Mornings are hard. Birds might be chirping, but I certainly don’t wake up with a song in my heart. This is especially true if it’s before the sun is even up.
Earlier in my life, this would stress me out. My work and personal life suffered due to a simple oddity of my character, and this continued until I decided to make a change.
Though I’m not a morning person, that didn’t mean my mornings had to be such an ordeal. Instead, I took a proactive approach, one that ultimately helped me create great mornings regardless of how I personally feel about them.
There are five key things to practice.
Though too much of something can become detrimental, the right amount of it can do wonders for your life.
When it comes to mornings, plan them out so that you make sure you are giving yourself enough time to prepare for the day without the stress of running late.
The fear of not clocking in on time is enough to ruin even the most avid lovers of the AM, much less those of us who despise it.
The first step is to figure out how much time you actually take getting ready. Write down a list of everything you do starting from the moment you get out of bed, and write down about how much time it takes to do each activity.
From brushing your teeth (3 minutes) to walking the dog (30 minutes), don’t exclude anything. Once your list is complete, add up how much time it takes. Now, add that on to the time you want to leave in the morning to determine when you should wake up to avoid stress.
For instance, if you need two hours each morning and want to leave at nine, get up at seven.
As a final note, stick to your schedule every day. Planning this out does you no good if you end up changing how much time you spend eating every day.
When you feel lost on a subject, read. Seek out those more successful than you, and study what they’ve done. Find out how they overcame similar ordeals.
While you probably can’t mimic what they did exactly, you can absolutely glean important information to apply to your own life.
In regards to mornings, did you know most successful individuals are extremely rigorous in their daily routine?
Though you won’t have their exact schedule, the fact that so many success stories use them is important to note.
Food is fuel. Eat bad food, and you start off with extremely limited energy reserves. Eat good food, and you begin your day with fresh energy that won’t make you feel 20 pounds heavier for having looked at it.
Sadly, nutrition isn’t always straightforward. Mired by fad fasting diets and misleading information designed to take money from you, it can seem impossible to try and figure out just what, exactly, your body needs to be healthy. Luckily, the answer is actually simple.
Lean protein, vegetables, some grains and some fruits are the key to a healthy diet. They are all free of added sugars and lack all of the negatives of processed foods.
If you want to feel good during a time of day you never truly feel good during, it’s important to not weigh yourself down with sugary cereals or protein bars that are no better than candy bars.
In addition, supplements can bolster nutritional effects. They should never take the place of proper food, but they can add important benefits. Fish oil and Modafinil are great ways to further feed your brain.
4. Be Aware
Take a good, long look at what you expose yourself to in the mornings. Chances are you check out some sort of news site or run into the social justice cry du jour on your preferred social media site.
Now, think about how that makes you feel. Do you feel fulfilled or enlightened? Does it make you feel angry and helpless?
When it comes to news, virtually all of us fall into the second category. Media, after all, is designed to catch your attention with article titles written to arouse emotions. Unfortunately, negative emotions are the ones they really focus in on.
This, then, leads to you beginning your day with a negative mindset regardless of how you woke up feeling. This is even more frustrating because you cannot do anything about the issues you are being bombarded with.
It leaves a nasty feeling of impotence and anger that is then spread throughout your workday.
Stop this. If you want your mornings to be better, you need to expose yourself to things that make you happy, things that put you in a positive place.
Be it reading a book or practicing an instrument, the best thing you can replace media with is study. By teaching yourself a skill or learning new facts about a topic you’re interested in, your mornings kick off with feelings of accomplishment.
Now bolstered by your own ability to succeed, this will translate to better focus at work and better interactions with your coworkers.
The importance of rest cannot be overstated. Our bodies need to recharge, and this can only happen if we give our brains and bodies enough time (about seven to eight hours) to shut down.
Without this precious resource, our emotions are thrown into disarray and our ability to perform at peak efficiency dips drastically.
On top of this, enough sleep won’t count for much if the quality is no good. Luckily, research shows us fantastic ways to get our sleep under control in a positive and healthy manner.
The sad truth is that most people don’t get a good night’s sleep, and start the day with a cup (or two) of coffee, or take nootropics like Provigil. While these may give you the necessary kick to start your day, they are short term crutches and should not be a regular part of your mornings.
Mornings don’t have to be hated, and they shouldn’t. With practice and a few life changes, you, too, can find a way to kick off your day with excitement and happiness you’ve never known before.