Three Simple Steps That Will Make You Love Waking Up
When I was young, mornings were my favorite time of day. I loved waking up first thing to a new start, and the idea that every day possesses new possibilities, conversations that hadn’t occurred yet, and people I had never met. This all starts in the morning. Somewhere along my timeline (maybe it’s part of growing up) between work and hectic not-so-fun things taking up the majority of my day, I grew to enjoy mornings less and less (when I could, I’d just sleep through them) and instead didn’t really start enjoying the day until around noon.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an intentional anger. It’snot like I would wake up and force myself to frown and go “oh, it’s still morning? no smiles from me until the clock strikes twelve!” But for whatever reason mornings just became VERY difficult. Leaving bed became difficult. Opening my eyes became difficult. Getting ready sucked. And I was grouchy about it!
As a naturally and perpetually happy person, this was not fun for me. It’s like the “real” Mariah was inside of me going “whoa whoa whoa take it easy, slow ya roll, do not pass go, do not collect $200!”. Eventually I realized this was no way to live, I missed my mornings and having positive starts to my day. And I realized it was in my control the entire time to change it (or not to). Starting your day on a positive note sets the tone for your whole day. Slowly but surely I procured a realistic and attainable routine for myself to set me up for positive mornings despite how cozy the bed is, and today I am going to share with you!
1. Go to bed a little later, and wake up a little earlier.
When I first heard this one, I was a little shocked too. WHAT? You want me to give up even more of my precious sleep on both ends of my sleep cycle? Are you nuts? Well, it’s actually not crazy. Friends, I go to bed earlier than my grandma (and probably yours too). In a perfect world, I would be in bed and asleep like a baby by 8:00 every night. With this routine, I slowly pushed that time back every night until eventually I was making it to 10 or 10:30 every night without needing to peel my eyes back. I did the same thing with mornings. Instead of waking up just a half hour before I needed to leave, I slowly crept that time back in small increments until I had time to wake up slow, prepare an actual breakfast, get ready, and leave the house pumped for the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults ages 18-64 should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and . So however you are adding and subtracting your sleep time to have a brighter morning, I would recommend trying to stay within that time frame! I am no expert however, so definitely speak to a professional if you have any questions!
2. spend that time in the morning slow.
For me, this looks like a couple different scenarios, and it might for you too. Some days during the week I work out in the morning (depending on my evening schedule), other mornings I spend quiet talking with and listening to what God has to say. I am currently doing a “Read the Bible in a Year” reading plan, so incorporating that into my mornings has been a new addition for me! Whatever it is that captivates you and gets your heart going in the morning - do it! For me, especially in the beginning, I was too tired to spend time in the quiet, I would just end up dozing back off. Toy with this time a little bit and figure out what works best for you. The point of this time is it’s a part of your day before your day actually starts where you can do whatever you want! Take time for you before the hustle and bustle begins so that when it is time to hustle, you can do it with energy and strength.
3. make a routine.
This may seem obsolete after reading #2, but hear me out. Set a routine! Make a plan. Starting in those increments we talked about, slowly wake up earlier each and every day. So you wake up now at 7:30am? Try waking up tomorrow at 7:15. What can you do with those 15 minutes? Maybe it’s something as simple as just taking a longer shower, walking the dog a little longer, or asking God how you can serve Him today. Make a plan, that way when that alarm does go off at 7:15, you know you have a reason to wake up! As you grow more and more comfortable and continue setting that alarm back, add and rearrange your routine until you have it down to what works for you.
I hope this was encouraging to maybe try something new if you are having trouble with your mornings! I know how difficult it can be to force yourself up when that alarm goes off and drag yourself out of bed, and I know how stressful mornings can be because of that (depending on how you approach them, mornings can have a bit of a Monday effect can’t they?). But when you make the active decision to wake up, start the day with God, and take time for yourself, it tends to the spirit and gets you on the right foot for the rest of your day. No stress, no rush, just you and the sunrise. If you have any other tips and tricks (or if you tried these out yourself!) that help you in the early hours, let me know in the comments!