I have never been a morning person. Not in elementary school, not in high school, not in college, and not now. I HATE waking up. I would much rather sleep in until around 10AM before moseying my way out of bed. That being said, I work a 9-5 job, so it’s not an option. And, since I still have grad school work and other things I want to do after work, I had to force myself to wake up earlier. And, let me tell you, those people who say they wake up refreshed at 5:30AM ready to start their day are lying. It blows. So, after trying and failing close to 30 times to stick to a routine, I finally found one. I still wouldn’t consider myself a morning person, but I’m mastered the art of faking it.
1. Stop hitting snooze.
I used to be overly ambitious when I would set my alarm. I thought I could go from waking up at 8:30AM every day to waking up at 6AM. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t. I started setting my alarm just 10 minutes earlier until it became my natural waking time. This could take 3 days or a couple weeks. I continued this strategy until I was able to wake up at 6-6:30AM without an alarm.
2. Stay hydrated.
I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times but this truly helped boost my mood in the morning. I started drinking enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day and found that waking up was a little easier. I don’t know why this works, but it does.
3. Get to bed at a reasonable hour.
We’ve all found ourselves stalking our friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s friend’s Instagram late at night. You end up looking at pictures from someone’s tropical vacation in 2012 and you have no idea how you got there but you can’t look away. Stop now. Not only because you risk the awkward moment of liking one of their pictures, but because you’re wasting time. Waking up early starts the night before so put down the phone and get some sleep.
A lot of people say working out to start your makes you a morning person but that’s 100% false. If you’re not already a morning person how will you be able to just hop out of bed and head to the gym or for a run? Baby steps here, you guys. Start by stretching while you lay there. Once waking up starts to get a little easier, get out of bed and stretch, do yoga, whatever you want as long as you’re moving and getting your blood flowing. Once you’re really feeling yourself and want to take it to the next level, then you’re ready for that run or head to the gym.
5. Schedule an activity that makes you feel good.
If you plan to start your day doing something that makes you happy then you’ll be more motivated to get out of bed and do it. Whether it’s meditating, reading, walking your dog, watching a TV show, or anything at all, do it in the morning.
6. Set your alarm to a song that pumps you up for the day.
I used to use that annoying fire alarm to wake up in the morning and it instantly put me in a bad mood. Hearing that noise set my day off on the wrong foot and I would pull the covers back over my head and hit snooze. Once I set my alarm to a song that made me feel good and I could jam to, I started to let it play just to listen to it .
7. Plan the night before.
One of the major reasons I struggled waking up is because I was thinking about all the menial tasks I had to do: picking out clothes, making lunch, getting coffee, taking a shower, all those things. I started setting out clothes and making lunch, etc the night before. Having all these small things done the night before made it easy for me to go through the motions without having to think too much.
8. Eat healthy.
Easier said than done right? But, eating healthy on a regular basis keeps your body in check and on schedule. A healthy routine in general helps you stay on track and get better rest. We’ve all had nights where we drink to much and then eat the worst food we can find and it’s always a nightmare to wake up in the morning. Keep those to a minimum and your body and mind will thank you.
9. Don’t draw the curtains.
No one wants to wake up when you’re cozy and warm in dark room, especially in the winter months. Keep your curtains open over night and in the morning the light will help make your wake up a little less painless.
Don’t get discouraged if you sleep in a couple times. Keep at your routine with a goal in mind and you will get there. I’ve been there. I feel you. Waking up early is a marathon, not a sprint. Try every day and make slow changes and you will be a morning person sooner than you think.