We all have that one friend who likes to wake up and greet the sun when you’d rather say hello around 10 AM.
Mornings are hard, and it’s not your fault. A lack of sleep, too much time in front of screens, and the ebb and flow of the stress that comes with daily life all impact how prepared we are to get up and face the day.
But you don’t have to let yesterday impact today. There are many simple things anyone can do to get their morning started off right.
We’ve put together a list of the ten things anyone can do to kick their morning off the right way and not just have a sunnier AM but a happier day over all.
Start with Me Time
“Me time” is one thing we can all agree we’re all lacking. Why not start your day with the intention and spend some time dedicated to just you?
Getting that time in at home is hard because it’s full of reminders of the things to be done. Instead of dancing between home and work, go somewhere else where there are no distractions. In the autumn and winter, visit a coffee shop where you can read a book or even just people watch. Spend summer mornings in a park or another outdoor space and do the same thing with the added benefit of a little vitamin D.
Emails, chores, and other obligations might keep us all in bed, but who can resist a little time just for you right away in the morning? Don’t worry – the rest will wait.
Pre-Set Your Coffee Machine
Setting the timer on your coffee machine is one of the best happy morning hacks out there.
Not only does it take one thing off your life of things to do, but it entices you out of make your bed. We can go anywhere there’s coffee.
Setting up your coffee encourages you out of make your bed because there’s a prize and if you wait too long, it will get cold.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else
Okay, okay – you’re up! Now how do you turn your morning into a good morning?
By doing something nice for someone else. It doesn’t need to be big – in fact, it should be small. Don’t send yourself into a frenzy cooking a three-course breakfast before work for someone who doesn’t like breakfast foods anyway.
It’s as simple as leaving a pay-it-forward beverage or breakfast at your local coffee shop or telling someone you appreciate them and everything they do. Maybe you’ll decide to leave your favorite waitress or barista an extra generous tip. It could be as simple as letting an extra few people merge in front of you in rush hour traffic.
Small gestures go far before 10 AM, and if there was any time of day we could all use a little kindness from strangers, it’s before we’ve had our second cup of coffee.
Make Your Bed
Half the joy of a hotel is walking into the room after a long day to see your bed perfectly made. You can have that at home, too. The only difference is that you need to do it yourself.
Making your bed was likely one of your childhood chores, and that’s how it sticks in your mind. It’s something you “have” to do rather than something you want to do.
Leap out of bed and then put it back together. Even if you don’t get that crisp hotel sheet feeling, making your bed is akin to doing something productive, and you haven’t even had coffee yet!
Use an Amazing Shower Scrub
Don’t spend your shower time thinking about how the worst is yet to come. Find an amazing soap, scrub, or gel to use in the shower to look forward to.
If you please, choose something light and fruity for a more invigorating feeling. It will wake up your skin, which will, in turn, leave you feeling more awake as you go.
A lightly scented scrub will also double as a light perfume, leaving you smelling naturally fresh.
Do a Five-Minute Stretch
Do you wake up in the morning and stretch your way into the day? Or do you roll over, hit the fetal position one more time before dragging your hunched over self out of bed?
While it seems like only morning people and cartoon characters stretch after they wake up, it’s not true. In fact, stretching feels extra good in the morning.
Pandiculating is the scientific term for raising your arms over your head and yawning as you get out of bed. It’s a natural response by your body to re-boot.
As soon as you wake up, your body wants to stretch out your muscles and re-align everything. Why stop with pandiculating?
A quick morning stretch session gets your endorphins up and ready.
Stretching sessions reduce and even prevents back pain by reducing the amount of tension your muscles put on your spine in the morning. If your morning is marred by waking up sore, then a stretching session may brighten up your whole day. An added bonus is the improvement in your posture as a result of more relaxed muscles. You’ll feel light and have a spring in your step.
Light stretching also improves your circulation after eight (or five or six) hours of lying down in bed. By sending your blood flowing, you’ll see improved energy as oxygen reaches the furthest corners of your body faster. Improved concentration is another benefit of healthier circulation.
Keep Your Phone in the Other Room
There are so many reasons to sleep separately. First, the ambient light created by your phone wakes you up at night and impacts your sleep – whether you notice you’ve woken up or not. Lights of any sort disrupt your circadian rhythms, which impact the quality of your sleep.
Just moving your phone gives you a more restful night’s sleep.
Leaving your phone in another room an hour before sleep also helps you de-stress. It removes the impulse to check Twitter, watch one more video, or wait for an incoming email. Moving your phone out of sight moves it out of mind. It may take a few days to train your brain to accept that your phone is out of reach, but it will work.
Finally, keeping your phone in the other room also gives you a reason to get out of make your bed faster. Rather than scrolling aimlessly through every app on your phone, you’ll have to intentionally get up and check your phone. You’ll be up and moving faster.
Choose a Breakfast Theme for the Week
Breakfast is an essential meal because your body has an eating and fasting rhythm. Skipping breakfast or eating an inadequate meal impacts your body’s ability to wake up. Your blood sugar is low in the morning, and you’ll struggle to raise it without a good amount of food.
Make your mornings lighter and breakfast simpler by planning a breakfast theme for each week. For example, choose a dish to make in various ways for five days to ensure a nutritionally complete breakfast is on the table. Alternatively, choose five ingredients and based your breakfasts off those It simplifies the meal because you can shop simply
Make Plans for the Morning
Rather than packing everything into the hours after work, start scheduling events for the morning.
Meet up with friends, schedule your workout, read a book
Get Up Earlier
All of these tips sounded like lovely ways to improve your morning. Be nice to yourself? Check. Be nice to others? Check.
But get up earlier?
Don’t go away just yet.
Getting up early gives you time to fit in all the things you love to do. It also provides you with an immediate win by getting rid of the potential for sleeping in and running late.
The average American rolls out of bed between 6 and 7:30 AM. If you’re up at 5:30, then you have an extra half hour of bliss. No one is up to send you an email, ask you to come in early, or burn down all your hard work at the office.
Early risers also build discipline, which may make not only your morning but your whole day brighter. Every time you get out of bed at a pre-determined time, you’re sticking to a promise made to yourself. These wins translate into changes in the rest of your life.
Early doesn’t need to me 5:00 or even 5:30 AM. It just means giving yourself time to get up earlier than you currently do.
Of course, sustainable early rising requires some lifestyle changes. Winding down earlier and following a bedtime routine helps significantly.
Tried any of these tips for making your mornings brighter? Share your favorite tips for rising and shining in the comments below.