I’ve been a morning person since before I can remember. It’s one thing I really do appreciate about myself. I’ve always been a firm believer that anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a morning person is simply doing it wrong.
So I was a little shook when I started to absolutely detest my mornings last December.
I had just started a new work rotation of Trauma and Orthopaedics and was now required to start work at 7am instead of 8am. At the same time, I had switched from my 24/7 gym to a new gym that opened at 530 am – too late for me to go and workout in the mornings. This meant for the next four months I would no longer get my morning endorphin rush and would have to change up my whole routine.
And so it began. I’d wake up at 6am each day, quickly pray, do my hair and make up, scoff down breakfast (if I had time) and run into work just in time to start. Over and over and over again. Every time my shrill Samsung alarm would go off I would pray for anything but. I started snoozing excessively because I really didn’t want to get out of bed. This meant I was effectively waking up at 6:30am which only made my mornings even more rushed and stressful.
One could argue that there was an element of seasonal depression in there. Perhaps I didn’t hate mornings so much as I was simply adjusting to a new job with new people and for some reason felt generally less enthused. Or perhaps it was the Winter theme of waking up to darkness and coming home to yet more darkness
Either way, after about 6 weeks of absolutely hating my mornings, I decided that something had to change.
I decided this because I truly believe that this is life.
Profound – I know.
What I mean by that is, I don’t believe in living ‘for the weekend’. If you spend your weekdays praying for the weekend then, forgive me, but I think you might be doing it wrong. Life is way too short to only genuinely enjoy the weekends and in this period of hating my mornings, that is what I had slowly become. Sure, I could have just settled to despise the next four months of my life, but instead I decided that was simply not good enough.
I opted to make several changes in order to help me no longer hate my mornings. They are as follows:
1. Go to Bed Earlier
Ahh the classic news that no one ever wants to hear. The truth is, waking up at 4am is easy if you go to bed at 8pm. Waking up at 7am is difficult if you go to bed at 3am. The hour you wake up isn’t half as important as the number of hours sleep that proceeded it. Due to switching my gym routine from my preferred morning slot to an evening slot, I had been accidentally going to bed later and later, getting fewer and fewer hours sleep.
Rearranging my bedtime in order to allow me to get minimum seven, preferably eight hours sleep helped immensely. Instead of waking up tired and already swimming against the tide, I was now waking up with enough energy to face the day.
2. DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE
Seriously. Just don’t look at your phone in the morning for at least an hour. This is one of the most revolutionary yet incredibly hard to stick to changes that I made. We are so ridiculously addicted to our phones. I’ll be the first to admit that I need my phone for just about everything. They are usually the first thing we see when we wake up and the last thing before we go to bed. They are a channel of information to our minds. Sometimes this information can be good and positive, other times it can be negative and troubling.
When you wake up first thing in the morning, you do so with a relatively clean slate. Your mind is like a canvas waiting for the first colourful brush stroke to land.
Ditching my phone for the first hour of the morning has enabled me to set the theme of my canvas for the day, instead of allowing someone else to. I no longer scroll through instagram to see how many likes my new post didn’t get, or check my youtube to see a new lovely or hateful comment. Instead I simply allow my mind to wake up organically without the endorphin rush of social media.
This not only helps me to feel more balanced, but as someone who chronically struggles with running late, it saves a good fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning.
3. Say Good Things Out Loud
Positive confession used to be a regular part of my day during my 5th year of uni. I had a poster of handwritten positive confessions that I’d stuck up on my wall. I would see these as soon as I woke up and speak each one out loud whether I felt like it or not. After neglecting this upon moving back to South Wales, I decided to add it back to my morning routine. I strongly recommend you try it too.
I say things like:
“Thank you Lord for the privilege and honour to be alive”
“Today is a blessed day. I am kind, I am positive, I am highly favoured.
I am diligent and successful. I am getting better and better every day”
Now, some of you may be reading this and thinking ‘… soooo Sara just went from weird to full on psychotic.’
And I see your point. However, I encourage you not to underestimate the power of your words. Words can create an environment of joy and happiness, or sadness and depression. Words can fill you with a positive outlook or they can drag you down to a depths or despair.
It’s so important to be mindful of the vibe and atmosphere we create for our lives. I decided that instead of waking up and saying “I am exhausted”, or “I don’t want to go to work today..” I started saying “I am healthy and strong and I am so grateful to be able to go to work today.” No matter how I feel when I wake up, the act of saying something positive helps me to set the tone.
Speaking out the negative aspects of your life certainly won’t make them go anywhere. But speaking out the good things that you want in your life can help create a positive outlook for you to get up and go make them a reality.
I am so happy to say that since implementing these three things, I no longer hate my mornings.
What happy morning routine helps you to get up and at it?