"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." – Marcus Aurelius.
I am a morning person and love it.
I was not always that way. Growing up, I begrudgingly got up for school. My mom gave me my first alarm clock, and she would get upset when I did not get up when it rang. I did not grow up in the digital age, so I had an alarm clock that had to be wound up; at times, I did not wind it up on purpose so that it did not go off. I thought I was so smart, but all that did was get the morning off to a stressful start.
In general, my choice not to be approachable in the morning affected my day and everyone around me. I moped around the house, complained about another day of school, and was not a pleasure to be around. As a result, I often caused those around me to be frustrated and in a “bad mood.”
My mom was not a morning person either, but she made a point of being cheerful in the mornings. She always had hot chocolate ready for us to drink and encouraged us about what a great day awaited us. She found the silver lining in everything. If you have read some of my past blogs, you know that I struggle with being a pessimist. The difference in the outlook of mornings caused strife.
The weekends would come, and I didn’t even think about getting out of bed until 10 am. At the time, I thought it was great.
My dislike of early rising followed me into adulthood. It caused problems in my marriage. I worked during the day, and my husband worked the grave shift. Neither one of us was a morning person. When I got home, my husband would get up, and when he got home, I would get up. So, we were not pleasant in our first interaction of the morning or afternoon. Fortunately, I was a night owl, so we did get some quality time before he left for work. This problem may be part of the reason for our divorce.
Suddenly, life changed! I do not know what happened, but I became a morning person. For years my friends had talked about the beautiful sunrise and the quietness of early mornings. Now I experience them!
I am usually ready for bed between 8:30 and 9:00 pm. Unfortunately, I do not sleep well. I fall asleep immediately but find myself wide awake in two to five hours. I have researched to find tools to get a better night’s sleep. Below are a few suggestions:
Establish a realistic bedtime and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Maintain comfortable temperature settings and low light levels in your bedroom.
Keep a comfortable sleep environment by ensuring you have the best mattress, pillows, and sheets for your sleep preferences and body type.
Consider a “screen ban” on televisions, computers and tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices in your bedroom.
Abstain from caffeine, alcohol, and large meals in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Refrain from using tobacco at any time of day or night.
Exercise during the day; this can help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep.
I have tried everything to sleep with little success; however, that is a blog for another day.
Mornings are wonderful! I enjoy the sunrise, the time I have to enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio, and watching the squirrels run along the fence. Unfortunately, I do not see the sunrise from my patio, so go out front and take a few moments to drink in the colors of the sky.
The night before, I plan my next day and am off to the races soon after getting up.
What can be done to make our day better:
· Wake up at YOUR right time. According to Sleep.org, your body knows what to do and when.
· Prepare the night before. Many productivity experts and successful people spend evenings preparing for the next day. Their reasoning: It leaves mornings free for an early start on important work (and breakfast).
· Focus on what matters. Set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day. Set your heart and mind with the right attitude.
· Move around and hydrate. Simply moving your body will get your blood flowing and help start your day. While you're moving, stay hydrated. Drink water in the morning to kickstart your day and give you lasting energy.
· Eat the frog or tadpole – first thing in the morning! The "frog" is your most important task or work—the one you're dreading the most because it's large and looming over you. Build the habit of doing your biggest task first for a considerable boost of accomplishment first thing.
I hope you get a good night's sleep and are ready for tomorrow!