Morning People Are Insane
(But They Had It Right All Along)
I wish I could sit here and tell you that I’m a morning person, but I can’t. If I did try to claim that, the first comment would be from my mom, calling me out as a liar. During my high school summers, on the days when I didn’t have to work, I could easily sleep past noon. When I did have to work, I prided myself on being able to make myself presentable and hop in the car in ten minutes or less.
When school started up again every fall, it was always a shock to my system. I had to be out the door by 7:00 a.m. every day, and I adjusted my bedtime accordingly. However, I still insisted on pressing SNOOZE until the last possible minute. Then, I’d roll out of bed, throw on a pre-planned outfit, and head out, still half asleep. Once I got to school, I’d buy a package of mini Hostess donuts for breakfast to eat on my way to first period. Sounds like a morning that would set a person up for success, right? Not so much!
Throughout college, and especially in my first couple years of “adulting” in a professional, 9-to-5 setting, I grew to
appreciate worship the perfect morning routine. I discovered that by resisting the temptation of the snooze button and using your morning as your “me time,” you can almost guarantee yourself a good day.
I have friends who love to start their day with a 5:00 a.m. yoga class or a 6-mile run. Props to anyone who manages to do that, and I certainly believe a good sweat sesh is a great way to kick off your day. However, it’s not realistic for everyone. If you’re easing into becoming a morning person, my routine is much less intense (and, in my opinion, just as wonderfully effective!) I’ll outline what a perfect morning looks like for me, and maybe you can get some ideas to incorporate into your own school day mornings.
Wake up when your alarm goes off.
I know how tempting it is to sleep for those extra five or ten minutes, but you’re only sabotaging yourself. This Huffington Post article explains it well. If you sporadically hit snooze every morning, your body is getting all kinds of confused. It wakes up, quickly falls back asleep, wakes up again, falls back asleep, and so on. Basically, your body has no idea what is actually going on, and that’s why you feel groggy and half-asleep when you finally drag yourself out of bed. Challenge yourself to get out of bed and start your day when your alarm goes off. Trust me, you are only hurting yourself when you press snooze!
Shower or wash your face.
Personally, I’m a morning shower person, because I wake up with legendary, untamable bedhead. If you shower at night, just wash your face in the morning. I don’t know why, but something about water on my skin tells my brain, “OK, it’s official. We are waking up now.” Add some really refreshing, clean-smelling soap, and you’ll be alert in no time.
This is a tip that I absolutely swear by, and I just feel off in the morning until I’ve had a humongous glass of water. I used to wake up with massive “hunger pangs” in the morning, but I finally figured out that these pangs were actually from thirst, not hunger. While you sleep, your body gets dehydrated. By drinking a big glass of water in the morning, you’re replenishing the hydration that your body craves. It also gets my digestive system moving, and I feel like the cold water wakes up my body. OK, maybe this sounds a bit crazy… but I will keep on chugging my morning waters and recommending others do the same!
I know you’ve probably heard this from your parents, your grandparents, your teachers, your pastor, your coach, your neighbor, the television, the Internet… you’re probably sick of hearing it. But seriously: eat breakfast! I know that I can’t concentrate when my stomach is growling, so starting my day with a good meal is a no-brainer. I eventually swapped by chocolate Hostess donuts with a quick piece of avocado toast or some oatmeal with fruit, and breakfast is always the best part of my morning. Side note: being excited for an awesome breakfast is great motivation to get out of bed in the morning!
Give yourself time to do something you enjoy.
For me, that means listening to Ed Sheeran while I do my hair, put on some makeup, and get dressed. I totally bought into the the silly idea, “Dress well to test well!" A little pampering in the morning boosts my confidence and makes me feel ready to take on the day. However, do whatever you enjoy. Watch some funny videos on YouTube, sip on some tea or coffee, meditate– whatever! I always reserve some time in the morning to do something that makes me happy, because it just puts me in such a good mood before a long day.
You don’t need to wake up three hours earlier than normal or do every single thing I do, but I promise that incorporating a few of these things into your morning routine can make a huge difference. Class isn’t always fun… but I’d much rather go fully awake, fed, and happy than groggy, hungry, and flustered!