How To Be A Morning Person When You're A Night Owl, Hatched And Raised

How To Be A Morning Person When You're A Night Owl, Hatched And Raised

So, you want to be a morning person?

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Getting up early is one of the habits I'm most grateful for having. As a morning person, I feel much more productive during the day and it allows me to stick to my schedule. I will admit, at one point, I was a night owl. I worked night shifts at a restaurant, I took classes later in the day. It was a struggle the first couple weeks of a new semester when all my classes were at 7:30 or 9 o'clock. With a few helpful tips, I was able to completely change my sleeping habits.

1. Find a reason to get up.

This reason could be anything from work, the gym, school, or making plans with a friend. To me, this is the most important step.

2. Focus on being productive in the morning.

I try to be as productive as possible in the mornings. Completing small tasks like laundry and homework makes it easier to get up and motivates you the next day to feel just as accomplished.

3. Avoid caffeine late at night.

In order to get to bed early, taking out caffeine mid-way through the day is a necessity. This may seem like a given, but there were days I would drink coffee around dinner time and would be up until 3 a.m. Least to say, it was much harder getting up for work the next day!

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl Who's Up At 6 A.M. And Honestly, I Love It

4. Exercise.

Exercise is important for your health regardless. In order to sleep a little earlier, getting in a good work out a few hours before bed gets rid of any extra energy you may have.

5. Let natural light in.

Open up your curtains, or get rid of those blackout curtains. Letting in the sun makes getting up and moving easier and faster.

6. Get rid of late night distractions.

Put your phone down. Make sure you're getting your assignments done early. Don't hang out with those friends who you know are going to be up until three in the morning. It's easier to fall asleep when you have a clear mind and you're not being kept awake by a bright screen.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Never Underestimate The Power Of A Planner

Planners may allow you to make more intentional choices.

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When preparing for an upcoming quarter or school year, one of my annual essentials to purchase is a planner. Naturally, I buy a decorative calendar or notebook with the best intentions of documenting my entire schedule inside of it with the hopes of avoiding forgetfulness. I tell myself that I will record each assignment, appointment, and personal event so I may easily keep track of my rather busy schedule.

Yet, as each month rolls around, I notice my planner accumulating more and more dust as it sits unopened on my desk. As one of my goals in this new year is to maintain better organizational skills, I did a bit of research regarding the benefits of using and updating planners, and I happened to be somewhat surprised with the results I found.

Aside from the common knowledge that using a planner tends to keep a person more organized and on track toward accomplishing what is required of them, what I did not realize was that it can also help you to make more intentional choices. If you include all of your daily tasks in the records of your schedule (yes, this includes the little things), you may find that you do not like what you are seeing. As you begin to see patterns of the number of hours you spend online watching Netflix or going out with friends, you will gain greater visibility of the ways in which you can better manage your time.

For example, you may attempt to shorten the amount of time you engage in these activities within your schedule. On the other hand, you might simply want to substitute that extra hour of napping for an extra hour at the gym. By addressing the realizations of your schedule firsthand, the choices you make to change your habits may save you extra money and can potentially allow you to be more productive in your personal life.

It has also been noted that documenting your daily routine in a planner can have a vast impact on your diet and physical fitness. For instance, if you keep a record of what you eat or of your daily caloric intake, it is ostensibly comparable from day to day. If you feel as though you won't feel satisfied with yourself after writing down what you consumed in a day, it may serve as a mental reminder to work towards eating healthy foods that will make you feel fulfilled. Interestingly, the same goes for keeping a workout schedule in your planner. Though the sweat and tears tend to feel like less than perfection when you are at the gym, glancing through your records post-workout will provide you with a sense of achievement in the sense that you spent your time meaningfully and purposefully.

In essence, the idea of keeping a daily planner is a physical manifestation of a mental reward system. The more you tend to like what you see as you are writing it down, the more you will take action in order to maintain your feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

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