We’ve all read articles with similar tips: go to bed and wake up at the same time every night/morning (who can physically do that? Who even wants to? Sounds awful), lists of things to do before bed (avoid screens, limit caffeine, read), and things to do in the morning (because having a to-do list first thing in the morning really helps people jump out of bed). On this to-do list are usually things like: take some time to meditate, exercise, shower, eat breakfast, and get something slightly unpleasant done and off your days to-do list early on.
I’ve seen so many lists with these tips, and all of them encourage earlier and earlier rising, because being a morning person will help you be “successful.” Plus, you need the extra time to get done everything they think you should do when you first wake up, because that’s what “successful” people do. The thing that irks me about all of these lists is that none of them mention anything to to with being healthy. Get up earlier, they say, just get up earlier and get going on your day. But none of them say anything about going to bed earlier, because apparently getting a full night of sleep isn’t important if you want to be “successful,” and you shouldn’t worry about taking care of yourself. It’s, well, it's total crap. So, here’s my list of tips for how to wake up happy at whatever hour you have to.
- If your need to wake up early, think about how to get sleepy early the night before. Go to bed at an appropriate hour for your sleeping needs. I work six am shifts sometimes, so I like to be in bed at nine, which means getting ready at eight. Mellow out with a book, or some ASMR/meditation, a nice hot shower, or some other pleasant activity. I love adult coloring books, they chill me out nicely. It’s not easy to go to bed early, but if you have to do it several nights in a row, it gets easier. There is some credibility to the whole “same time every night/morning” rule, it’s just not that realistic. We all deserve to sleep in on our days off.
- Put a good thought in your head when you wake. I know, when we hear the alarm go off, our first thought in the morning is usually a variation of “NOOOOO!” with a few expletives thrown in. But after that. Take a few deep breathes. Think of something your excited about. Don’t think about your do to list yet. Remind yourself of whatever you need to be reminded of: You’re doing your best and that’s enough, be gentle with yourself, etc…
- Breakfast! Have something yummy to be excited about. It’s always awesome to get out of bed and think about good food.
- Wait until after breakfast to think about whatever else you need to do.
- Listen to something nice while you get ready for your day. Music, your favorite podcast, an audiobook, etc. Having something nice in the background somehow makes it easier to get moving.
- Remember everyone is different. Maybe you’ve been struggling with following these lists because you’re an afternoon or evening person. There’s no reason you can’t be successful just because you function better at a later time of day. Figure out when your body and mind are at their sharpest, and prioritize and maximize that time.
- Now, this post is about over, so get off the internet and get some writing done. I know you came here for writing advice. You thought that's what today's "Tuesday Tips" would be about. Then you thought, "hey, she changed things on her blog! She forgot I'm supposed to be writing right now!" I didn't forget, I just zoned out for a sec. Let's both get back to work, shall we?