How To Greet And Embrace Each Morning
By Sarah Wylie
Early birds. You know who they are. They’re the people who dive right into the morning. They’re the people who can rise at the crack of dawn and meet the sun with a smile on their face. They’re the people who can find the will to sing as they get ready for the day. They’re the people who have the audacity to wake those who still want to remain within the comfort of their beds.
And then there are the night owls.
How many of you believe yourself to be one of these? The people who find peace in the dark. The people whose muses strikes them during the late night hours. The people who can’t keep their minds quiet enough to let themselves rest. The people who experience the greatest surges of motivation when everyone else is fast asleep.
I am one of these people. I have been one of them for several years now.
The nighttime is when I come alive. I get inspired to write, I spend the hours listening to music, pick up a new book, watch television shows on Netflix, develop my love and passion and get inspired to work harder towards the life I want to be living. I figure out the things I need to accomplish during the oncoming day.
And then, like all human beings, I finally find the need and will to sleep. And with the quiet fading of the moon and the steady rising of the sun, the time to awaken arrives once again. And I wake up feeling like a groggy beast.
There are several contributing factors to why I feel this way in the mornings, not just the fact I have late night habits (though I know that one is a strong contributor). The fact is, no matter what your sleeping schedule is like, night owls almost ALWAYS struggle with facing the mornings. For me, mornings are oftentimes the hardest part of my day.
It’s not that I hate them necessarily. In fact, I believe the mornings to be absolutely gorgeous. During the rare times I’ve been awake during the early dawning hours, I find myself loving the feeling of peace and the drive for productivity I develop. Some of my most productive days happen when I manage to get an early start.
What I’m trying to say with all of this is that sometimes, night owls and early birds alike can find themselves dreading the morning. Whether it be because of emotional reasons, anxiety, dread for the oncoming days, dislike of sleep, pain, nightmare issues, disquieted mindsets, the love of the night, etc., there are many people who have a consistent, daily struggle with facing the morning, some to the point they find themselves in a deep pit they can’t seem to climb out of.
For those of you who have been or are in that dark pit, I feel for you. I’ve been there, so many times. In fact, I fell into it hard during this time of my life where I’ve been confronted rather harshly by the question, “what next?”
After stumbling so helplessly into that pit, my late nights grew longer, my willpower grew weaker, my productivity levels went way down and my motivation was as good as shattered.
Growing up, did you ever think that such a reality check would hit you this hard (if you relate to this article at all, I know you’ve felt that impact)?
So now comes the question – can you get out of that pit? Can you learn how to wake up in the morning and face the light with an early bird smile on your face?
I’m here to tell you that the answer is a heartfelt YES!
What it really comes down to is not so much the habits you need to develop (though those are important), but the mindset you learn to have. The mind is a powerful, powerful tool and, if you learn to harness that power and take control of it, you’ll be surprised by just how much more extensive your ability to truly LIVE becomes. But, for now, for the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on how you can learn to not only greet the mornings, but to embrace them too.
Throughout my own struggle with facing the new day, here are 10 tips to help you become a lover of the morning hours.
1. Go To Bed On A Positive Note
When I’m going to bed, I hate getting there with a whole swarm of negative energy churning inside me. Any time I go to bed in a bad mood, I wake up with the dregs of that mood still clinging to me, making me face the new day with a sour attitude. Without even meaning to, I’ve already made getting out of my bed that much harder for myself.
I know that sometimes, at the end of the day, all you want to do is curl up beneath the covers and drift off to sleep, just letting yourself forget about how you are feeling and all that triggered it – and that’s fine. But the truth is, though you may not be consciously acknowledging it, your body still knows how it feels and it will spend the night processing it all – thus the dregs in the morning.
It is absolutely necessary to let your body process everything from your day as it needs to, but there is a way to not only help your body process your day, but help yourself wake up with a more uplifted disposition as well. Before you close your eyes to fall asleep, simply do something that you know helps you feel better or comforts you. Whether that be reading, listening to music, drawing, writing in a journal (which, by the way, is a fabulous way to get all that’s on your mind off your chest), drawing, etc., just do it for a little while until you calm down inside. You will then find that falling asleep and waking up will get that much smoother for you.
