There’s no better way to
start the day than to wake up early and full of energy. These 6 steps will make
you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
Rise and shine! Doesn’t that sound great? Or are you more
likely to hit the snooze button and pull the covers over your head? Many of us
have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Ideally, when we’re getting all
the good sleep we need, we wake up naturally before the alarm goes off. Yet,
sometimes it’s a struggle. If you’d like to start your day with some pep in
your step, I’ve put together six guidelines to help you become a morning
1 be the early bird.
“Ikigai” is a Japanese term
that relates to having joy in your life and a reason to get up in the morning.
In the practice of ikigai it is important to get up early in the morning. This
is a hallmark in Japanese culture — getting up with the sun and being tuned in
with nature’s cycle of day and night. The morning sun is what gets the rooster
crowing — a farm’s natural alarm clock. Not many of us have roosters hanging
around, so it’s up to us to set the alarm. Light is a cue for us to awaken, so
open the curtains and raise the blinds. You might want to invest in motorized
blinds that come with a remote control so you can let in the morning sun
without getting out of bed. There are
some areas where technology works to our advantage. Today, we have all kinds of
apps to help us wake up if we can’t do it on our own. Whatever you do, do not
hit “snooze.” If you fall back asleep, you could end up interrupting your sleep
cycle and waking up groggy instead of refreshed. We now can buy alarm clocks
that gradually provide light that mimics sunrise. Some clocks also have nature
sounds to gently wake us up. If you must have your phone or device in the
bedroom, put it on the other side of the room. Then, when the alarm sounds, you
have to actually get up to turn it off. But just turn it off. Don’t start
checking messages, emails or the news until you’re done with your morning
routine and ready to get to work.
2 Have a morning ritual.
In the practice of ikigai ,
mornings are for mindfulness. When you get up, make the bed first thing. You’ll
have an instant feeling of accomplishment, and the bed will be even more
inviting when you want to go to sleep. If making the bed seems like a chore,
think minimalist and do away with a few decorative pillows. Many coffeepots and
tea kettles are programmable to start brewing before the alarm goes off, so the
aroma gives you extra incentive to get up — and a cup of Joe is waiting for you
when you are ready for it. Pay attention to the details and savor every bite of
your breakfast. It’s good to have something warm to eat in the morning. Start
the day with stewed apples or pears and add in some almonds or walnuts. The
cooked fruit will help to kick-start your digestion and the nuts will help
stabilize your blood sugar. Turn on some happy music to boost your mood while
you’re making it.
3 Take care of yourself.
Take a walk in the
morning sun. You’ll get some exercise and a dose of vitamin D at the same time.
Bonus points if you have a dog to walk as pets typically provide good company
and entertainment value, as well. Stretch, meditate, read an inspirational
quote — all of this sets the tone for a good day ahead.
Anything you can do the
night before to get ready for the morning helps you to save time and energy so
you don’t feel stressed or rushed. Rather than standing in your closet in the
morning trying to figure out what to wear, choose your outfit the night before
and have it ready to go. The fewer decisions you have to make in the morning
the better. The idea of a work “uniform” is growing in popularity for this very
reason. Classic black pants, a white shirt or blouse, comfy shoes and you’re
good to go pretty much anywhere, anytime. Repack your backpack, briefcase or
lunch bag so you don’t even have to think about it in the morning — less stress!
5 Get motivated.
Make morning appointments
to inspire yourself to get up early. You’ll be amazed at how much you can
accomplish all day when you get into gear right away. Maybe sign up for a
morning class at the gym or join a club that holds breakfast meetings. When
there are other people to hold you accountable, it can be motivating for
everyone involved. Though it is tempting to
want to sleep in on the weekend, doing so will make getting up on Monday
morning more difficult. Try to stay on the same routine all through the week.
Think of all the great things you can accomplish on weekend mornings. Take that
hike you’ve been hearing about or write that novel you’ve been dreaming of.
Enjoy the sunrise.
6 Sleep Like A Baby
Of course, the key to
waking up with a smile is to sleep well during the night. If you want to be an
early bird, you can’t be a night owl, too. Prepare for a good morning the night
before. Stick with your sleep routine and practice good sleep habits. An
investment in your sleep is an investment in your health. Is your mattress in
good shape and comfortable? Are your bed linens soft and cozy? Does your pillow
support your neck? Make
your bedroom inviting so you look forward to sleep and sleep
soundly. Then you’re be more likely to wake up refreshed and happy — just like
a morning person.