“Some people wake up drowsy. Some people wake up energized. I wake up dead.”
― John Marsden, Tomorrow, When the War Began
I hate, hate, hate waking up early in the morning. Everybody hates mornings, I know, but I’m not talking about 7:00 am early, I’m talking about 4:00 am early! I have to be at work by 5:15 so waking up at 4:00 gives me an hour to get ready, leave, and get to work in about 15 minutes. Me and Chardonnay work together and while that is convenient in some parts of our lives it can cause problems in the mornings. Two girls trying to get ready at the same time is rough.
The thing is, I don’t want to hate mornings anymore. I want to start starting my days off right. My first problem is waking up late. The alarm is set for 4:00 but I usually press snooze two or three times. Then I find myself rushing to find something to wear, take a shower, and get my breakfast and lunch together for the day. Then I am in a bad mood….And then I feel like a failure….And then I get sad and cry. I have been struggling with this problem for years. I am running late 4 out of 5 days a week. It seems so simple, just get up on time. It’s the fact that it should be so easy that makes me feel like I am just a failure and I am never going to be able to get my poop in a group and have easy, enjoyable mornings.
In an ideal world no one would talk before 10 am. People would just hug, because waking up is really hard.
— Zooey Deschanel
A lot of people tell me to just stop pressing snooze, to just get up, but the thing is, sometimes I press it in my sleep, and sometimes it doesn’t even wake me up. My girlfriend struggles too so it’s not like one of us can encourage the other much. We are both making the same mistakes. Eventually she will say that we are late and we’d better get up. She gets up first because she showers first. I get up less than 10 minutes later and get my clothes picked out and put into the dryer.
I try to have a cup of juice then because I had heard that sometimes, when you feel too tired in the mornings, it’s because you have low blood sugar. A coworker told me that it worked for him and since I’ve started it I have noticed a tiny improvement. I’ve also tried buying soaps that have very strong yet pleasant smells. Things like grapefruit face washes and lemongrass bar soaps have really helped. I rush through my shower, cover myself in coconut oil, brush my teeth, get dressed and try to throw some kind of breakfast together. More often than not I am late before I can get to the breakfast and I rush out of the door without one.
I want to start my day feeling refreshed and positive. I want to feel like I can tackle any task. With everything I am trying to change in my life I need to start the day off right. Starting the day with negativity and bad vibes will only make accomplishing my goals all the more difficult. I recognize that this is something I need help with so my first step is to get my girlfriend on board. We get up together and if we could motivate and push each other that would really help. I also recognize that we both need help so I took to the internet and found a couple of articles with some ideas I might try out.
I have been trying to imporove my mornings for a long, long time but the inspiration for trying some new ideas and actually writing this post came from a Thought Catalog post, 14 Morning Rituals That (Seem a Little out There but) Will Totally Change Your Life by Briana Wiest. It’s a list of just that, things that make mornings better but that you hadn’t really thought of. There were 3 that really stood out for me:
Set intentions. Setting intentions doesn’t quite mean setting up the things you intend to do that that day, it’s more like setting up the how, how do you intend approach your tasks. Intentions might be things like having less anxiety, completing important tasks first, etc., etc.
Make a list of your most basic tasks and cross them off as you do them. Basic as in “get up”, “brush your teeth”. It isn’t a list of reminders, it’s a list of accomplishments. For people like me this can mean a great deal. I am failing at these most basic tasks so this might work well for me.
Bonus: Take Epsom salt baths.There is no way I would ever have time for this in the morning but it sounds like a really nice idea. Soaking in a nice warm, soothing bath while the salt pulls all the impurities from my body and eases and relaxes my muscles. Sounds like an amazing way to start the day!
After that I decided to head on over to my go-to site for advice on any aspect of my life, Zen Habits. The site, run by Leo Babauta, is all about simplifying and improving your life, being mindful, and making good habits. Zen Habits has changed my life, stay tuned for a post or two devoted to the site and it’s creator in the near future. ANYWAY, so I searched Zen Habits and found an article titled The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early. This post seems to be geared more toward people who are trying to get up earlier to accomplish something and I am just trying to get up on time. Still though, I did find a couple of useful pieces of advice.
Get excited. Get excited the night before about something you want to do the next day, then in the morning think of that thing and it should help you get out of bed.
Meditate. I like this idea but I am not sure I have time in the morning for it. Maybe if I could squeeze in 3-5 minutes of “doing nothing, just sitting, and practicing mindful focus” it might make me feel less rushed. Starting the day with a clearer head might really help. If nothing else my mood would be greatly improved.
If I had to choose I think I would start with the list of my most basic tasks, or maybe the meditation. the list would be nice because I would have the feeling of accomplishment. I would feel like less of a failure in the morning if I could look at a list full of check marks. The meditation would be nice because I want to meditate anyway! I could couple that with the item above and set intentions while I was at it….I’m getting a head of myself. ONE habit at a time, no combining habits all at one. Tack a habit and add to it only when it has become a true habit. Done almost automatically and without difficulty.
I think I will start with the list of basic tasks. It is simple and easy and will make me feel good. I will compile the list tonight and I will work on it this week. I let you all know how it goes. Then I will work on it for the next month, and I will let you all know how that goes. Then I will tackle another habit, and another, until my mornings are running butter smooth!
Waking early is one of my favorite things in the world.
— Leo Babauta
So how do you do it? How do you wake up in the morning? Any tips and tricks you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!