2. Wake Up With A Sun Lamp
Have you ever noticed how much more difficult waking up to an alarm can be? Back in school, it didn’t take long for me to realize how much easier it was for my body to wake up when it wasn’t woken up by some outside influence.
But don’t throw your alarm clock out the window just yet. Obviously, it is necessary to be sure you’re awake at certain times in the mornings (for work, school, kids, etc.). One thing that I’ve started utilizing that I would like to suggest to you is a Sun Lamp. There are many styles of these you can get, but they all have the same purpose; to light up your room with natural colored light to make your body feel as if the sun is rising (or has risen) and influencing you to wake up.
My Sun Lamp sits on the table next to my bed. It has settings on it that allow me to wake up to the sound of birds, water, etc. if I want to. But the best part is that I can set a specific time and then about 20 minutes before that set time hits, the light will gradually start to come on like a steadily rising sun. And, believe it or not, I actually do wake up to it. And though I still would love to stay curled up in my bed, I don’t have that nagging annoyance that gets triggered by an alarm or another person and I feel as though I’ve just woken up naturally (if you do give this method a try and you’re worried you might not wake up to it, I will sometimes set my alarm for a time just a little after the time I set on the Sun Lamp, just in case I miss it).
3. Decide To Be Awake
Remember when I mentioned how powerful your mind is? If you make being awake a conscious choice, it will help shift your body into a more accepting state. It’s as simple as forwardly saying or thinking to yourself, “I am awake.” The first time I did this, I literally felt something click inside my head and my driving desire to just get back into my bed as soon as possible and my dread for the morning calmed down and I was able to face the day more clear-minded and was able to accept that a new day was here.
4. Inspire Yourself
More often than not, I’m one of those people who (when not in a hurry) like to just lay in bed in the morning for a bit and think. I know that if I do this, I am at risk of drifting back to sleep again, so, instead of mindlessly staring at the old glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling (though I do love them), I pull something inspiring out to read or watch. Whether it be the Bella Grace magazine in the drawer next to me, a Fitlife.tv article, a Positive Truth article, or a TED Talk, I begin to get my mind working with positivity and inspiration. Doing that then starts to awaken the motivation that I was feeling restless with the night before that faded away when I went to sleep. I start to get excited about the day again and all the things I want to accomplish to the point that getting out of bed doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
5. Look Forward To Breakfast
This has been something I’ve tried since High School. I don’t tend to feel like eating until a little later in the morning after I’ve gotten all ready, but when my stomach does finally decide it’s ready to partake of something, food becomes a happy part of my morning. If you are similar to me, plan something you want to eat the next morning, something you know is yummy, healthy and satisfying and then look forward to it. I personally love juicing something sweet and energizing, or I’ll make an iced coffee alternative I enjoy, or a delicious breakfast smoothie, those have always been a favorite. You can consider breakfast a celebration for successfully getting yourself up for another beautiful day!
6. Don’t Overthink It
This is especially for the mornings you have things or events to wake up for. I will be the first to admit that the mornings where I’m just waking up for the sake of waking up and not because of obligations are far easier for me. Waking up for things (especially for work or a class you’re not fond of) is really hard sometimes. You want to know what makes it harder? Laying there just thinking about what you’re waking up for.
The more you think about the tiring effort you put into your job or the boring hours of school you have approaching, the more tempting your warm bed is going to become (not to mention the more impossible willpower will be to gain).
That’s why, when the morning arrives, you don’t just lie there and let yourself think through the obligations your waking up for. Just wake up, get up and start moving. Before you know it, you’ll be in the car heading to work or school and you’ll barely remember how you managed to get yourself there.
7. Positive Affirmations
Tell yourself that you are beautiful. Tell yourself that you are amazing. Tell yourself that you are confident. Tell yourself that you are strong. Your body listens to every word and thought that runs through your mind. Words in and of themselves are powerful and influential, bearing their own energy and potency.
