Nowadays, I am a morning person. I typically wake up refreshed, in a good mood and I don't crave caffeine in order for me to get from my bed to the door.
It hasn't always been like this. Although I was never someone who would sleep in until lunchtime if given the chance, my mornings would always be somewhat rushed. I found myself waking feeling tired, dreading the day and multitasking between breakfast and getting myself ready.
I knew I wanted a different start to my day - one that would bring me joy, energy and peace. And I knew that things would continue to stay the same unless I made the commitment to do something about it.
1 year later, rising early is now something that I welcome into my morning routine. It has been one of the best things I have done for myself as it has made a huge impact on all aspects of my life.
I find that when I get out of bed earlier, I have more time in the mornings to become aware of the stillness, appreciate the sunrise and do things slowly with intention.
For my mornings, I use this time to really look after myself; whether it be catching up on reading, preparing a nourishing breakfast, doing yoga, or simply enjoying the quiet as the day begins. I use this time to do something that brings me joy. With this comes a sense of calm and flow that stays with me throughout the day; even during the most hectic and stressful moments.
Becoming a "morning person" takes time, dedication and patience but here are some tips that made the process much easier for me. Here are some of the things that has really helped me wake up earlier.
Drink water at night
Drinking a glass is enough to keep you from feeling dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Also, keep some water on your bedside table should you feel thirsty during the night too.
Let the air in
This would apply if the nights are not too cold. Leaving a small gap for air to breeze in through the window brings fresh oxygen into the room, which will make getting out of bed easier.
Look forward to tomorrow
Having something positive that you can focus on will mean that hitting snooze becomes less of a priority as you will have other options on how to spend your time. This could be as simple as looking forward to making a beautiful breakfast, watching a TED talk, going for a walk, dancing to your favourite music or catching up on blogs. Set the intention to bring joy and fun into your morning.
Do boring tasks or chores the night before
Things like picking out clothes for tomorrow, or getting your lunch ready could be things that you can do the night before. It will free up your time so that you can spend it on doing the things you love.
Gradually set your alarm back
This one worked wonders for me! Set your own pace and put your alarm back 5 minutes every morning, every few days or every wee - whatever works best for you. In this process, you are also adjusting your body clock naturally. Also, aim to be in bed 5 minutes earlier each night so that you don't cut into on your sleeping time.
Accept where you are at
Sometimes you will crave more sleep and that is ok - you need to honour what feels right for you. For some, mornings will always be hectic so waking 20 minutes earlier may be the thing that works the best. It's not a competition to see who can begin their day earliest, it's about making time to honour yourself.
Getting up early isn't something we need to be perfect at. However, it does take commitment to put this little lifestyle change in place. There is a difference between allowing yourself to sleep because you need it, versus letting go of the intention altogether.
So, act on what brings you joy, what invigorates you and what has you seeing the day in a glowing light!