I wasn’t always a morning person. I used to loathe the sound of my alarm. However, as I have gotten older, I have come to realize that the morning can be an amazing time of day. When my parents moved down to North Carolina, I got second pick of the bedrooms because I was away at college. Little did I know, my room would be the start to my morning-person-ness. You see, I have a dormer window in my room that faces the creek and trees across from my house. It just so happens that the window is in direct alignment with the sunrise, and my bed. After graduating college a few months back, I moved back in with my parents to save some money. Every morning, I wake with the sunrise. Pretty amazing, huh? I chose not to get blackout shades, a tactic my sister had chosen for her room, because something about not needing an alarm and simply rising naturally felt really great.
Recently, life has thrown some curveballs my way, and I have begun to dread the mornings again. Being the first to wake up in my house can be lonely when you’re going through a hard time. I found myself having too much time to think, and too much time to dwell on things. I felt like I had lost my appreciation for this special time of day, and I was allowing my sadness and frustration with life to consume me. Today, I didn’t wake up with the sun; I woke up to the sound of my parents feeding our dogs, and when I looked out my window, my stomach dropped. There was no beautiful sunrise cresting over the tall trees; in fact, I couldn’t see the trees at all. There was a heavy fog covering my view. I pushed back the covers and went to the bathroom to start my morning routine in hopes that if I moved fast enough, I would be able to beat the sadness that I could feel creeping up on me. Hot shower, face mask, fresh toothpaste, lotion, coffee, and I Love Lucy.
For those of you who are not morning people, or who are simply having a hard time getting yourself going due to life circumstances, this is my guide for you. Nothing will erase the hard time you might be going through, but taking control of your day starts with your morning, so here you go:
1. Read a daily motivational
I am currently subscribed to a daily motivational email for Christians called “The Upper Room.” Every morning, I get an email with a brief passage to consider for that day as well as an excerpt from a scripture. I also have a small daily motivational book, “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence”, that corresponds with the date (minus the year) that I read every morning in addition to my Upper Room. While I am more than aware that not everyone is Christian, or even spiritual, there are plenty of things that you can read first thing that will give you at least a bit of peace and foster a deep contemplation of life within you that day. Check out this non-religious devotional to keep you motivated: “The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year.”
2. Go for a walk
No matter how early, no matter the weather, get outside and go. Breathe in deeply as you walk and take the time to appreciate the tiny miracles that are going on around you. Pick up a flower, walk on the grass instead of the pavement, and push onward. Getting your blood pumping will help increase your endorphins, and recognizing the scope of your problems to the world can be refreshing. Don’t walk too slowly, but really get a good pace going. By forcing yourself to keep moving forward, you prove to yourself that you are not stuck and that you can take on the world and face your struggles head-on.
3. Good coffee
Do not underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee. For those of you who don’t enjoy the taste of coffee, though I simply do not understand you, try a good cup of tea. Sit outside and sip your morning drink, and continue to breathe deeply. Let yourself become refreshed and invigorated. The smell of coffee or tea filling your house can provide much needed aromatherapy. For my coffee drinkers, I recommend Caffè Verona from Starbucks. For my tea drinkers, try Teavana Blackberry Mojito Loose-Leaf Green Tea.
4. Hot shower
Use a new body scrub or loofa and exfoliate your body first thing in the morning. You will feel brand new when you get out. I have always found that a hot shower calms me, it’s almost as though I am washing away the negative things and making room for all the positive opportunities ahead of me that day. Try out a new hair mask, and use that time to relax. It is a new day and you only have to muster the energy for that day alone. Let the shower be the place where you rinse yourself of a stressful yesterday, and when you finish, you are a clean slate.