“I don’t do mornings” was printed in purple curly letterings across the chest of my favorite pajama dress. It was stretched out right above a grumpy orange cat wearing a similar dress with a cup of coffee. I wore this pajama dress as often as I could, because it was obviously just so me. Mornings are not my friend. They never have been, and I am not sure if we will ever reach a completely amicable relationship. Earlier this evening, my boyfriend decided to bring up an ambitious notion that we wake up earlier than normal, before we go to work and start our monotonous day, and complete an ‘assignment’ like a blog post or something. Normally in this type of situation I would be so excited and consumed with the effort that was just expressed by my male counterpart, I would easily dismiss the sacrifice required of me and commit to the task whole-heartedly. This was definitely not the case. The thought of setting an alarm well before the roosters crow, and then actually committing to getting up at that hour, made my insides shrivel and collapse. Unfortunately, this is not much of an exaggeration. I go on and sell him my sob story about how my little abuelita would wake me up for school as a child with a fresh cup of café con leche in order to get me dressed and out the door on time. (No need for judgment here – I can personally attest to the all the potential ramifications of feeding a child of that age caffeine on a regular basis. I still turned out great!)
After being reminded that that is no longer my life and I should put that behind me, I started to think of some immediate solutions since getting abuelita to show up with my café con leche was out of the picture. So, why not set a pot of coffee first thing in the morning to force me out of bed before the crack of dawn? Great idea. Basic, but great none the less. Will that really do the trick though? Will the warm aroma of ground coffee beans help me defeat my lifelong battle with the dawn of my new day? I guess I will have to keep you posted. In the meantime, here is a list of other tactics you can use to help you get out of bed and jumpstart your day if you are just not a morning person.
- Psyche yourself up – I am a firm believer in the law of attraction. If you think it and speak it out into the universe, you can definitely make it happen. Spend the evening before going to bed thinking about getting up early in the morning and running through the list of things that you are going to get done. Literally visualize yourself going through everything step by step – waking up at X hour, turning of your alarm, opening your blinds, walking into the bathroom and splashing water on your face, etc. Try to plan things that you can look forward to getting up early. If it’s a cup of coffee, great. A run down to your favorite spot? Even better.
- Get up and move – This requires placing your alarm somewhere far enough that you have to physically get up and walk over to it in order to shut it off. If it’s loud enough, put it in the next room. I also would recommend making a pit stop in between – opening up your blinds, doing a quick stretch, etc. Once your up and out do your best to keep going. Get to the next part of your morning check list and don’t hit snooze! Build a momentum and keep going!
- Chug water – Staying hydrated is so important. I would suggest drinking a glass about 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. Then drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up. I normally try to keep a bottle of water on my nightstand within reach. Drinking water at night will help get you to sleep, while drinking it first thing when you get up will help jumpstart your metabolism and signal your system to wake up.
- Get enough sleep – It is not all mental. The physical needs to be treated with the same regard. Try to avoid screens and lights before going to sleep. Allow time for your body to truly relax and unwind. Getting solid sleep at night will make it much easier to get up early in the morning. Every body is different, but aim for around 8 hours per night.
- Make it a habit – Like any other thing it life, it requires repetition in order for it to become a habit. Find a flow that works for you in the morning and stick with it. Try to wake up at a consistent time and enough time to allow you to build a momentum with your morning routine. Your body will be conditioned to wake up at that hour and begin functioning earlier for you.