How to make the mornings work for you

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For some people, it is not easy getting up in the morning. It is an effort to get out of their nice, cosy, warm bed and start getting ready for the day. I confess that I have never really had this problem; however, this does not make me unsympathetic to the cause. On the few occasions that I did struggle, I went to bed late or was out partying the night before. A few of my friends have asked me how I do it, and what I am going to do is share my tips and tricks to making mornings work for you. Some of my tips are general run-of-the-mill recommendations because, believe it or not, they actually work. Some of my tricks might be a little unconventional, but believe me, they work a treat! Also, these tips are for a work-focused morning, but if you are just trying to improve your morning routine, don’t worry – these tips are flexible between both types of morning.

Preparation – The Night Before

I know there are a few of you out there who just hate using their spare time in the evening to prepare for the next day. But you have to remember that 20-30 minutes of preparation can save 20-30 minutes of time in the morning, so you know what that means – more sleep, of course! The preparation I am talking about is your lunch time meal, I do this not only to save money but to keep myself on a healthy eating regime. By packing your lunch the night before, it means it is simply a case of opening the fridge, grabbing your lunch and walking away in the morning.  Another trick is to have your purse or satchel ready to go – this means keys, money/travel card and any extras you always need and use. I always have my keys, scarf and umbrella packed in my purse, plus I have a portable battery for my phone charger tucked away for emergencies. If you are anything like me, you will like to have options for what you might wear for the day. So, the night before, I make sure I have a few possible items washed and ironed. Then, in the morning, it makes my selections much quicker and easier.

GIRL always wash you hair at night! If you have hair like mine that goes fuzzy after you have washed and blow-dried it, you will hate going outside and watching all of your hard work turn into one big ball of fluff. However, if you do wash it the night before, it gives you hair time to settle in and not be affected by weather. Use a dry shampoo in the morning to manipulate it and/or hair serum, and voila! You have a quick and easy hair routine.

The Morning Routine

I am going to say this right now – if you don’t get your minimum requirement of sleep (7-8 hours), you are always going to struggle to get up in the morning. I am serious – you are setting yourself up for defeat if you do not nourish your body correctly. This means going to bed at an hour that you know will allow you to get the right amount of sleep. For example, I go to bed at 10.30pm at the latest, as I get up at 6.00am. That’s 7.5 hours-worth of amazing sleep. When my alarm goes off, I turn it off, stretch out my arms and get out of bed – lingering just makes you want to stay in bed. By getting up within two minutes of your alarm going off, you decrease your chance of grogginess. It also helps to have a dressing gown and slippers handy in the cooler months. Keeping your body temperature at a cosy level will help you move around and it also encourages your body to recognise that it’s not a bad thing to be up (because at least you are still comfy!).

Once you are up, you can eat, shower, dress and read your news via whatever social media you use. I always need to eat first, so I keep my breakfast simple but effective – granola or oats with either a protein shake or eggs on toast. I do confess, I go more for a shake (or juice when my pantry is running low), as it means less mess, noise and time in the morning. Sit in your lounge and open the curtain/blinds and let the natural light come into the room. Natural light is a great tool for making your body recognise that it’s time to get moving.

The Extras

You need to find what works for you – some people like to workout before work or watch TV for the first 30 minutes. I like to read, but only after I have done everything and can pretty much just walk out the door. It is like a treat for me and it always puts me in a good mood – choose something that makes you happy. You could listen to music while you get ready (if you live with others be classy and wear headphones), or you could write in your planner what you would like to achieve that day. Better yet, you could write sweet notes for your loved ones or flatties! Including something that isn’t part of getting ready makes your morning routine that little bit special to you, and you can relish the fact that you might get some alone time, as well as some time for things that are important to you.

Routines need to be enjoyable and malleable. When you become disinterested in your routine, change it up! Reading is what I currently love doing; before this, I was listening to classical music on the bus, and before that I was watching the news while I ate my breakfast.

You will find your body reacting in a more positive way, you will keep feeding the mind and body, and the spirit will follow. Usually, it’s the spirit that makes you feel that mornings are dreadful!

To making mornings special,

Zoe

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