I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am not a morning person. You can't expect decent conversation from me before 11am, I often spend many mornings in a zombie-like state and I'm also quite irritable. Being self-employed means it's vital that I force myself to get out of bed and get things done. I've managed to discover a few tricks that work well for me and slightly improve my mood in the early hours.
001. MAKE A PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
I always feel better first thing in the morning if I know I have things to do that day. If I don't have a set task I'll lounge about in bed and waste time that could be spent being productive. You don't need to make big important plans, but just knowing that there is a reason to get up and get ready will encourage you to wake up and feel brighter about the day ahead.
002. SET THE ALARM 30MINS EARLIER
I do this no matter what time I need to be up. Having an extra 30 minutes to lie in bed, perhaps hit the snooze button a couple of times and have time to think about your plans for the day really helps improve my mood in the morning. I can't wake up to an alarm and immediately leap out of bed. I also hate the feeling of running late so I prefer to get up slowly.
003. READ BEFORE LEAVING YOUR BED
When my alarm rings in the morning (after I've snoozed it, twice or more) I'll grab my phone or iPad and read for a little while. I tend to read my emails from my bed and check up on Twitter. But if you don't want to indulge yourself in technology so early in the morning you could read a chapter of a book or a magazine article instead. This ties in with setting your alarm earlier rule above. You'll have a bit of extra time to wake up and engage-brain. Reading something, anything, instantly makes me feel more awake. It gets the brain into gear and soon you'll feel better about throwing back the covers and emerging from your warm cave.
004. TRY LIGHT THERAPY
I blogged about my Lumie Light which is designed to wake you gently with a 'sunrise' that fills a dark bedroom with light. It's also a good way to treat SAD and so far it's working fairly well for me. You can read my full review here. It's quite expensive but if you really struggle to get up before the sun, then some false sunlight might help.
005. PLAN AN EXCITING BREAKFAST
I'll think about what to have for breakfast between my alarm snoozing. And whilst reading tweets/checking emails. If I can get excited about making something delicious I'm much happier in the morning. This doesn't work for me before 8am as the thought of food makes me nauseous. I always need a cup of tea though! My easy banana pancake recipe is a winner, this always makes morning time more enjoyable.
006. CLEANSE AND MOISTURISE
So once I'm up and about I like to cleanse my skin. I'm still using the trusty old Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and being a 'hot-cloth cleanser' it's essential you use warm to hot water so no need to splash your face with cold water to wake up! Clean fresh skin always helps to improve the morning blues.
007. WRITE A TO-DO LIST
Either make a mental list in your head or actually scribble one down on some paper. Setting out a to-do list for the day in the morning will be all the encouragement you need to get dressed and get on with the tasks you've set. You'll be eager to get on with things so you can tick them off one by one. You don't need to set huge tasks, or write a list a page long, you could have 3 simple things you want to get done that day.
I hope these '7 Tips to Improving Your Morning' were useful, let me know if you try any of them out. I'm also keen to hear about your tricks to feeling more awake in the morning and waking up as a happier person so let me know in the comments!