I feel like being perky and “with it” in the AM is a sign of adulthood. I’m no longer a moody teenager who wants to sleep the day away. Once I’m awake, I want to be the best version of myself so I’ve learned a few habits that make me happier in the mornings:
- Get Sleep: Sigh…getting older. It means I can’t sleep as late as I used to. It would take the mother of all hangovers to keep me asleep past 8:30 or 9. That doesn’t mean I’m not tired; it just means I can’t sleep any more. I’ve also recognized I’m best after 8.5 hours of sleep (I know 8 is recommended – I guess I’m an overachiever). That means I try to go to bed by 11 on weeknights. And yes, I try to limit my super late nights on the weekend – those 3 AMers are few and far between now.
- Decompress: One thing that helps me get a good night’s sleep is getting into bed before I actually want to shut my eyes (sometimes as early as an hour before bedtime). I take this time to do a last scroll through Instagram or Pinterest. I can’t look at social media last because I’ll fall down the rabbit hole and get my mind churning when it should be in cool-down mode. Speaking of, a journal is a great way to get your mind in a good place. Take some time to bitch about the days frustrations without complaining to another person. You’ll feel much better. It’s also nice when you write down good things that have happened like “oh hey, I’ve got a good life!” – you’ll go to bed with a smile on your face. The last thing I do is always read my book. It’s the most relaxing of all pre-bed activities.
- Prep: Packing my lunch the night before has made a huge difference in my mornings. It always takes longer than you think it will so I’m never out the door on time if I pack it in the morning. This frees up time for me to relax with a cup of coffee. Don’t discount moments of calm in the morning. Having 10 minutes to sit on the couch and watch The Today Show gives me time to shake out the cobwebs and get ready to take on the day. On the weekend, my “prep” is creating a mental list of activities I want to do the next day. I’m happier when I wake up with a loose plan so I can avoid wasting the day.
- Clean: If you wake up to a dirty kitchen, you’ll be grumpy in the morning.
- Caffeinate: I’m not much of a human until I’ve had a cup of coffee. I love my French press and can easily make a single cup on weekday mornings. On weekends, I like to get a coffee from my local place across the street. It’s a nice little treat and treats always make my mornings better.
- Read Up: While I’m drinking that coffee and watching The Today Show, I like to read The Skimm. I don’t get a newspaper since I don’t have enough time to actually get through it, but this keeps me up to date on major news. That way, I leave my apartment confident that I know what’s going on in the world. Confidence is a major attribute of morning people, don’t you know. On the weekends, this means taking a few moments to read the magazines that pile up throughout the week so I can organize recipes I’ve earmarked or catch up on celeb gossip.
- Make The Bed: I can’t function if I come home to an unmade bed. It makes the whole place feel like a disaster zone. Making the bed means I get to check one item off the to-do list so I start the day feeling accomplished.