To say I am not a morning person does not even begin to describe how I feel about mornings. I am not a fan of getting up early for something fun and definitely not as part of my regular routine. Alas, getting up in the morning is a big part of life, so I set out to find some strategies to make myself into a morning person or at least have better mornings.
Through experimentation, I found seven strategies that made a positive impact on me and my willingness to get out of bed.
Use Timers for Better Mornings
I am assuming you use an alarm clock. I mean, that’s a given, right? What else do you use timers for?
If you drink coffee or tea, but it on a timer so it is ready for you when you get up in the morning. The aroma is sure to lure you out from under the covers and towards the kitchen. The hardest part of mornings for me is the actual getting out of bed, so once my feet hit the floor and the creamer hits my coffee I am on the right track.
Use an outlet timer to have a lamp turn on about ten minutes before your alarm. The addition of the light in the room will help you to be more awake when you open your eyes.
Let In Natural Light for Better Mornings
I am a huge fan of blackout curtains. I live in a neighborhood with pretty heavy traffic and well-lit streets, so it is a big plus to be able to block those out when I sleep. They do NOT help when it comes time to get out of bed though.
I have learned to back away from the curtains and keep my blinds on at least one window open to let the natural light in. This way when the sun comes up and fills my room with light it signals my brain it is time to get up.
If this isn’t possible for you I would highly recommend putting a lamp on a timer. I do this most of the time, because of the traffic and lights in my neighborhood. I personally use a salt lamp because it imitates natural light really well, but any lamp is a step in the right direction.
Wake Up Your Brain
When you first wake up but aren’t necessarily ready for your feet to hit the floor wake up your brain while your body catches up. My favorite way to do this is through logic puzzles and game apps on my phone.
Three to five minutes of gameplay wakes me up and gets me ready to start problem-solving throughout the day.
Get Active for Better Mornings
Bear with me on this one, because when someone first told me this I thought they were crazy.
When you first step out of bed in the morning try to do about a minute of exercise. This might mean jumping jacks, a plank, push-ups, curls, or a variety of exercises. It sounds tough, but is so worth it!
By getting active immediately after getting out of bed you send chemicals to your brain which wake it up and give it a kick start for the day.
This is also a great time to blast your favorite jam and sing along.
Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
Sometimes the only thing able to get me out of bed in the morning is a bribe. That’s right, I bribe myself, and it totally works.
I have been known to bribe myself with a quick fix like, “Get out of bed and you can have creamer in your
coffee instead of just almond milk,” which doesn’t seem like a big deal but can be a little treat. I also bribe myself with larger bribes like, “Get out of the house on time every day this week and Friday you can stop for breakfast out.” This is a BIG motivator for me because frankly, I will do just about anything for a breakfast taco and I try not to splurge on them too often.
Another thing I look forward to in the mornings is getting in my car so I can listen to an audiobook. I really look forward to this time and only allow myself to listen on my drive in the mornings. It definitely puts a little extra pep in my step to get out the door on time.
Giving yourself something to look forward to is a very personal choice, and you have to do what works for you.
List Your Positives for the Day
Every morning while brushing my teeth I list out three positives for the day. This might be goals I have for the day, things I am looking forward to, or good news I heard.
By forcing myself to think of three positives, which can be really hard for me in my grumpy morning state, I can focus on the positive and get started with the day on the right foot.
I have tried meditation in the morning as well, but honestly, it didn’t work for me. I am too tired in the morning and it wasn’t a good fit, but it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you!
Prep the Night Before
If you haven’t caught on my now I am food motivated for better or worse and breakfast is a must for me. Often I am running late and skip on breakfast which isn’t good for me or those around me.
I often fell into the rut of eating a granola bar every morning, and while better than nothing it isn’t the best way to fuel yourself for a busy day.
Now, I have started prepping breakfast the night before so it is more of a grab and go situation. As a teacher, I definitely ate most of my breakfast in the car, because I am still always in a rush in the morning, but this way I got more variety.
The night before prep didn’t stop for breakfast though, I would also make my lunch and leave it in the fridge, lay out my clothes, and make sure my bag was by the door. Every little thing that could be done the night before I did. This meant fewer decisions and rushing in the morning.
While I still wouldn’t call myself a morning person I am a whole lot closer. Through the use of timers and giving myself something to look forward to I can get out of bed a little bit easier. Then once out of bed, I can wake up with a positive attitude by performing a minute of exercises and listing out my positive for the day while getting ready. The biggest impacts for me though have been letting natural light into my bedroom, playing a brain game on my phone immediately after my alarm goes off, and preparing everything I can the night before.
Let me know in the comments below what you do to make mornings a little easier!
For more ways to be a happier teacher check out this post.
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