At this point in my life, I’ve probably slept through a good portion of my mornings—and if it weren’t for school (and my mother) forcing my younger self to get up, the number would be drastically higher. It wasn’t until recently that I started to appreciate my morning time, and to establish a routine that prepares me for the rest of the day.
Nowadays, I go to sleep around 11:30 and naturally wake up at 7—a far cry from the days when I was comatose until at least noon. I can’t imagine a time when I didn’t have those extra hours; looking back, I think of all the work I didn’t get done, the books I didn’t read, and the words I didn’t write. Becoming a morning person has been the best thing for my productivity and mental health, and it’s easier than you might think.
1. Go to bed earlier
The most important part of a good morning routine is a good night routine. You can’t expect to naturally wake up early and well-rested if you’re staying up until three on your phone or computer. If you’re serious about becoming a morning person, you need to train your body to fall asleep earlier. Eight hours of sleep each night is a good rule of thumb, and now that summer is here you don’t have to worry about any late-night studying.
2. Have breakfast
This varies from person to person. My sister absolutely cannot stomach food first thing in the morning, whereas I wake up ravenous and ready to eat. I love making overnight oats the night before because they’re easy, delicious, and require absolutely no prep time in the morning. I find that eating a filling breakfast gives me energy for the day ahead (and something to look forward to when I go to sleep).
3. Get moving
It’s hard to leave a warm bed in the morning, and sometimes I choose to stay cozy and read a book. However, getting up and moving around, whether it’s going to the gym or simply for a walk outside, makes me feel productive and less inclined to loaf the day away.
4. Be consistent
Hard as it may seem, you should really try to avoid sleeping in on the weekends. It throws off that sleep cycle you’re trying so hard to establish, and makes it harder for your body to get into a routine. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a few extra minutes (or even an hour) in, but please, try to wake up before lunch.
5. No screens for an hour
This is the real game changer, and what has truly made my mornings so enjoyable. My phone used to be the first thing I reached for after waking up—first to press snooze, then to press it one more time, and finally to scroll through Snapchat and Instagram.
Why did I choose to overwhelm myself with all of that unnecessary information immediately upon waking up? Mornings should be a time to relax and reflect before the chaos of the day sets in. I didn’t need to know where so and so went or ate last night, but scrolling had become a mindless habit.
Now, I've replaced my former screen time with things that allow me to be present and consciously enjoy the moment, whether that means reading a chapter of a book, flipping through my favorite magazine, writing, or being active.
Mornings aren't meant to be missed, so why don't you start enjoying yours?