Firstly I need to preface this blog by saying I’m not a morning person. I’m really REALLY not a morning person. I come alive late at night, so to get myself out of bed before midday is always a challenge. Nevertheless, I do live in a culture that embraces a 9-5 workday and so I have no choice but to attempt to embrace mornings if I want to interact with modern society. Here are a few habits I’ve thrown into my routine to kickstart my day on a positive note – even before I’ve had a coffee!
Tip 1 – Create a to-do list before you go to bed
I’m obsessed with a good “to-do” list. It allows me to centre the chaos of my mind and place it safely outside my head. My to-do lists are super detailed. I try to brain dump as much information as I can, so as to free up my headspace. I try to plan (when I’m awake in my nighttime zone) what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to have to eat, what time I need to leave the house to catch the bus etc – it’s all there, on my list – ready to be crossed off. The joy that I get at the end of the day when I’ve worked through my list is super rewarding. It allows me to see what I’ve accomplished, reassess my plans and build a new blueprint for the following day so that I can seize the next 24 hours.This way of living has allowed me to maximise my morning time as I tend to go on automatically pilot following one activity to the next with ease. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it.
Tip 2 – Your phone can wait
I’m going to assume unless you’re an emergency care worker or have someone relying on you for their safety that your phone is turned off when you go to sleep at night (and if it’s not, add that to your to-do list.)
In the past when my phone alarm clock started beeping, I would reach over with half closed eyes, turn it off the alarm and turn on my phone. What precipitated shortly after was a barrage of messages, beeps, lights and notifications. Beep, beep, beep, beep,beep!!!! BEEP!!!!
I would be thrown out of my blissful state of being and without even having a second to myself I suddenly found myself awake for 2 minutes, reading work emails, facebook comments and Twitter Moments. It was getting insane the external bombardment and so I decided to stop.
My phone waits for me. Now in the morning, I start my day, I wake up, meditate, look at my to-do list, shower and breakfast and then when I’m ready and more prepared for the outside world, I turn my phone on and deal with the alerts. Having quiet time to myself is something I’m appreciating more and more as I get older and I refuse to have that precious time stolen from me.There will be plenty of time to check your phone throughout the day, so don’t worry, you’ll connect with the world as soon as you’ve connected with yourself.
Tip 3 – Meditation/ Positive Affirmations
Last year I learnt to embrace meditation. My mind was in the habit of doing mental gymnastics and something had to give, so I signed up to meditation classes and it has made the world of difference. One of the BEST TIPS I learnt was to set time aside in the morning to meditate – ideally first thing. Why? Because if you’re like me and you have a life and your day sometimes has a journey of its own you can find yourself at the end of too tired or occupied to take time for yourself. So think about setting your alarm clock even 5 minutes earlier and before you do anything take that moment to breathe and meditate.
I don’t meditate you may be thinking – don’t worry, i was in the same boat not so long ago. In fact the idea of silence and my thoughts used to freak me out. Luckily you don’t need to be a guru on a mountainside to take time in the morning to clear your mind. The internet has now provided us with apps like Headspace to guide you on your journey. Other great head clearing options are Positive Affirmation Podcasts you can download for free and listen when you wake up. And if you’re still not feeling it, you can pick up a coloured pen and investigate the magic of colouring meditations.
Tip 4 – Easy Nutritious Breakfast
We’re told that the most important meal of the day is breakfast, so making sure you consume as much nutrition as you can when you start your day is an excellent way to set the tone of healthy living. Again, not being a morning person you’re not going to find me preparing a beautifully cooked up feast at 7am because honestly I’m taking advantage of every second I can to stay in bed. Instead, I make sure that the breakfast I eat can be made in less than 5 minutes, is yummy, easy and high in nutrition.
At the moments I’m eating a fruit and nut oats concoction (basically porridge with lots of yummy healthy bits). My breakfast is made as follows. I throw some oats into a bowl, top up with some milk, cut up a banana and throw it on top and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Whilst it’s being warmed up I cut strawberries. After 2 minutes I take my oats out of the microwave – where the banana has melted into a sweet syrup (so no sugar is needed) and I mix it all up. I then add coconut flakes, chia seeds, blueberries, strawberries and flaked almonds – tada! Voila! Finished. In less than 5 minutes I have a breaky ready to go that is not only healthy but taste almost like a desert.
Tip 5 – Hydrate
We all know drinking water is important and it’s especially important when we haven’t had any anything to sip on for 6- 10 hours (depends how long you sleep for). Making sure you re-hydrate in the morning is essential to get your body prepared for the day ahead. Your cells need enough water to help you function, so ensure you have a glass or two when you begin today.
Now, if you’re like me (ie not a morning person) I suggest using this simple trick. Place a glass of water next to your bed before you go to sleep and add in a healthy flavour enhancer like lemon, mint or cucumber. When you wake up, sitting right next to you on your bedside will be a delicious glass of H20 waiting for you to enjoy. The fruit flavours add a bit of zing to water which makes it a delicious way to hydrate healthily.
It’s okay if you’re not a morning person -every person has their own sleep cycle but just because you hate an early start doesn’t mean you can’t do things to improve it. I sincerely wish you best of luck with your morning journey and remember a weekend sleep in is not too far away… (trust me I’m counting down to it to0)
Written by Danielle Lauren
Danielle Lauren has been working in the Entertainment Industry for over 17 years. Her love of storytelling has passionately driven her to a successful career with global credentials. She has directed ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at The Sydney Opera House, ran MTV Australia / New Zealand as their sole Executive Producer, mobilised 30,000 filmmakers internationally to film their lives simultaneously for a feature film called the 11Eleven Project and currently works on digital projects for Google, Microsoft, Sky, Sony, BBC and MTV UK. Passionate about making the world a better place for all people Danielle has also worked with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, WWF, UNHCR, NSW Rape Crisis Centre, WIZO and the Aids Council. Danielle currently sits on the Royal Television Society’s futures committee, helping young people build fledging careers in the UK TV Industry. A global citizen Danielle was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia, lived in America, France and now resides in the United Kingdom.
You can email Danielle – firstname.lastname@example.org