By Aney Mei
For some, waking up early can be as difficult as falling asleep. There was a time when I considered myself to be a morning person, but years later I realized I had only been so out of necessity rather than habit. I was forced to wake up early at 6 or 7 a.m. to prepare for my morning classes and exams. I was groggy, unhappy, and unproductive. I had a barely-there routine in place, and I certainly didn’t start my days on the right foot. Becoming a morning person doesn’t happen overnight, but if you create a morning routine, you can ease into becoming a morning person—and perhaps even look forward to rising early. I’ve included five easy ideas you can use to create your own morning routine and get out of bed without the dread.
Make your bed
It may sound too simple, but it’s an easy way to kick off the morning. It's the first task you can complete to set the tone for the rest of the day—there is a sense of gratification after you've tucked your sheets under the mattress, fluffed your pillows, and smoothed out your blankets so they fall perfectly off the edges. Making your bed will also keep you from climbing back in, and, believe it or not, it'll be that much more satisfying when you can crawl into a neatly made bed at the end of the day. I've gone a step further and recently replaced my sheets with linen because studies have shown that linen sheets help us fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed. They also get softer with each wash!
Wash your face
We all know the importance of a nighttime skincare routine, but a morning skincare routine is just as essential. What better way to start the day than to practice a bit of self-care to help wake you up and get you feeling energized? Morning skincare doesn't need to be complicated and can be accomplished in five steps or fewer: cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. I’ve found comfort in these very brief, indulgent acts of self-care. Whether it's dispensing two pumps of jelly cleanser and lathering it on my skin or gently pressing the dewy serum to my face and neck, these few moments are short but meaningful. Lately, I've been taking an extra five minutes in the morning to apply some light makeup, a perfect final touch to get me ready for those virtual video calls.
Drink your water
Drinking water isn't my strong suit, and my family and friends can attest to this. However, its importance can’t be understated. A few weeks ago, I decided to start using my one-liter BKR water bottle. I fill it up with cold water in the mornings and keep it on my desk so I have it handy throughout the workday, but can also grab it to take with me on the go. I also keep a glass of water on my bedside table in case I get thirsty in the middle of the night. What I've realized is that if I can make it a habit, it becomes significantly easier. The hard part isn't actually drinking the water—but just consistently sticking with it and making it readily available.
You don’t have to go hard at first; start off with something light and easy—but get your body moving. If you're not naturally a person who likes to be active first thing, it’ll be difficult to convince yourself to become so overnight. Start by getting into the habit of stretching your body early in the morning. Try Pilates, barre, or yoga as they can be great exercises to ease your body into more intense workouts. I often roll out my mat the night before or a few hours before I plan to work out so I don’t have any excuses. Another way to get your blood flowing without a full-blown workout is to step outside and soak in some fresh air with a short walk—granting an opportunity to reflect and make mental notes of what you hope to accomplish that day.
Unplug and unwind
Whether it's listening to a podcast, sipping a cup of tea or coffee, or reading a book, it's important to find time to disconnect from devices and devote time to yourself. A level of calm happens with unplugging and avoiding the urge to reach for your phone first thing in the morning. Instead, try to find comfort in silence and absorb the peace and quiet of your surroundings before you get started on the busy day ahead of you.
There is no such thing as a right, one-size-fits-all morning routine, but there is a routine that will work for you. The key is to experiment and find it.
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