Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Diary of a Morning Person

Did you a double take when you read that title? I sort of did writing it. But it's true. After 25.5 years of resisting the early hours of the day, I can honestly proclaim that I am well on my way to true morning enjoyment.

Growing up, I was the little girl who had to be told three times to start getting ready as she stared at Full House groggily over eating her cereal. In high school, my teachers would stand outside homeroom door and watch as I flew down the hall while the tardy bell rang. In college, I quickly learned classes were absolutely not to be made before 9 a.m.—and that was even a little too early for complete comfort. So after entering the working world (ie: time management), I struggled with wanting to sleep up until the last minute possible while also wanting to rise early to utilize some extra hours in the day. Which, so it seemed, was impossible.

But then, last weekend, while on my bachelorette weekend in Nashville, I noticed I was rising naturally pretty early, refreshed and ready to go (and let me tell you, those nights were long). This was confirmed when —big moment here, people—I woke up this Saturday, naturally, at 7:30 a.m. and was out the door for coffee at 7:45.
If you know me, this is huge.

Let the record state that I adore sleeping in. But along the way, there have been some helpful tips and tricks I've found to get me moving. So, for all you other bedheads out there looking to start your morning earlier for whatever reason, maybe a compilation of a few of these will help:

  • Set a new alarm—and no, not just a new time. I read about Morning Worm here, and immediately downloaded it. This iPhone app has you set an alarm, a song, and a trigger. So, when your alarm goes off in the morning and you snooze it, the song starts to play—and keeps playing until you complete a super simple puzzle, or shake your phone 30 times (whichever you choose). But trust me on this—at the end, you are wide awake. Set your alarm in ten minute increments as you work towards waking earlier so it doesn't shock your system too badly.
  • Gulp a glass of water. Every night, I keep a bottle of water next to my bed. I found that drinking this water as soon as I wake up in the morning actually puts my feet on the floor.
  • Make your bed. This sounds super simple, and maybe a little crazy but I'm convinced it's psychological. I make my bed every. single. day. And when I make my bed as soon as I hit the floor, it not only engages me in a thinking activity to stimulate my brain, but makes it much less appealing to crawl into the cozy, unmade bed you just came from.
  • Wash your face. I'm pretty religious in my skincare routine and a before bed and in the morning face wash is a necessity before I apply any product to my skin. However, I noticed that if I washed my face first thing in the morning, as opposed to when I worked around to getting in the shower, the cold water woke up my eyes and charged me.
  • Stretch. I don't mean a full-out pre-run stretch session. Now, maybe you yogis can throw in a few of your favorite poses here, but after washing my face, I typically take five seconds to stand up, fold over, and touch the floor or hug my knees. Then, I stretch my arms out to the side, over my head, and behind my back. For you morning exercisers (which is not me, unfortunately), your fitness routine probably does the same thing here—it gets your muscles buzzing and creates a little extra oomph to keep you from getting back in that bed. 
  • Look forward to one thing in your morning routine. No one really loves to wake up early (and if you do, congratulations). But if you're waking for one rewarding activity, then it makes it a little easier to complete the above process. And nurture that activity. If your favorite thing is your morning cup of coffee, treat yourself to your favorite creamer or a pretty new mug while you're training yourself to wake up earlier. If you're waking up earlier for your quiet time, invest in a new journal that makes you happy. Maybe you're waking up earlier for a new fitness routine—that you just haven't grown to looooove yet—invest in some new workout clothes that make getting dressed feel like you could kick some serious bootay. Whatever it may be, remind yourself why it makes you happy and invest a little extra oomph in that activity.
Whew, I'm realizing now how slightly pathetic it may seem that I have to do these things in order to roll out of bed before 7 a.m., but it works. And if it doesn't, you can always follow these makeup tips here for simply appearing as if you are a morning person.
(Photo creds via my Pinterest page)


Sarah DeClerk said...

I'm going to have to try these tips out.. I've been trying to work out in the mornings and even though I am COMPLETELY awake, I still sometimes talk myself out of it because getting out of bed is oh so hard!

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