Not everyone is a morning person. Even if you do consider yourself a morning person, there are certainly days when you’d rather stay in bed when you really need to get going. If you’re a night owl, it can be even harder to get your day started.
It’s not feasible for everyone, of course, but there are jobs that offer a perfect schedule for night owls who simply can’t do days.
Morning Motivation Tips to Get Your Day Off to the Right Start
For those who have to get up in the morning to go work, get the kids off to school, or to do whatever else is on the agenda, there are other options. It’s not always necessary to look forward to your mornings, but you can at least get your day off to a better start.
Making a few adjustments can make your mornings far less unpleasant, and for some people, a couple of key changes can make mornings their favorite part of the day.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Is it really hard for you to wake up and get out of bed? If you find mornings unpleasant, the main reason may be that you are not getting enough sleep to start with. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need between 7 - 9 hours of sleep every night. If you are especially behind on sleep, you might need to adjust the times you wake up and go to bed to get more sleep.
There are different ways you can try to get more sleep:
- Try waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) to help stabilize your circadian rhythm.
- Get sunlight on your skin and eyes (avoid looking directly at the sun, of course!) in the morning, which helps your body create the right hormones at the right time for wakefulness and sleep.
- Make it a point to slow down your evenings much earlier, including finishing your evening meal at least four hours before bedtime.
- Take away screens (the blue light from your TV and phone impair your ability to get sleep) at least 30 minutes from when you want to go to bed.
- If you have trouble falling asleep, consider using sleep aid supplements, such as melatonin.
- Avoid strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime, as this can disrupt sleep hormone production.
- Many people also find white noise from a phone app or a fan soothing and relaxing as they try to fall asleep.
- Also check out phone apps designed specifically to help with insomnia.
2. Create Routines
It is not just your morning routine that matters when helping yourself to wake up in the morning. What you do in the evenings before retiring to bed is just as important.
For example, if you make it a routine to pick up clutter and clean the mess around your house before going to bed, you will wake up to a clean living space. This does wonders for helping you to feel refreshed and empowered in the morning.
If you have time, try reading for a while before you go to sleep. It will help your brain disengage from your day.
In the morning, if you enjoy easing into your day with a good book and a hot beverage, make it a routine. Create a breakfast nook and keep a good book on the table waiting for you each morning.
3. Open the Blinds
Humans have circadian rhythms: in fact, most of us call our natural response to light and dark our internal "body clock." So, the sooner you can open your blinds or curtains around the house, the better your body will feel in the morning.
Depending on your housing and climate, you might consider spending a little time outside. Put some plants outside your door and plan to water them each morning. Enjoy your coffee outside. Adopting these activities as morning rituals can focus your energy and motivate you to get moving.
4. Listen to Music
If you set an alarm for yourself, there is rarely a sound available that feels enjoyable to wake to in the morning. Once you are up, put on some pleasant music that you enjoy.
5. Engage Your Senses
Do you enjoy good smells? Buy some fragrant candles or use essential oils around the house. Engaging your sense of smell will energize you in the morning.
If you enjoy hot showers, plan to take one most mornings, even if only to enjoy the feeling of warm water on your skin. You might try finishing with a cold shower to enliven you and boost your metabolism.
If you’re a foodie, plan your breakfasts ahead of time and cook yourself a nice meal. Fix yourself your favorite flavor of coffee or tea.
The more senses that you can engage in a positive way, the better you will feel about your mornings.
For many, the idea of morning exercise is an unhappy prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Doing yoga or brisk walks can be enough to get your metabolism going properly.
If you enjoy exercise, consider taking morning jogs, or getting up a little earlier to hit the gym. You might feel sore and tired at first, but if you keep at it, you will gradually feel more rested after your sleep and more excited to begin your day.
7. Plan Your Day
Slowing down, taking a breath, and remembering what is most meaningful to you can help keep you centered and awake to what the day ahead may bring. Set aside 15 minutes to plan out your day with a notebook.
Some people like to use paper calendars while others prefer to use "To do" lists. If you prefer using digital tools over pen and paper, there is an app for almost any kind of day planning that you can imagine. Regardless of how you do it, taking stock of what you need to accomplish in the day will help you to remain proactive and less reactive to the day’s surprises.
It's much easier to have a productive day when you’re organized and have planned what you need to accomplish.
When You Need More Help
Difficult mornings can be a symptom of something deeper. It’s possible that not every painful part of your morning can be solved by one of the solutions above. If you find mornings especially challenging, talk to your doctor about some tests to identify whether you are suffering from a treatable condition. Treatment could dramatically improve how you feel in the morning.
Talk to your doctor about medication to help you sleep. Talk to your doctor if you find that you are unable to fall asleep or sleep soundly at night. There are a number of non-addictive sleep prescription medications that your doctor might feel are a good fit for your situation.