Weekday mornings can be difficult, especially Mondays. Your bed warmly beckons you back into its comforting cocoon of blankets and sheets. You stop to rest your head — only for a moment — but soon you’re hastily rushing out the door. Mascara gripped tightly in your left hand, bagel in the right, the unrelenting hunch that you forgot something wafts over your half-asleep mind.
But here’s the truth: waking up in a poor manner can make weekday mornings a pain. And let’s face it: the majority of our mornings do not include sleeping late and Sunday brunch as much as we’d all like them to. But, learning how to embrace (or at least improve) your weekday mornings can lead to a happier day and a better week. Follow these tips and you will almost instantly notice a change in your morning attitude.
1. Wake Up Slowly
Having enough time to rise and shine is key to happy mornings. On the weekends, it’s easy to curl our toes under the covers and wake up slow. If we’re lucky, we’ll arise to the smell of fresh coffee and popping bacon. It’s harder to achieve these delicacies on busy weekday mornings, but not impossible. Carving enough time out of our mornings to simply wake up with ease is important to feeling well-rested. Nothing is worse than waking up in sheer terror with 15 minutes to pack your lunch, shower and defrost the car. Start your day slowly, at ease. Erase the morning ritual of entering work dead-eyed and dreary.
Let your body know you are awake by stretching every morning. Stretching is a fantastic way way to start the day. Take five minutes for basic stretching, try this routine or dedicate a full hour to a morning yoga session. Either way, your body and mind will thank you for the gentle but invigorating morning wake-up.
3. Do Yo’ Nighttime Prep
Reduce morning chaos by making pre-morning prep a part of your evening routine. Packing a delicious lunch at 7 p.m. rather than a rushed lunch at 7 a.m. is a much better way to start your day. You can cut down on mess by packing your lunch after dinner (no need to dirty the kitchen more times than necessary). Before you head to bed, lay out your clothes for the next day. Choosing your outfit the night before will eliminate last-minute surprises, like missing shoes and dirty socks. Basically, nighttime prep makes mornings more straight forward. It eliminates the number of decisions you have to make first thing in morning (which is always a good thing if you’re tired!).
4. Tidy Your Space
Tidying your space may not be the first thing you want to do in the morning, but coming home to a clean apartment instantly reduces stress. Simply making your bed signifies the day has begun and allows you to accomplish an easy but satisfying goal. Ensuring your personal space is put together makes for a more pleasant evening, too. You won’t have to mess around with chores at the end of your workday! Begin your day in a comfortable space you can look forward to coming home to.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Improving how we approach mornings changes how we feel about the entire rest of the day. But that means that you have to find and take the time to wake up slowly, stretch, prep the night before and tidy your space. That’s why getting enough sleep the night before is the first step to a better morning.
How do you begin your day? What morning rituals help you? —Alex