Are you a morning person? Would you like to be a morning person? Most of us know at least one of those people that just always seem to be on their game. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. They have energy. They are focused and they are fully capable of tackling whatever is thrown their way. While some people seem to be born with an endless supply of energy, there are some things we can do to actually cause morning person-ness. Most of these habits can also be crossed over to other times of day (like the dreaded afternoon slump) but mornings are the biggest challenge I hear people talk about, so we will refer to that.
Now the obvious starting point is to get a great night’s sleep. This is crucial for long-term energy. I strongly recommend making a habit of getting quality sleep nightly. We will talk more in the future about how much sleep you really need and methods for causing the perfect night sleep consistently. However, If you must go through a time where your sleep is decreased, you can still wake happy and energized utilizing these habits. Just don’t let that become an indefinite habit. Combine a good night’s sleep with the following habits and you will be up bright eyed and bushy tailed in no time! 😉
Do something active first thing upon waking.
Now, I am not saying you have to jump out of bed directly into a workout first thing (though I do that sometimes and it is awesome!
It can really be anything movement oriented…a couple pushups or singing and dancing briefly.
Get sunlight first thing in the morning.
Our bodies have an internal clock called our circadian rhythm which guides our physiological processes based on a 24 hour period. It dictates your sleep/wake cycle and works best when we sleep while it is dark out and are awake and active when it is light. Sounds obvious, right?
Well the tricky part is our circadian rhythm can be thrown off when we spend too much time in front of lights or illuminated screens (TV, computer, cell phone) when it is dark outside…and consequently in a dark room when it is light out (like when you regularly sleep until the late morning). Getting sunlight in the morning helps to regulate and normalize your circadian rhythm and tells your body it is time to be awake and active.
Get a light box.
A light box is a tool that is used to mimic direct exposure to sunlight without UV rays or the chance of burning. They are often used by people who live in regions that don’t receive much sunlight, especially in the winter time.
Now I have not personally tried this yet (mainly because I have lived for the last few years in AZ and CA and haven’t lacked time in the sun) so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. I have however, heard great things. HERE is an interesting, short article from Dr. Joseph Mercola on light boxes (his comments are the bottom portion).
Take a morning walk.
Ah, the morning walk…it’s free, always accessible, can be done by yourself or with a friend, and is one of my all-time favorite morning activities. There is something extremely soothing about taking a stroll in the morning with no real agenda except to think and enjoy life before all your other tasks begin. Sometimes I will even put my breakfast into my giant bowl (more of a trough really) and take a quick walk around the neighborhood while eating before I start working.
Dedicate time for bliss.
Make sure you get up early enough to take at least a few moments specifically to enjoy yourself. It might be allocating time to have a conversation with a loved one or to hug on them for a while. Or, maybe reading a chapter of your current favorite book would put a smile on your face. Something that is just for you. This can be challenging with busy schedules. However getting up 5-10 minutes early and being happy and peaceful is a far better choice then sleeping the extra couple minutes and being stressed and anxious.
And one last thought, I highly recommend getting up at least an hour before you have to be in front of any computer screen. The computer can be a major creativity-zapper. So give yourself a nice buffer before starting on your to do list. Also, remember that it takes time to create a habit. You may not be a morning person over night (pun intended). I recommend setting a small goal…maybe 7-30 days. Try to get up around the same time every day, even on weekends. Make morning an enjoyable process and soon you will be waking up rested, rejuvenated and stoked for the day.
Let me know if you have any other methods for your perfect morning. I would love to hear.
Waking everyday expectantly,