10 Ways To Make Mornings Easier

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on October 24, 2013

in Health Coaching

My family, all former roommates, and pretty much anyone who has ever seen me first thing in the morning, will attest to the fact that I am not a morning person.  Since I have to be heading out the door for work by 7:30a, I don’t have much of a choice about getting up and moving bright and early.  Now that we’re well into autumn, mornings are getting increasingly darker, which makes them even more of a struggle for me.  While I sometimes struggle to practice what I preach in this instance, here are a few things I’ve found that help make mornings a little more tolerable or even dare I say, enjoyable when I stick to them.  None of it is groundbreaking, but all of it has been really helpful for me.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be able to call myself a morning person!

mornings

1.  Prep for mornings the night before.  Since I’m naturally a night owl, I use that to my advantage, doing whatever I possibly can for the morning before I head to bed.  The less I have to think about in the morning, the better (and the less likely I am to forget something I need!).  I pick out what I’ll wear to work, down to accessories, and set everything out.  I pack my work and gym bags, and have them sitting near the door.  I put my lunch together, and depending on what I’m going to have, breakfast as well.  I also get the coffee maker ready to go.  I have a programmable machine, so I don’t even have to worry about turning it on.  It was an amazing investment!

french toast and coffee

2.  Remember that sleep is your friend.  If you’re not getting enough sleep, mornings are going to be rough.  Figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best, and aim for that every night.  Like most people, 7-8 hours is my sweet spot, but I feel like I really shine if I can get 9 hours which rarely happens during the week.  Try to keep the same sleep schedule seven days a week, or as close to it as possible.

3.  Light is your friend, too!  Have you ever noticed how it often feels easier to wake up in the summer months?  The natural light of the sunrise is a cue for your system that it’s time to get up and at ’em!  Take advantage of that light in the months that it’s available, but in the darker months, create your own light.  Before I get out of bed, I turn on the lamp I have on my night stand.  Sure, it’s not pleasant on the eyes, but it certainly helps wake up my senses!

chicago sunrise

4.  No more snooze button!  This is definitely the area where I struggle the most, mostly because it’s just a hard habit to break.  The extra few minutes of sleep really doesn’t do your body or energy levels any good, so just get up and moving right away!  Like most people nowadays, I use my phone as my alarm clock.  I keep it on the opposite side of the room, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off.  I also keep the volume at a somewhat obnoxious level with a fun song rather than an irritating buzz.  Waking up to a high energy song that puts a smile on my face is a surefire way to make the morning a little brighter.

5.  Make the bed right away.  One way that I avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button and curl back up under my warm, cozy blankets is to make my bed right away, usually even before I turn the alarm off.  After all, I’m not going to immediately unmake my bed just for a few more minutes of sleep.

6.  Stretch it out and breathe deep.  Getting in a few good stretches, particularly ones that get the kinks out of back, really helps me wake up.  It gets the blood pumping!  I also take a few long, deep breaths in through my nose, and out through my mouth.  Basically, I channel my inner yogi for a few minutes every morning.

7.  Drink a glass of water.  As part of my nighttime routine, I fill up a big glass of water and leave it on the bathroom counter.  I drink it as I’m getting ready in the morning and I don’t allow myself to leave the house until the glass is empty.  Not only does it help me wake up, I get it some of my water before the day has really gotten on its way!

water tervis gvsu

8.  Avoid email and social media.  All day long, I get sucked into these channels, so I make an effort to avoid them until I’m sitting at work, ready to take on the day.  I guarantee that nothing so urgent happened overnight that it can’t wait until after 8a to be addressed.  Plus, it’s an easy way to lose track of time, and before I know it, I’m rushing around like a crazy person because I’m running late!

9.  A few minutes of me time.  Once I leave the house, the day is so focused on what I need to get done, meetings, and so on.  One of the last things I do before heading out the door is take a pause to read the thoughts for that day from my devotional book.  I really love Grace for the Moment from Max Lucado, but just started going through May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein.  Having those couple of minutes is a good chance to set my intentions for the day.

10.  Smile!  If I start the day with a smile and positive thoughts, it tends to set my frame of mind for the rest of the day.  Plus, if I think that mornings are horrible and how much I don’t like them, well then, guess what?  They’re going to feel horrible.  Smiling is an easy way to boost your mood.

FYI: Some of the items I share and link to on this post are available for sale in my Amazon Affiliate store. By searching and shopping as you normally would via my store, you help keep just a one girl revolution. up and running. Thanks!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacqueline October 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’m pleasantly surprised you had a few things on here I haven’t heard before. Good list!… and perfect timing… lol

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Cat October 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

These are good suggestions! i’m with Jacqueline, I was also pleasantly surprised to see a few things on here I hadn’t considered! Thanks for sharing.
Cat recently posted..Grand Rapids {Half} Marathon Race Report

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Kelly October 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

What a great list!

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Lisa October 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I’m not a morning person AT ALL. It’s so hard. When I was commuting to work by bike I had to get up a little earlier though. I will say it’s easier in the summer to get up early and like you suggested I would lay everything out and pack my bag the night before. That helped a lot.
Lisa recently posted..Repost: How to Survive Halloween Candy Season

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Carrie @ Season It Already! October 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

This is the hardest time of year for me! I just want to be under those covers! 😉
Carrie @ Season It Already! recently posted..Beverly Hills & Maison 140

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Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. October 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I do the same thing with water in the morning too. I also don’t use the snooze button either, although the majority of the time my wife wakes me up after she showers and gives me a few extra minutes to snooze anyway. Most of the time I don’t even know she’s gotten up.
Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Plateaus Belong In National Parks

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Katie @ Live Half Full October 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I love these tips! I’ve been struggling with mornings lately. This really helps!
Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted..Three Things Thursday

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Rosey Rebecca October 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Great post! I used to be about to jump out of bed at 5-5:30 every morning but it’s getting increasingly harder as it gets darker and colder in the morning.

And hitting the snooze alarm really doesn’t help and only makes you more tired because you’re constantly falling asleep and waking back up again!

I love the water tip! Such a great idea!
Rosey Rebecca recently posted..Taking Back October

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