8 ways to make mornings suck less and not hate the world

I am a total morning person….

when I’m allowed to sleep in, drink a couple cups of hot coffee uninterrupted while I scavenge endlessly through tips and how-tos on Pinterest, and make myself a nutritious smoothie bowl or make some vegan sausage gravy and biscuits sometime around 1 pm.

Sausage gravy and biscuits

But when I have to wake up, go to work, and function in similar fashion to other 300 million people in America by being adults, I’m not a happy camper.

I have a nasty habit of waking up last minute with only 2o minutes to brush my teeth, put on makeup, get dressed, feed our kitty, and gather up my lunch and belongings before heading out the door.

If you’re thinking, “How does she do all that in 20 minutes??”

Good question, I’d like to know too.  Because it rarely all happens in 20 minutes or less.  I give myself 20 minutes, but I’m always running behind and then, am late for work.

I would love to wake up early enough to have about an hour or two to relax and center myself before a long and hectic work day.  I am in awe of those who do just this.

However, since I have a long commute (1.10 hours each way to work) and I have to be in my office by 8 am and sometimes earlier, that would mean getting up at about 5 am to wake up, rest, relax, take my time getting ready, and out the door by 6:50 am…

No.  Just no.

My mom used to wake up at 4:30 am every morning to wake my brother and I up for school since we had to be on the bus by 5:45 am each morning.  She needed time to wake up and gather herself to prevent any more stress that the rest of her day would in deed have in store.

I always admired her and thought her crazy for waking up hours before the sun would begin to rise.

So how in the world have I made myself into an “almost morning person?”

Here are my tips and tricks to making your mornings suck a little bit less, and actually enjoy the wee hours of the day.  Enjoy 🙂

How to make mornings suck less:

  1. Plan out your food the day before
    • When I have to scramble about in the morning to get my lunches, snacks, and drinks ready for the day, I can get pretty grumpy, which often leads me to forgetting something and then I have to purchase these items later on.  Not good.  I eat rather simply and repetitively each day during the week, and I don’t mind eating the same thing every single day.  I’ll pack things like baby carrots, sliced apples, rice crackers, Clif Bars, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, almonds, a can of tuna, and homemade granola bars.  When I quickly slice, package, and toss in my lunch bag these items, I can grab it on my way out the door and it saves an easy 15 minutes of prep time.
  2. Figure out what you’re wearing
    • If you have a work or school uniform, you can skip this as long as it’s clean and ready for you to wear in the morning.  I work in an office when I’m not teaching at schools and wear office attire in addition to sportswear when I do teach.  So I will lay out my clothes, or even have a visual in my mind of what I’ll be wearing in the morning so I can grab it, change, and go on about my morning.
  3. Slow down, and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or hot beverage
    • I usually grab a cup of coffee on my way to work or will bring it with me, but I have found that when I make myself sit down and savor a cup of hot coffee, I can melt into it and think solely on my independent thoughts and not on the stress of the upcoming day.  Set aside enough time to do this, and enjoy the quiet side of the day that’s kept especially for you.
  4. Pop in your earbuds or turn on the stereo for some settling music
    • Music always guides me into the perfect mood I desire; whether I need some upbeat beats, easy listening, slow tunes, or a lively melody while I cook dinner, music helps.  If you need something upbeat to get you in gear or something relaxing so you’re not stressed, play whatever you need to make your morning be as enjoyable as possible.
  5. Take your time
    • I can’t stress this enough.  When you’re in a rush, your whole day is practically rushed, leaving you feeling stressed and fighting off anxiety.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to do the things you need but still give yourself some extra time to walk down the stairs as opposed to running down the stairs.
  6. Get to bed on time, and set a Sleep Cycle alarm
    • You know your body, and I know mine.  I know that if I get any less than 8 hours of sleep I’m not easy to be around.  While some may only need 6 hours to be functional and others 10 hours to have the energy for the day, it’s something you must know about yourself to be productive and a functional human being.  Count back the hours you need for adequate rest and set your alarm.
    • I use the app Sleep Cycle which is designed to gently wake you based on your sleep cycle of the night.  It analyzes your waves of sleep through the microphone on your phone and based on 30 minutes prior and up to your set alarm time, it’ll sound when you’re in the lightest wave of sleep.  It prevents pulling you out of a deep sleep that no doubt disturbs you greatly and makes you want to throw your alarm across the room.  It’s customizable, and you can change the amount of time it uses to sound the alarm and you can choose a relaxing melody that eases into your ears gently and peacefully.  I highly recommend you try this app!
  7. Set your sights on a goal and center your focus on this
    • If you just dread waking up each morning, you hate your job, you hate the way life works, I know-I understand.  Life can seem pretty unfair at times especially when you have to do things you don’t particularly want to do.  I get it.  But I want you to know that this is NOT the rest of your life.  Set a goal you’d like to achieve that will motivate and inspire you-allowing you to focus on something good rather than your current situation.  If that goal is to live an entirely different lifestyle, get a higher paying job, go back to school, or quit your job to travel for a year…set your goal, plan your route, and focus on that.  In the morning when you’d rather bathe 35 cats than go to work, school, or other obligation, write down in a journal, make a private video of yourself, or sit calmly and think to yourself of your goals, your vision, and the path that will take you there.  Be mindful in that if you want to make a change, only you have that power.  Start now.  Be pumped up and allow yourself to live this dream-even if for 5 minutes each morning.  It’s a heck of a lot better than not getting to dream a small piece of what could be your reality at all.
  8. Make plans for after the day is over
    • Go to dinner with a friend, have drinks with your significant other, volunteer, plan to make a fun recipe, go to the gym and do an activity you really enjoy, or go take pictures-do anything you absolutely enjoy and love to do that will motivate you to get through the day!  Visualize this in the morning when you’d love nothing more than to stay snuggled up in your lusciously warm blankets in bet.  Know that the whole day isn’t horrible, and that you’ll soon get to do something for you and for your soul.

These tips have helped me become more of a morning person that I need to become, considering that I am a part of the modern day world where I work a 9-5 weekly.  I am not saying that you’ll become the most wonderful, the most chatty, the most optimistic person who is able to solve world hunger each and every day, but it definitely helps make the day suck a little less when you know it’s something you have to do.

I wish we didn’t have to force ourselves to get used to these things, because I believe that we were designed to live functionally as human beings in that we are able to listen closely to what our bodies and mind needs.  Unfortunately, however, our modern day world has set up imaginary schedules that we must abide by in order to survive.

Although the way we live nowadays doesn’t exactly resonate with how I’d like, the fact of the matter remains that this is the situation I am in right now, right this very moment.  I wish to escape it and live on my own time and work for myself, but in the mean time, I’m going to do everything I can to not be so bitter about life.

So how about you?  Are you a morning person, or do you struggle with keeping your eyes open long enough to brush your teeth?  Let me know!  Let’s get a discussion going and let me know what else helps you in the dark and early hours of the day.

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