There are three types of people in the world; morning people, not morning people and those who have been up all night with their children and are no longer morning, afternoon or evening people.
I used to be one of those annoying morning people that would easily bounce out of bed at dawn and skip downstairs for breakfast. That was before my body clock got screwed and any kind of normal sleep pattern got stripped away from me with the arrival of my beautiful daughter.
Not only did I turn into a non-morning person, but in the last year it’s been common to find me waking up grumpy and snappy, sporting a pint of coffee served up humorously in a ‘Do I Look Like A Morning Person?’ cup.
Fed up with always feeling exhausted and longing for my duvet, I have actively tried to find ways to turn me back into a morning person. First attempts included trying to have a mid-morning nap, having extra coffee, followed by trying to convince my daughter that it was still night time for another ten minutes so I could snooze. All attempts made things worse. But, after much trial and error, I have found the solution. Here are:
10 steps to a better morning
1. Do some exercise – It might be the last thing you want to do, but even a quick round of jumping jacks will give you a much needed boost of energy and serotonin. Try these quick exercises for busy mums if you don’t know where to start.
2. Drink warm water with lemon – Ditch the morning coffee (yes, I mean it!) and wake up with a green smoothie or lemon water. Lemon water kick starts your metabolism and green smoothies actually give you more energy than coffee. You also won’t get that mid-morning crash like you do with coffee.
3. Prepare some things the night before – Whether it’s packed lunch boxes or laying out clothes, doing some tasks you’d normally do in the morning before you go to bed, will free up some time, make you less stressed and will stop you rushing about as much.
4. Write a list before you go to sleep – Whether it’s a list of things to do tomorrow or just a list of random thoughts in your head, it’ll help to stop your brain from whirring and will help you sleep better.
5. Set an alarm that plays happy music – Make a ‘good morning’ playlist or set a happy tune as your alarm so that you wake up feeling positive. My other half had the most horrendous alarm. It used to make me wake up feeling hateful and grumpy. What a difference an alarm makes!
6. When you wake up, immediately say out loud ten things you’re grateful for – It can be anything from ‘I’m grateful for a soft mattress, I’m grateful for a roof over my head’ to ‘I’m grateful I am breathing’. Say the first things that come to mind.
7. Read some positive quotes – Places like Pinterest are great for quickly browsing positive quotes, especially if you’re someone who grabs your phone from under your pillow first thing in the morning. Setting your mind to positive mode first thing in the morning, can have a knock on effect on your whole day. I have a few positive quotes dotted around my bedside table in photo frames (here’s one of them). When I wake up in the morning, they’re the first thing I see.
8. Have a cold shower – No I’m not crazy! There are actually a lot of health benefits to having a cold shower and it is great for boosting your circulation first thing in the morning. If you’re a scaredy cat, start off warm and gradually make the shower cooler. You’ll feel great for it!
9. Switch off phones/laptops/ipads half an hour to an hour before bed – It’s actually been scientifically proven that staring at bright screens before bed can affect your melatonin levels making it harder to go to sleep. Limit your screen time for a couple of hours before bed and you’ll sleep so much better. It’s hard, I know!
10. Smile in front of the mirror for 30 seconds – There is some logic behind the infamous Yoko Ono quote. You really will see a big difference in your life if you smile in the mirror every day. You will feel so stupid at first. but it will lift your mood and even helps to build confidence.
Some days I’m lazy and only do a few of these. Some days I do all of them. Each of these elements, whether used together or individually have really helped to put me in a much better mood in the mornings. I still sometimes hit an afternoon slump. But I’m a mum with a very active toddler, so that’s going to be my life for a few years yet. If you’re finding yourself feeling really miserable and not a great person to be around in the morning, then do try some of these for a quick pick me up.
What do you think of these 10 steps to a better morning? Do you do any of these already? Will you be trying some of them for yourself?