bed.
Lastly, we are all human. No one is waking up like Sleeping Beauty. It takes time to get your body on a personal timer and schedule. Start it slow, and sooner than later you too will be dressed to impress and taking names at 6am.