I have never been, nor will I ever be, a morning person.
Yes, I do know how important mornings are for the rest of your day. Yes, I do know how much I could get done if I got up earlier and how good it is for my health.
But no matter how hard I try, no matter how many tips and tricks I implement I cannot for the life of me convince myself to get up at 6AM if there is no trip to Disneyland involved. (No, that isn’t a joke!)
I am a self proclaimed Night Owl. I love staying up late. I get my best work done between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Lately I have been trying to cut back on that, since working that close to when I go to sleep makes it difficult for my brain to calm down and let me sleep.. and also since I think that people are starting to get frustrated with my 1am e-mails.
However, I love my sleep. I’ve always loved my sleep. If I know I have to get up early the next morning, I make sure I am in bed at a reasonable time to try to get as close to 8 hours as possible.
Lately I have found that it is easier to get up in the morning than ever before. That I am finding myself less rushed to get to class, that I am becoming more in-tune with my mind and body in the morning, and that it is paying off tremendously.
Here’s how I have discovered to make the most out of my mornings.
1. Schedule According to YOU
First of all, if you know you are not the kind of person to wake up at 7AM every morning.. do not schedule 8AM classes. Just don’t! There is no reason to push yourself past comfort like that.
You are paying for these classes, nobody is forcing you to register for early morning classes if you don’t want to! Plus, if you do sign up for an early morning class you might find yourself falling asleep during it and that would be a waste of your money.
2. Prep the Night Before
In the morning, every second of sleep counts. If you find that it takes you a long time to get ready for your day, try to prep the night before! This will cut down the time that you spend getting ready and will increase the time you get to spend in bed.
Every night I prep by taking a shower. A lot of people find that if they get up early and shower in the morning that helps them wake up, and if you are that kind of person.. more power to ya!
However, for me, I am definitely not one of those people. Trust me, I tried to wake up 20 minutes earlier and hop into the shower, but I’ve found that the water always messes up my body’s clock for the day and makes me cranky. I’ve also found that I would rather spend those 20 minutes in bed in the morning.
If you find that you spend a lot of time in the morning trying to decide what to wear, prep that the night before! Pull up a weather app or website and lay your outfit out accordingly. Depending on how much time you typically spend focusing on your wardrobe in the morning this could save a lot of time.
My Routine: 11:30PM – 12:00PM: Shower. Wash face. Brush hair. Blow dry hair sometimes.
3. Set Your Alarm 5 Minutes Earlier
I have found that I need 45 minutes total in the morning to get ready without hurrying. Technically I can get by with 30 minutes if I need to, but I prefer not to. No matter what time I wake up in the morning, I set my alarm for 5 minutes before I need to get out of bed.
I’m the kind of person that rolls over to turn off their alarm on their phone and ends up replying to text messages and e-mails for an hour. Oops! I guess that’s what happens when you work 4 jobs.
This extra 5 minutes gives me a chance to filter through what I need to deal with or respond to right away, check for any crisis’, and make mental notes for what to reply to later. This also gives me time to mentally prepare for the day and physically get my body ready to get out of bed.
My Routine: 8:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Check phone. Get out of bed.
4. Wake Up Your Body
Some people need coffee to function. While coffee is a great and easy way to get energy in the morning, it isn’t for everybody. Some people don’t like the taste, some people get anxiety from drinking caffeine, and some people just prefer not to start every single day with a cup of coffee. I feel that.
Personally I start my day by drinking a nice big glass of water. This water helps kick start your metabolism and wakes up your body better than coffee ever could.
I also start off my day by drinking a glass of a fancy concoction that helps maintain my energy levels and blood sugar throughout the day, as I have naturally low blood sugar problems. Due to this, I cannot eat breakfast until 30 minutes after I drink this.
My Routine: 8:35 AM: Drink a big glass of water and my blood sugar maintaining drink to help wake up and help my body through the day.
5. Get Ready: Mentally and Physically
For the next 25 minutes, I focus on preparing for the day.
It might seem weird, but I bring a little notepad around with me in the morning. While I wash my face, put on my makeup, get dressed, and even do the dishes. I use this notepad to write down a to-do list for the day.
This helps get everything out of my cluttered mind and down on paper where I can see it all and am less likely to forget anything! If I have enough time I like to color code this list, but most of the time it’s just in boring black pen.
My Routine: 8:45 AM – 9:10 AM: Get ready. Do makeup, get dressed, do hair, write down to-do list for the rest of the day.
6. The Most Important Meal of the Day
Ok, ok, so you grow up hearing your entire life that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… you get it. But, do you?
I have always eaten breakfast on school days, partly because of my low blood sugar issues and partly because my mother never let me leave the house without it, so it has been ingrained into my morning routine. When I started college I was amazed by the fact that every single one of my roommates skipped breakfast nearly every week day! I was the only person getting up early enough to find time to eat a full meal and they thought I was weird for it.
Halfway through the year, they changed their tune. They found that they were feeling more and more run down and at a loss for energy at the end of the day, and eating more junk food because of it. One by one they started to eat something before class, and found that it really worked for them.
Personally, I don’t like spending a lot of time making my breakfast. So, I like to prep cook with these really delicious omelette muffins for protein (you can put anything you want in them! I make mine with green onions, mushrooms, and cheese!) and then I take one out and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds in the morning. Then if I want some more substance I stick a gluten free frozen waffle or two in the toaster for a couple minutes and finish it off with some butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Imagine having a meal like that every morning! Now, what are you waiting for? You should be eating a full mean every morning.
My Routine: 9:10 AM – 9:20 AM: Put omelette muffin in the microwave and waffle in the toaster. While waiting for these, go grab backpack and put in laptop and books for class or work. Add final things to to-do list. Eat! Watch news or cheesy game shows on TV.
That is my morning! I technically don’t need to leave for class until 9:25 so I like to give myself that extra 5 minutes of leeway in case I fall behind in my schedule, need to complete a quick assignment before class, or find myself washing off and re-drawing my winged eyeliner over and over again. I always believe in leaving myself room for error to help take the stress of perfection off.
What does your morning routine look like?