So, if you know your own thoughts are going to be affecting the composition of your whole body and mentality, why not keep those thoughts (particularly those regarding what you think about yourself) positive and uplifting? Especially in the morning when thoughts of dread and loathing threaten to overtake you completely. The moment you start to peptalk yourself and lift your own spirits, that dread that wants nothing more than to drag you back down into sleep will have that much less power over you.
8. Get Outside
Think of the Earth as a large ball filled to the brim with energy that surges through the grass, mountains and trees and brings joy and life to the great outdoors – because that’s exactly what it is.
The Earth is the ultimate source of energy and, not only is it able to use and recycle what negative energy flows about the world, it is able to get positive energy flowing through YOU.
One of the greatest flaws in our society is how disconnected we’ve become with the Earth beneath our feet. We often spend most of our time indoors, we wear rubber-soled shoes, we drive motor vehicles everywhere, we rush this way and that to get to our next appointment or class on time, etc. We hardly spend time really getting to know our beautiful planet and allow it to offer us one of the most bounteous gifts it has to offer.
One of the best ways to start getting yourself connected (or should I say re-connected) with the Earth it to do what is known as Earthing – standing or sitting outside with your feet bare on the ground (preferably the grass). And the cool part? It only takes about 10 minutes of standing outside barefoot for your body to become fully “re-charged.” So, in the mornings, after you have gotten out of your bed and have stretched a bit and whatnot, get yourself outside. Let your bare feet settle into the cool grass and simply feel the energy of the Earth flowing through you. The more you do it, the more potent the feeling becomes.
There have been times where I’ve neglected to connect with the Earth and when I finally chose to do it again, I literally felt an excited thrill rush from my toes clear up through my head at the feeling of thriving energy running through me. It really is an incredible experience and it is a beautiful way to greet the new day and to get yourself energized and ready to dive into it.
9. Listen To Upbeat Music
I rarely go a morning without listening to music at some point. Whether it’s while I’m getting ready or driving to work, I love adding a bit of a beat to the start of my day. Similar to words, music has wavelengths of energy that affect the atmosphere and even your mood. It’s part of the reason why choice of music is such a key point for restaurants and other public places. If you crank up some upbeat music, music with encouraging or confidence-boosting lyrics or instrumental tunes with uplifting rises and drumming beats, your morning will feel more lively and wakeful and, before you know it, you may find yourself even singing or whistling like an early bird to your favorite tunes. To make it easier for myself, I have even compiled playlists with morning beats and confidence-boosting music that I normally turn on and blast in the morning.
10. Get Ready For The Day
I, for one, struggle with this one quite a lot, because let’s be honest – staying in your sweats or jammies all morning (and sometimes all day) is simple, relaxing and cozy. Especially on those days you’re not scheduled or obligated to enter public, why would you bother doing your hair or changing your clothes?
I can give you a reason. Look at it like you’re taking another step above telling yourself positive affirmations. Getting yourself ready for the day is a way to let your body and mind know it’s time to face another day. It further awakens your mind and gets you feeling prepared to take on whatever the new day has in store.
Though staying in your cozy nighties is far easier and by far more appealing most days, not prepping for the day keeps you in a droopy-eyed state of mind, leaving you ready to lie back down and sleep the day away at any moment. Get up, dress up and show up, no matter what.
As simple as these tips may seem, I can promise you that even giving just a few of them a try can make a world of difference for you, especially if mornings are a big struggle for you. The more I keep these methods intertwined with my morning, the more and more I find myself able to wake up and actually smile while meeting my puppy’s eyes and facing the new day. Considering just how difficult a trial mornings used to be day after day for me, waking up with something as simple as a smile on my face is so liberating and relieving, I have found myself simply marveling at myself and the morning while laying in my bed during the early hours.
Start incorporating these methods into your morning routine and watch as the horizon grows all the more brighter for you, both literally and figuratively. Early bird or not, even night owls can find themselves singing along with the early birds when they wake up ready to embrace the new day.
Sara Wylie resides in Utah where she is currently working as an Editorial Intern for Fitlife.tv while also pursuing a career in writing. She hopes that through her words and fiery passion, she will be able to not only inspire others to seek out and nourish their own passions, but to also help others feel what it’s like to truly be alive.
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