Good morning, sunshine! Your morning will set the tone for the rest of your day. Many people are not morning people. Or, we are but only when we have control of the morning and full day thereafter. Most of us have a 9-5 job (or 8-6 if you are super lucky, like me), things to take care of in the morning, maybe some kids thrown in the mix and/or our health to focus on before we run out the door. You may not be able to control the fact that you have to go to work and work on someone else's clock (yet) but you can control how you start the day. This is essentially how you can set the tone for a positive day ahead and take care of yourself in the process. They may seem simple but remember, consistency is key. Here are 5 life hacks that I do everyday for a great morning:
1. Go to bed early.
We are not kids anymore. Staying up early isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you can get to bed earlier, do it. If you are having problems doing so, work on it. It may take time but give yourself a break! Creating new habits is a step by step process. I go to bed at 9/9:30 PM every night. I get my clothes ready for the next day, I take care of any necessary errands and I cook a meal I've decided on the day before or order in, depending on the day. Make good habits and get to bed early!
2. Get up early.
Yes, I know. It's easy to hit the snooze button or sleep right up until you have to get up. Getting up earlier allows your body and mind to wake up naturally, gives you time to shake off the morning anger and prepares you mentally for making better decisions. Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. Pick out your outfit of the day the night before, too. One less thing to worry about. I usually go to the gym at 5 AM which is honestly one of the best ways to start the morning. It gets you active and pumped first thing in the morning so that you are ready to tackle the day. It truly will change your mindset for the better, too.
3. Read positive affirmations.
A lot of us have been told this helps with mental health but not many have tried it or if you have, kept it up consistently. It works. I read Ryan Holiday's The Daily Stoic every morning. Its easy because it provides short, meditations and wisdom from a handful of stoic philosophers for your daily reading pleasure. They even include 366 days of messages in case you are reading it on a leap year.
4. Put on feel good music.
In my apartment, we usually have reggae, hits from the 60s/80s/90s or just classical music playing as we get ready for the day. It allows you to unwind -- yes unwinding in the morning is a thing and a favor you should do for yourself. Plus, life is better to a soundtrack.
5. Talk to someone you love.
I live with my boyfriend and it truly makes my day when we can talk and laugh before we head our separate ways to work. It just puts me in a great mood. If you do not live with a loved one, call them! A friend, brother, sister, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, aunt, dog. Call them and talk to them for at least 5 minutes. It's better than texting and it will calm your mind, boost your mood and reassure you that you are not alone throughout the day. Aside from this call, try and limit your screen time in the morning.
Have more keys to unlocking a great morning that I could add to the list? Let me know how you prepare for your day ahead!