|An actual photo of me first thing in the morning.|
'I hate mornings. I always have. I have never been one of those people who could get out of bed for the joy of simply starting another day...'
If I had my way, my days would start around 10am, but being worker, I find my employment really gets in the way of this. Also: at weekends, my husband gets in the way because he likes to vacuum at 8:30am on a Saturday. I'm not the best at sleeping without the aid of sedatives these days but, even when this wasn't the case, I wasn't any more of a morning person than I am now.
'It's not that I'm groggy or anything; I just really, really don't want to get up...'
I've tried so many suggestions to change this over the years and some have actually stuck. This is my gentle guide to becoming a morning person...
Easy Does It
Whenever I read advice on how to make me a fabulous morning person, it usually involves springing out of bed hours before you need to be anywhere and taking it easy. I'm not wired this way. I will NOT leave my bed at 7am to skip round a field of fresh flowers to clear my head and count my blessings, or whatever. What I *will* do is get up 5 minutes earlier over the course of a few weeks because, well...it's much easier to deal with.
All that's needed here is literally 5 minutes each morning - even each week if you're really, really not good in the morning. Obviously, you have to stop getting up earlier at some point or you'll end up not going to bed at all after a few months, but it all depends on how much time you think you need to build up. I'd like to be able to sit and read the news with a cup of coffee of a morning, so I need about 20 minutes extra each day. Doing this in one swift movement won't happen, but in four relatively painless ones, I can just about manage.
I hate nothing more than opening my eyes in the morning and then immediately rolling them at the thought of everything I have to do before I leave the house. Instead of this making me get up, it has the complete opposite effect of making me want to stay in bed longer. In order to stop this, I get as much as I can prepared the night before. To be honest, if I could shower, dress and then sleep in my clothes, I would. But, I can't, so I do everything else apart from this.
I grab breakfast and lunch and stuff it in my handbag, I put out what I'm going to wear (including shoes, because they're rarely ever where I think they'll be), download whatever true crime podcast I'm going to listen to on my way to work, fill the coffee machine with water and put my pods out on the counter. This way, when I wake, I know I'm fairly organised and not rolling my eyes wondering if I really need my job.
Just so we're clear - I don't do this. I'd like to, but I don't. It does seem like such a gentle way to bring yourself round and is certainly far better than my method, which is leaping out of bed at the last minute and flying around the house. I have been meaning to try it for ages and have even gone as far as looking for gentle exercises on YouTube and downloading a podcast.
In order to get into some kind of pattern with it, I have to try it on my days off and then build up to doing it before work. At least then, I'll have an idea of what I'm doing and it shouldn't (*shouldn't*) be stressful.
Have a Day Plan
Obviously, it's impossible to plan your day out without something going awry (or is this just me?), but having a basic structure to your day can help you feel a bit more willing to get out of bed. We all know how it feels to get up when your day seems overwhelming, so having a wee plan can help to combat this and make everything feel a bit easier to deal with. Even if this is a short to do list, or just an idea of anything you need to deal with at work, feeling organised can cut your stress in half.
What I must point out at this point is NOT doing the tasks you set yourself for Monday will only make it harder to get up Tuesday. Don't overload yourself, obviously, but it's amazing the boost you can get when you tick something off your list and clear it from your frazzled brain.
Are you a morning person, or do you need as much support as I do??