The alarm bellows and chaos begins. Just the thought of packing lunches, backpacks, briefcases, etc gives me anxiety and I don’t actually own a backpack, briefcase or a kid, so my sympathy goes out to those of you who do. I do own a boyfriend though, so on a certain level, I can relate. I can only imagine the frenzy that exists inside most houses on a good day, let alone a day when things aren’t going to plan. God forbid the alarm doesn’t go off, the milk is out or someone forgets their lunch!
Everyone knows that when a morning goes right, your entire day feels better. When your coffee is perfectly frothy, your favorite outfit is clean and your car starts first time, there’s an extra little pep in your step.
Now if you’re anything like me, that never happens. I only dream of days that start like that (which is why I watch rom coms). I then thought “How can I guarantee most of my mornings start off with that same gusto?” So, I did some research into how to make that possible. These work for me, so I hope they work for you.
Tips for a happy morning:
We all know how important sleep is for us. If you’re not convinced, watch Arianna Huffington’s TED talk.
Try this: An hour before you want to go to sleep, turn off all artificial light. (That includes computers and smart phones!) Open a book or a notepad, practice some new yoga poses or whatever else relaxes you.. but only use candle light. Focus only on what you’re doing and don’t let your mind wander. I keep a notepad next to my bed and if something pops up while I’m reading, I just jot it down so it no longer consumes my thoughts.
2. Throw out obnoxious alarms!
Mornings are hard enough.
Try this: Do yourself a favor and wake up to an upbeat song (not your favorite or you’ll end up hating it very quickly, trust me) or invest in one of those natural light alarms. Note: Do not tune into the radio first thing. Very rarely is the news positive, so it instantly puts you in a downer mood before you even know what hit you.
3. Readjust your body clock by 1 hour.
There are a lot of confusing TCM pie charts and articles about Chi to back this up. I say if it was good enough for wise Chinese men long ago, it is good enough for me.
Try this: Go to bed 1 hour earlier, even if that means one less meaningless hour Facebook stalking or in front of the TV. Get up 1 hour earlier. Sounds painful and it will be at first, but it will make you happier. This is an hour all to yourself. Just think about what you could accomplish with an extra hour, even if that time is spent enjoying a coffee on the balcony.
4. Produce, rather than consume.
Train your brain early to focus and accomplish.
Try this: Rather than scrolling down your Twitter feed, try accomplishing something by producing. Maybe you write a 600-word diary entry, go for a run, meditate, write an email, blog post.. whatever. Studies show that people who produce first thing in the morning have a much more productive day. You have the whole rest of the day to spend consuming.
5. Choose happy.
Everyday you wake up and have a choice about how your day is going to go, choose happy. Easier said than done when kids are screaming or your other half is nagging you about breakfast, but just try.
Try this: Fake it ’til you make it. If the kids are slapping each other or pouring cereal down their bibs, step outside yourself for a second. Remember that when you call your girlfriend later to bitch about your morning, she will laugh and so will you. If you walk into the bedroom to find your husband throwing clothes in a pitiful attempt to find his lucky tie for that meeting he just remembered, firstly, try not to smack him. If you do, oh well, try again tomorrow!
I asked a few other people to find out about their happy morning routines and here’s what they had to say:
Kimmy, lady in charge of the awesome team at AfterGlobe, admits what makes her happiest in the mornings: “If I get enough sleep, don’t have to set an alarm, get to wake up with the sun, have plenty of time to do what I want in the morning, and get to make a fresh, high protein breakfast, I’m the happiest in the morning. Sadly, this doesn’t happen as much as I’d like. It usually only happens when traveling. Looking forward to once we are traveling full time and get to do this almost every day.”
Mary, the photography guru behind Mary Bea Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, says, “I enjoy getting up every morning because I do what I love, it doesn’t feel like work. Another thing that motivates me to get up and moving in the morning is my yoga practice!”
Creator of the adventurous Treepot Travels, Rachel gave us one of her morning tips: “Wake up slowly. I find that if I wake up fast and start running around right away, I feel stressed and it starts to affect my day.”
Remember, mornings can be tough on everyone and if you’re happier, those around you will feed off your energy.