It’s important as a student to start the day right. A good morning helps you focus early and prepare for the day to come. I never really thought mornings were anything important or any different from any other part of the day. As long as got up on time (i.e. before the 6th snoozed alarm went off) and I was on my way to class by 8AM I considered it successful. It wasn’t though. I was always in a rush in the morning, I didn’t even have time to wake up before class and usually couldn’t really focus on anything until a few hours into the morning.
I had it down to a fine art. I could get ready in 30 minutes but still be half asleep when I left. In an effort to improve my day (and do something with my hair that wasn’t a haphazard bun) I decided to get up half an hour earlier and give myself more time in the morning. Let me tell you, it made all the difference!
In this post, I’m going to share a few little hacks that I use to help me wake up, get focused and start the day right. The best part? It’s not about getting up super early to try and fit everything into your morning routine. It’s about what makes you feel great in the morning. So you can mix and match these little hacks and create your own individual morning routine that works for you!
Actually getting out of bed
Make sure you get a good amount of sleep each night. Feeling like a zombie in the morning because you stayed up watching Gilmore Girls until 2AM is not going to help when that alarm goes off. It makes it more tempting to hit the snooze button, and it leaves you tired for the whole day.
Setting an alarm and actually getting up are two very separate things. This is something that I see students struggling with constantly. If you are setting 4 or 5 alarms to try and get you out of bed, then try changing up your method. Set your alarm, and put your phone on the other side of the room so you have to actually get up and out of bed to turn it off. You can also try making your alarm harder to turn off with various alarm apps such as Motion Alarm Clock (Free on iPhone and Android), which also helps to wake up your brain first thing in the morning.
Take time to eat something
In order to start the day right, eat something. I know that it’s often tempting to skip breakfast because you are in a rush to get out the door, but it’s so important that you eat! Breakfast gives you energy for the day which means you’re less likely to be falling asleep in that nine o’clock class.
Instead of just grabbing a banana and running out of the house, take your time. Sit down and eat a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast. Don’t make it a hurried meal, instead use this time to focus on preparing for your day.
Start the day with something for you
Don’t forget, the key to a great morning is focusing on you. If there is something that you want to do, add it in to your morning. Things like exercising, yoga or going for a run are a great way to start the day. If you’re feeling like “What? I don’t have time in the morning to go the gym and exercise!” I am right there with you. For the longest time I kept telling myself that I was going to exercise and get up early and go for a run in the neighbourhood… and I never did. It was just way too much extra time in the morning, and I could never motivate myself. Instead, I stumbled across these fantastic 5-minute mini workouts by Cassey at Blogilates. They are just short workout videos you can do at home that are perfect for starting the morning, waking yourself up, and then jumping in the shower to get ready for the day. Best of all, you totally feel like you’ve already done something productive and it’s not even nine o’clock!
Not an exercise kind of person? No matter! There’s tonnes of other stuff you can do. A Sudoku puzzle or reading a chapter of a book are great for stimulating brain activity in the morning. Choose something that you want to do. I really enjoy planning and nothing calms me more than preparing for the day, so while I take my time sitting to eat breakfast, I actually make a to do list of 5 things that I want to achieve that day. It’s a really good starting point for me, and since I can do it while I eat, I don’t need to be getting up even earlier than I normally do.
No phone (at least for an hour, anyway)
My final hack that you need to start the day right, is to go “no phone” for the first hour that you’re awake. It’s becomes such a habit that the first thing you do when you wake up is to check your phone. The problem is that this little tiny rectangle of technology can hold so much power over your day. First of all, it’s a massive distraction. You wake up, you scroll through your Facebook feed, and before you know it you’ve only get 15 minutes to get ready. It so readily holds our attention that we find it hard to tear ourselves away. Secondly, because of all the information it can provide us with, it can basically control our mood for the day. Think about checking emails, notifications or friend’s status updates. If there’s anything you see that you don’t like, that exacerbates anxiety or that affects you in a negative way, it’s really hard to turn that attitude around. If you give yourself time to wake up, eat, do something for you and then get ready, then your mind and body are awake enough to deal with any possible outcomes that life might throw at you. It’s less likely that you’ll react “Well, that’s ruined my whole day” and instead be more open to solving the problem or dealing with it in a more mature way.
Try weening your way off your phone if you feel like you’re super attached to it. Start by not checking it in the first 15 minutes, then 30 minutes and so on.
These are the main hacks that I use to get the most out of my morning and start the day in the best way possible for me. Everyone is going to have a different morning routine, but try and work to make your morning more relaxing and suited for what you want to get out of it. Learning to love the morning can make it easier to get up and start your day. With these hacks, you’ll feel more ready to take on anything that comes your way!
If you have any extra hacks that you use to start the day right, let me know by leaving a comments!
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