By: Elise Moreau
Hate waking up in the morning? Have a bad habit of hitting the snooze button more often than once? Can’t seem to get it together?
Unless you’re just not catching enough Zs at night or you have a medical condition that affects your sleep, a persistent struggle and resistance to get up signifies that you’re unhappy with how you tend to start your day. You’re basically saying, “I’d rather stay unconscious for as long as possible before I have to take any action this morning.”
Although your perspective of a bad morning mostly has to do with your own willingness and commitment to work on changing your mindset, you can make it easier on yourself by establishing some good habits that can naturally help you to generate more happiness. Here are a few worthwhile suggestions.
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Start waking up before everybody else.
Waking up even early than you have to seems downright nuts, right? Well, think of it this way: By waking up earlier before your spouse and your kids and the people you work with who want to send you tons emails ASAP, you get more time to yourself. More time to do whatever you want without having to rush around and attend to everyone else’s agendas.
Drink a tall glass of cold water immediately upon rising.
Most of us brew up a cup of coffee or tea to wake us up, but before you do that, consider drinking at least 16 ounces of water to help hydrate you after a whole night without drinking anything. Believe it or not, sluggishness and mental fog can actually be caused even by moderate dehydration. Drinking water first thing will replenish your body and boost your brain power, which will of course positively affect your mood too.
Make it a solid rule to avoid all electronics first thing in the morning.
Turning on the TV, checking up on your social feeds or doing anything in front of a screen puts you in a distracted, reactive state. It may seem comforting first thing in the morning while you sip some coffee and procrastinate on everything else you should be doing, but it really just makes you more stressed and anxious. The electronics can wait for at least an hour.
Use the first 30 minutes to an hour of your morning for some much needed “me” time.
With no one to bother you and no electronics to distract you when you get up, it’s time to get down to work on something you really enjoy. You could meditate, read a good book, work on a personal project or engage in a hobby that you really love. Knowing that you get to do something that you actually love doing for the first half hour or so of your morning should serve as a motivator to wake up and embrace the day.
Make an effort to get at least a little bit active.
Your “me” time should include some exercise. At the very least, aim to do some stretching, light yoga or leisurely walking for a minimum of 20 minutes. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything that’s ridiculously intense if working out early is not your thing, but moving your body will boost those feel-good hormones and energize you early on in the day.
Reflect on what you’re grateful for today.
Another few minutes of your “me” time should be spent on practicing gratitude. Not many people make this a conscious daily habit, yet it can make such a big difference in how you approach your day. Taking some time to really think about all the things and people you’re grateful to have in your life is one of the most effective ways to feel happier. Try writing it out in a personal journal to help get your thoughts out on paper.
Plan to eat a breakfast that’s both healthy and tasty.
Forget all those rules about breakfast for a moment and think about what you like to eat in the morning. If it’s typically unhealthy, try thinking about how you can tweak it to make it healthier. For example, sugary cereal can be replaced with oatmeal made from whole oats with some banana slices. If you usually don’t eat anything until lunch, try something light–like a bit of plain Greek yogurt and some berries. When you plan a breakfast that you know is healthy for your body and also tastes delicious, you’ll really start to look forward to having it in the morning.
Making these habits a solid part of your morning routine isn’t easy to do, but it’s certainly worth the effort. You’ll be a much happier morning person over the long run, even if you consider yourself to be more of a night owl.