Forgive me, for I am about to be on my Tony Robbins nonsense.
September is often viewed as a month of change and fresh starts. A time to change habits, to try something new, maybe even give ourselves a challenge. Something that could potentially impact your life.
Read any keys to success or self-help article, and it’s almost guaranteed that waking up early is going to be listed there. Waking up earlier was always something I thought was nice in theory. “Maybe one day I’ll be an early riser,” I would think as I would to slumber until the afternoon on weekends (also nothing wrong with that and I still do that). I am a girl who loves to lay and snooze, and that will never change.
When my new commute and my inner-self called for an earlier rising time, I began my journey of literally greeting the day. I also knew that I wanted and needed to make some sort of change to my routine/life, because I wasn’t feeling my best.
Books like The 5AM Club and The Miracle Morning tote the benefits of waking up early. I’ve listened to the podcasts, I watched videos of 5:00am aesthetically pleasing morning routines – I went into this prepared. And thus the journey began.
I’ve been waking up between 5:30am-5:45am most days now. I have my new routine down to an exact science. I love the quiet. I love watching the sunlight trickle into my home. I love that I’m not rushing out the door.
I’m still working on some areas though. I wish I was more of a morning journal-er or reader, but I’m not fully there yet. And I still find myself scrolling on my phone.
But yes, I regret to inform you – waking up early has been great. And here’s how I learned to enjoy it.
Nothing in this post is revolutionary. You’ll most likely think, “Tell us something we don’t know lady!’. But there’s a reason why so many of these tips are tried and true.
Here are some of the things that have worked for me and made a difference in my mornings:
Just do it
This is the hardest part. Do not pass go. Do not hit snooze. Do not contemplate all of your life choices as you debate getting out of bed or not. Rip off the band-air – or in this case the covers – and get out of bed.
This is the first thing I do, and I really do notice a difference doing this. Nothing hits quite like a crisp, cold glass of water in the morning, especially when your mouth is dry from being agape the whole night (couldn’t be me).
As I mentioned above, I am not at the “15-minutes of journaling” stage of early morning routines yet. But there are some mornings where I make sure to do it. And on those mornings, my mind feels more focused and centered, and emotionally I feel more grounded. If I can squeeze in a few kind words to myself, several extra deep breaths and a few serene moments, I’ll take it. Here are some tips to help you get started with morning intention setting.
An earlier snooze
It goes without saying that going to bed earlier helps with waking up earlier – a 9:40PM bedtime is not unusual for me now. I’m luckily a pretty good sleeper these days, and can fall asleep and stay asleep without melatonin, which I used to heavily rely on to make it through the night. This also means I’m more intentional with my time, both at night and in the morning.
Having a skincare routine to look forward to
I think this excites me for a much larger reason – it’s a chance for me to take care of myself and show love to myself. I have an extra five minutes to use my NuFace, more time to let serums sink into my skin, and more time to maybe even do a mask. I even spend more time on my hair, which has grown significantly since our last check in.
Tending to my externals then caused me to focus more on my internals, especially my gut. Having your digestion in check makes such a difference in your morning – figure out which foods, supplements and probiotics work best for you.
Cleaning the night before
Is there anything BETTER than waking up to a clean, cleansed, sanitized, tidy home? Knowing you don’t have to put anything away, there’s no mess that you’re waking up to is simply bliss. With no clutter or mess, I feel less frazzled about the day before me. And if I’m feeling extra ~crazy~, I’ll light a candle.
A morning stroll
I love my morning stroll. This might be the morning moment I cherish the most.
Going from a half-hour walking commute to a 45-minute driving commute meant that the 10+ miles I would get in every week would be diminished. So now on days I work from home, I often squeeze in a mile or two in the morning. I get my vitamin D and my body moving. I also have time to secure an extra treat – iced coffee, oat milk and lavender.
Watching the morning news
Starting the day off with the doom and gloom news might not seem like the most enjoyable way to begin your day. But if you live in Philly like me, then you’ll have the pleasure of having access to Fox 29, Good Day Philadelphia and Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley. I. Love. This. Show. I watched this moment live and cackled. I know I have time to sit with my coffee and ease into the day. For you, this could be your local station, your favorite podcast – any form of entertainment that brings your joy.
My biggest tip: Make your mornings something to look forward to.
Give yourself something in the morning to look forward to. Maybe it’s Wednesday and you’re a Las Culturistas fan (such as myself), and you know there will be a new episode to greet you. Perhaps you have a new coffee creamer flavor to try. Maybe it’s a new breakfast recipe that’s been up on your browser. Whatever it is, make it work for you. It’s like a reward.
There ya have it! This process has been about finding the joy and pleasure in the minutia and moving more slowly – I’m starting to get it now. I’m already looking forward to my early fall mornings, with my coffee and pumpkin creamer, windows open.
This routine has allowed me to examine other areas of my life that I hadn’t before, or was maybe just afraid to. I can also see how waking up early seeps into other areas of your life. Waking up early carried into my weekend mornings, as I’ll wake up around 7:00am to start my day and get some steps in. I’ve just set my alarm so I can get in one of my final boardwalk walks of the summer.
I definitely have my mornings where I don’t want to wake up and want to remain in my little cocoon of comfort. But knowing how good I feel when I do wake up early is what keeps me motivated.
I think one of the things that makes waking up so impactful is that I know I can do it. I’m capable of doing it – it’s something I never really expected myself to do, but now I know that I have the discipline to do it. So what else in my life am I capable of?
As always, thank you for reading. 💗 LOVE U.
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