Words by Kylie McDaneld
March 26th, 2019
This idea has become the mantra we have just got too used to saying, and our universal obsession with coffee has done next to nothing to help people actually enjoy their mornings. I’ve worked in many coffee shops over the year and I was always taken aback by just how grumpy people were as they sauntered in, ordered their caffeine fix, and went about their daily routine without even a hint of a smile or gesture of courtesy to the server. It’s as if people have come to accept that mornings will never be for them. I used to be one of those people, I thought I hated mornings until I realised I was just doing them wrong and approaching them in the wrong manner. Now, I look forward to the serenity they can offer, once I had that moment of clarity that with 5 simple steps, I could approach each day with a positive mentality and look forward to whatever it might bring.
People are so rushed all day, every day. From the moment you wake up until the moment your head hits the pillow, you’re constantly working, stressing, and even thinking about work and stress that has yet to come. This Go! Go! Go! mentality can quickly lead to a build-up of stress and negativity, and overall can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
You can begin de-stressing by simply giving yourself ample time to complete your morning routine. It’s better to miss out on 20 minutes of sleep and start your day calmly than to hit the snooze button and spend the rest of your morning rushing to get out the door. Giving yourself enough time to go through the routine you’ve set for yourself will lead to a calm, organised, and stress-free morning that will set the tone for the whole day. If you need 30 minutes to get ready in the morning, give yourself 50 minutes instead; that extra 20 minutes can make a huge difference.
Being late is a stress that we have constructed, and we stick to our time-controlled schedules with vigour. But what really happens when you’re late? Maybe you’re a bit embarrassed, maybe you don’t have time to do your makeup… and that’s it. The world keeps going. People are living their own lives and rarely notice your missteps unless it affects them directly. So, if you occasionally need to be five minutes late to work to ensure that your mindset is a healthy one: it’s worth it. Take care of yourself first and worry about the rest when it comes.
It seems counterintuitive to stay in bed after you wake up, lest you fall back into the blissful world of dreams. But, instead of closing your eyes and letting sleep grab you again, pick up your phone, or keep a notepad next to your bed if you prefer, and quickly jot down a few things you’re thankful for or happy about. This is the first five minutes of your day, and it makes such a difference to spend those first few moments reflecting on the things in your life you’re happy about.
This isn’t homework, so use any method that suits you. Just find time in your morning to really appreciate the things you have. This could be as simple as opening your social media accounts in the morning to look at your friends’ profiles, or looking through photos of your family. Reminding yourself of the support system you have in place will help realign your mindset to a more productive one. Having this appreciative attitude in the morning will give you the motivation to tackle your day with enthusiasm.
Alright, I know. This one sounds a bit medieval, but trust me here. The best way I’ve found to shake off the grogginess of sleep is to wash your face with cold water. The cold water on your hands and face will invigorate you and wake you up almost immediately. If you shower in the mornings, try switching the water to cold at the end for a few seconds. Either way, giving yourself that quick shock of cold water should help clear your mind and get you ready for the day. Now, you’re wide awake and in a positive mindset. So far so good.
Many people listen to music in the mornings, but podcasts are slowly but surely working their way into people’s morning routines as well. There are many concise, relevant news podcasts aimed at keeping up with current events, and even more in the entertainment and comedy world. Choosing to catch up with the news while you get ready eliminates any stress over wasted time, and listening to something you enjoy can make mundane tasks seem more enjoyable as well. Everyone is different, but finding what you like is essential. Find what suits you best. Take those tedious minutes spent on your hair and incorporate doing something that you want to do. Find ways to make necessary tasks enjoyable.
Anybody can easily become a morning person, even you. If you go to bed at 8 pm or 3 am, if you wake up at 5 am or 10 am. Find a routine works for you and stick to it. Give yourself enough time to complete your routine, and even a bit more in case anything goes awry. Start your day with the satisfaction that you’re a capable person. Most importantly, go into each day with a positive mindset. It sounds silly, but just telling yourself that you want to have a good day can actually make you have a good day. Your life is created by your perception, and you can alter your perception whenever you feel like it. See the good in people, and see positive outcomes rather than consequences. Start your days right, and in no time you’ll find yourself loving mornings as much as I do.
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