Your alarm is ringing next to your bed, jolting you out of blissful slumber. Is it already time to get up? If you're not a morning person, you probably dread the first blast of the alarm and the fact that you must leave the coziness of bed and sleep, but mornings don't need to be a chore — trust us!
There are many benefits to waking up early and taking advantage of all the morning has to offer, from better attention and memory capabilities to reducing stress. Start off on a positive note so you can hit the ground running and set the tone for a great day.
Find a morning routine you love. You won't want to hit the snooze when you look forward to what the AM has in store. Program the coffee maker the night before so there's a hot pot waiting for you and enjoy a cup while watching the news, reading, or simply sitting quietly as you ease into the day. If you find you prefer to work out in the AM, start a routine and stick to it, and soon you'll be bounding out of bed to get those endorphins. Creating and sticking to a routine has been shown to help people maintain healthy habits long-term.
Rise and shine – and stretch. You've been down for the count for eight hours and your body probably needs a jumpstart into the new day. When you get out of bed, do a few stretches to greet the morning, warm up your muscles, and get your blood pumping.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast. When you're busy, it's easy to grab and go, but those convenient options may not be the healthiest. Assemble smoothie ingredients the night before for an easy breakfast or opt for yogurt and fresh fruit or whole grain toast with your favorite nut butter instead of a pastry. Use your food as fuel and you'll be ready to go!
Get dressed. If you're currently working from home, you're probably opting for sweatpants, athleisure, and pajamas in lieu of your regular work wardrobe. We totally get it, and we're not saying you need to attend a Zoom meeting in a full suit. However, getting dressed in real clothes is a simple way to feel more productive and “normal” in a world that is anything but. Throw it back to your school days and pick out your outfit the night before to make the transition from dressing to desk smoother.
Get to bed earlier. A good morning starts with a great night. A healthy sleep environment makes drifting off into dreamland easier, so set yourself up for success in the PM. Keep your bedroom dark and cool and try to turn off devices (or at least mute them) an hour before bed. Unwind with a book instead of a TV show or scroll session. Try a white noise machine to reduce outside sounds and if you can, keep kids and pets out of your bedroom for optimal rest — though we know that's easier said than done!
Reduce nighttime stress. If you can't get to sleep because your thoughts won't stop racing, try to relax as much as possible before you hit the sheets. Take a hot bath, have a cup of caffeine-free tea, do a slow, restorative yoga flow, meditate … whatever your go-to way to calm your mind is, make time to practice it before bed. Essential oils like lavender may also make you feel more peaceful, so consider adding a diffuser to your bedroom for a touch of aromatherapy. You could also consider taking a supplement to help you relax and drift off. We have several great options, from traditional herbs to melatonin drops.
Take your supplements! If you find yourself forgetting your vitamins and supplements day after day, keep your bottle (or bottles) near the coffee maker or your toothbrush where you'll see it. Voila! A habit is born.