I've woken up early and in a good mood since I can remember. My parents always used to say I was the same way since I was born, too.
Luckily, being a morning person came naturally to me — but there were times in life at which that was challenged, of course. During college and grad school, a lot of late nights inevitably led to my wanting to sleep in and stay in bed as long as physically possible. Travel and jet lag can also be huge culprits of throwing off my morning mood.
Being a morning person has been extremely beneficial in my life— waking up in a good mood has always set the pace for a good day. I feel more productive, more proactive, and really savor the time from which I wake up to when I really get started with my day.
For me, being a morning person has always been about incorporating small, beautiful moments I cherish and look forward to from day to day. Whether it's a walk to my favorite cafe or some quiet moments of solace with my favorite meditation app, I've gotten being a morning person down to a true science.
It is arguable how many days it truly takes to form a habit, but if you commit yourself for a week and a half, incorporating one new thing into your life each of the ten days, you're bound to become a morning person by the end of it. You'll love waking up with a smile on your face so much, you'll never want to go back.
Chances are, you might not stick with every single one of these habits you'll be incorporating over the next ten days, but just incorporating a few of them that really resonate with you is bound to a game changer.
Day 1: Invest in the bed of your (literal) dreams.
I used to wait till I went to the occasional luxe resort or hotel to indulge in a cozy bed till I realized I wanted to invest in having all the best things on my bed at home, too.
Buy as many fluffy pillows, cozy blankets, and mattress toppers you need to make the kind of bed you will look forward to sleeping in every night. By creating a space you really look forward to climbing in to every day, you'll be incentivized to go to bed earlier.
You'll sleep better and harder, an essential to waking up in a good mood. I winced at the amount of money I once dropped on my bedding, pillows, and a faux fur blanket, but I would do it all over again for the quality sleep I've been getting.
Day Two: Make a to-do list before bed.
Ok, it might sound counterintuitive, but don't tune out just yet. Far too many of us spend the first thirty minutes in bed with our eyes closed, thinking about all the things we need to get done.
I don't do this right before I go to bed, but in the few hours before I'm starting to wind down for the night, I'll take a look at my planner/to-do list and spend 15 minutes writing down everything I can think of that I need to do. I write everything down — even if that's a reminder to text a friend or to do my nails.
By writing it down, I'm letting those thoughts go. Having it in writing is all the reassurance I need to know that because it's on my list, I won't forget it and that it will get done so I don't stay up later than I have to making a mental to-do list.
Day Three: Schedule some time outside.
It's known that spending time outside and getting sunlight is a mood booster. Whether it's a five-minute walk to your local cafe or a full thirty-minute bike ride, there's something invigorating about getting fresh air in your lungs, sun on your face, or a workout in.
Sure, there are times when there's snow on the ground and so I'll make a quick walk around my block the only outdoor time I'm getting in. Even then, the crisp air and change of environment puts me in the best mood.
You'll undoubtedly love getting outside so much, you'll never want to stop.
Day Four: Create a morning coffee/tea ritual.
Nearly everyone has some sort of morning beverage ritual — whether that's a mocha, protein shake, or just some hot tea with lemon (my personal favorite).
Of course, I can boil water and throw a teabag in myself, but there's something so many of us love about the experience of joining the community of a local cafe and picking up a cup someone else lovingly made for you.
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Day Five: Write in a gratitude journal.
Buy yourself a cute notebook and keep it in your nightstand. Start with the goal of writing five things you're grateful for in life, and you'll find that the more you'll do this, the longer your lists will get. Once it becomes a habit, your mind immediately goes to thinking about what you feel grateful for the second you wake up.
By making this the first thing you do in the morning, you'll also notice how much happier you feel throughout the day. You'll pick up on little moments in life you might have passively enjoyed, but now will actively engage in with more mindfulness.
Day Six: Sit alone in silence for five minutes.
As someone who has been meditating nearly every morning and evening since I was about 16, I'll recommend this to nearly anyone seeking mental and spiritual growth. Do note, you'll want to specifically try mindfulness meditation to do in the morning, as other types can make you want to go right back to sleep.
If meditation isn't really your thing, grab your coffee from the local cafe you found a la PrestoShopper and sip it on your walk home or while sitting on your couch in silence — set a five to ten minute timer on your phone and truly just sit in quiet. This might feel weird at first, but you'll come to crave it and want to extend it.
Sometimes, when I have the time, I'll even wake up early to give myself a full 30 minutes or hour to meditate or just sit with my cup of tea.
Day Seven: Set boundaries with your phone.
We have all heard about how important it is to put our phones away before bedtime, and admittedly this is something I'm still working on. I set an alarm on my phone for about 9 every night to make sure I try to put my phone away at that point in time.
Oftentimes, what ends up really happening is that the alarm goes off and I spend the next fifteen minutes responding to all important text messages before I really flip my phone over on my night stand.
We've all been there, scrolling Instagram passively and all of a sudden it's two hours later and you rush yourself to sleep. The blue light rays from your phone affect the quality of your sleep, so you'll undoubtedly get lower quality sleep — a sure-fire way to wake up in a poorer mood, if you're anything like me.
Day 8: Drop caffeine in the afternoon.
This could be a really hard one for some people, but I urge you to give it a try for one day and see how you feel. Swap your afternoon black tea or coffee for a decaf latte or some soothing chamomile and while you're bound to feel tired sooner in the day than usual, getting used to that feeling will get you to bed sooner.
You may also feel like you can sleep right after having caffeine, but the fact of the matter is that caffeine does increase our heart rates, so you'll likely not be getting the best quality sleep if it's still in your system once your under your sheets.
Day 9: Set a bedtime.
Again, so much of what being a morning person is has to do with how you set yourself up with a good night's sleep.
I give myself a deadline by which I want to be in bed — I don't necessarily sleep at that time, unless I feel I want to. But, I tell myself I need to be in bed at that time. I'll either lay in bed with a book or will meditate, but no matter what, I tell myself I have to start signaling to my body that it's time to sleep.
By giving myself time to wind down rather than having to immediately shift my mindset from the chaos of life to bed time, I allow myself the opportunity to transition in to sleep.
Day Ten: Curate an invigorating morning skincare routine.
As a beauty fiend, my morning skincare routine brings a great deal of joy to my life. Try a cleanser like this Solluna one with a therapeutic citrusy scent, and spray a refreshing cucumber toner like this one from LATHER all over to get a spa-like feel at home.
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