Not everyone is a morning person. Society drags us out of our cosy duvet dens at the crack of dawn, against our own best wishes. To no one’s surprise, some people don’t wake up feeling fresh and ready to start the day after this rude awakening—quite the opposite.
Many of us wake up feeling groggy in the morning instead. Even after a long night’s sleep, you might be disappointed to find you’re even more tired than when you have a solid 2 hours kip. Sense it does not make.
You may drink coffee to try and kickstart the day, but it just frazzles your brain like a bolt from the electric chair.
So what’s the secret?
You have to learn how to start the day positively. Naturally. Without stimulating drugs. It may not be easy at first. But as you form new habits, you’ll begin to treasure those blissful early hours with a positive morning routine.
Here’s how to wake up fresh and start the day positively…
If you want to wake up feeling fresh, you have to master:
● How you sleep
● How you rise
● What you do immediately after you open your eyes
Turn that pleasant rhyme into your morning mantra. Sing it. Meditate on it.
If you can hack these three, you’ll start to feel more awake in the morning. Want to know exactly how to master a good night’s sleep? Read on.
1. Build a consistent sleep routine
If you have an irregular sleeping pattern, it buggers up your circadian rhythm.
This internal process regulates the level of hormones responsible for restful sleep at night and alertness during the day.
You might be mistaken to think sporadic sleep isn’t a big deal. But research on daylight saving time has linked losing only one hour of sleep to eating an additional 200 calories the day after.
Imagine the potential health impact if there’s a few hours difference in your sleep schedule almost every day.
It’s easy to talk yourself into sleeping late. You’re enjoying the evening, and maybe you don’t like the thought of work in the morning. But unless you can somehow maintain a chaotic sleep cycle, you will not wake up feeling fresh in the morning.
This goes for those of you who catch up on sleep at the weekend, too. There is no easy way to recoup lost sleep.
Further research estimates that you may need four nights of sleep to recoup just one hour of sleep debt.
So yeah. Maybe sleeping all weekend is a cause for the Monday blues you could do without.
2. Prepare for quality sleep
You want a positive morning routine, but you’ll struggle to have one if you’re distracted the night before.
From moreish Netflix shows to the hypnotic HD display of your handheld master, screens positively rule our lives.
If you’re hooked on a gripping series, you just want to watch one more… Then maybe one more. But do you really have to live at the whim of desire like that?
Here’s how to prepare for a night of restful sleep:
- Stop watching movies and TV past bedtime.
- Give yourself at least two hours between eating and sleeping.
- Stop drinking caffeine in the evenings.
- Drink water and hydrating beverages instead.
- Replace your phone with a book in bed.
3. Wake up positively
To start the day positive, observe what you do immediately after waking up. Do you go straight to your phone? Do you get entangled in negative thoughts?
Take in your surroundings and relax for a minute.
If you’re not ready to get out of bed, think about the day ahead, what you’re going to eat for breakfast, and other small daily events. Don’t think about them as tasks or chores, just activities you’re going to partake in.
You could even journal, or just write down some thoughts. The key is to break any negative cycle that may occur in the morning.
Avoid social media.
Avoid social media.
Avoid social media.
Hit the shower and make your bed. Playing some positive morning music or listening to the radio can also help get you motivated for the day.
3. Take in some rays
Taking in the glorious sun might be a long shot if you live in the UK like me. But if you are blessed with the joy of sunshine in the morning, open your curtains, embrace the rays, and soak up that precious commodity known as vitamin D.
Make it a habit to open your curtains in the morning. Even if the weather is bleak and raining. Which it probably will be.
4. Meditate to start the day positive
You could probably stick “meditate” in any blog post about self-improvement these days, so I won’t nag you with it for too long.
As mentioned in the wake up positively section, you want to avoid negative thoughts or addictive patterns in the morning. That includes getting glued to your screen too. It’s easy to get sucked into all kinds of chaos when your brain isn’t adequately switched on yet.
Spending a few minutes meditating can put you back in control and give you clarity. It allows you to observe the unproductive desires you might have, which is the first step to forming more positive habits in the morning. All it takes is a few minutes of silence or guided meditation using an app like Waking Up or Headspace.
5. Eat a nutritious breakfast
What you eat in the morning has a significant impact on how your body feels for the rest of the day. But, there is mixed research on whether you should or shouldn’t skip eating in the morning. Some people seem to lose weight by fasting, but others may not.
If you find yourself stuffing your face with chocolate a few hours into the work day, it might be wise to consider eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This will give you energy and may help you lose weight. The NHS website has some excellent healthy recipes for the morning.
6. Gratitude for a better attitude
You may have heard it before. Your attitude dictates your experience of the world. Think about something or someone you’re grateful for. Spend a few minutes doing this every day.
It’s simple. If you want to wake up fresh, practice a bit of gratitude in the morning and just before bed. You could even add another five minutes of gratitude at lunch hour. No one can ever have too much time to appreciate life.
7. Stay off your phone until later
Sinking your attention into your phone after waking up? What do you need to see that can’t wait 30 minutes?
Think about it like a set of priorities. You don’t have to never go on your phone. But it might make sense to do things in a better order. A routine that makes your morning more productive might look something like this:
- Open your eyes
- Think for a couple of minutes about the day ahead
- Get up and open the curtains when you’re ready
- Take in the sun (or bleak rainy day)
- Be grateful for something
- Have a shower
- Meditate for five minutes
- THEN you may look at your phone
This will give you the opportunity to get into the right mindset before looking at anything online. After all, negative news and social media trolls may await you on the other side. Your brain can at least handle whatever comes your way better once you’re mentally prepared.
In summary, start the day well
Here’s the key information you need to wake up fresh and start the day positively:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time regularly
- Wind down and be ready for sleep at night
- Rewire your morning thought patterns
- Embrace the light from outside
- Try meditating for five minutes
- Eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast
- Practice gratitude for a couple of minutes
- Stay off your phone for a while
No one wants to feel sleep-deprived and lethargic all day. Being forgetful and tired is no fun. It takes a while to get into a new morning routine, so don’t feel bad if you don’t see results in the morning right away.
Maybe start by introducing one or two of these points. Perhaps staying off your phone in the morning is a small start. Start with whatever is most achievable for you and work from there.
After a while, these healthy habits will set in your mind and you’ll be doing them naturally, without having to try.