There is something special about mornings because there is something special about waking up much earlier than everyone else and knowing you can do whatever you want with that time.
- If you go to sleep earlier, you’ll wake up earlier.
This is an obvious reality. And yet, it’s the one I struggle with most. Logistically it makes sense that if I force myself to sleep an hour or so earlier, I’ll have that much more time in the morning to relax. Try to focus on that extra time and make it something to look forward to.
It helps to keep trying to do this consistently to get on a schedule. Once 10 pm rolls around, you’ll find yourself nodding of (because you might be a grandma in disguise).
2. Set a few alarms.
I usually wake up right as my alarm goes off, but only if I’ve gotten good sleep. The real key to this whole thing is that you need good sleep. However, if it’s just difficult for you to get up, set a couple alarms so that when the first one goes off, you know you still have some precious time left. By the time your second or third alarm goes off, you’ll be a bit more ready to face the day.
3. Listen to music before bed.
Technically this happens at night, but what you do before sleeping greatly effects how you’ll wake up. I have a specific playlist that’s for calm, beautiful music. If you listen to your normal playlist that dons the Arctic Monkeys or Troye Sivan, you probably will end up more awake than asleep. Whenever I listen to music before bed, I find in the morning I’m much calmer and had a deeper sleep. I use these headphones, which cancel out a good amount of noise, and they put me in the mood to greet my REM cycle.
My playlist consists of a lot of Bon Iver and Hozier, but also The Paper Kites, The Staves, and other folky-dreamy music. I don’t listen to music every single night before bed, but I do when I’m afraid I won’t settle down and actually sleep. I have a habit of thinking I’m about to go right to sleep, and instead I eat 10 Oreos and watch Netflix. Fight that urge! Put on some lovely music and imagine you’re in a forest or something (that’s what I do).
4. Make Your Room Smell Nice.
Sometime’s hours before I get ready for bed I burn a candle that I want the whole room to smell like. After letting it burn for a few hours, I go to sleep very relaxed and wake up with a still nice-smelling room (recently, it’s smelled like Lush Berries from Yankee Candle).
5. Don’t sleep with your phone.
I used to sleep with my phone in my bed because I wanted to be distracted until sleep, and now I keep it on a table near my bed and try to leave it there until morning.
6. Inspire yourself upon waking up.
Sometimes you just need a few extra minutes after you first open your eyes to prepare yourself before starting your day. Some people go on social media and check what’s going on. I like to go onto Instagram or Tumblr and look at whatever new posts my favorite photographers have put up because I find it gives me an optimistic plan for the day.
7. Leave comfy clothes nearby.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the northeast got hit with a really bad storm the past few days, and it basically feels like winter again. Even if it’s spring or summer, sometimes early mornings can be chilly. I like to keep some of my favorite knitted clothes on a stool near my bed. It’s so easy to slip them on right after waking up so I don’t need to deal with a cold wooden floor. A sweater is also preferable, since I sleep in less clothes and need to throw things on in the morning.
I also keep my comfy bath robe hanging on the door because one of the first things I do when I wake up is go into the bathroom, which is generally freezing.
8. Plan a beautiful breakfast.
I think we’re all guilty of eating not-the-best stuff in the morning sometimes, or maybe skipping breakfast altogether. I think breakfast is the best meal of the day. It’s the first thing your body is eating after sleeping all night, so it matters! When I know I need to get up early, I try and give myself time to make a tasty breakfast because it will make the morning just slightly better and it will make me slightly less grumpy. I can usually deal pretty well with not eating for a long time, but I cannot deal with it if it’s missing breakfast. It’s insane to me.
If you haven’t noticed, I really like blueberries. I realized after editing this that I have a lot of blueberry pictures. But they taste amazing in everything, especially yogurt or oatmeal. I made maple and brown sugar oatmeal with blueberries and honey. Very simple, yet so good. Adding fruit to my breakfast tends to make me giddy with excitement.
9. Plan the things you will do with your extra time.
Once you have an extra hour or two in the morning, it’s yours to plot out, whether that’s going for an extreme nature hike or slowly drinking a very good cup of coffee.
I hope this has given you some ideas of why the mornings are a pretty underrated time of day. I wake up pretty easily, but I will say there are times when I just don’t see myself getting out of bed. And then I force myself to. And after a few minutes, I am so happy I’m awake at an early hour. Even if you only do it once a week, it can really give some beautiful perspective.
“Rise and shine. I’ve always held such
fondess for that sweet old phrase. As though
we are all little Suns. As though we are all