Cure for Miserable Mornings
An overpowering groggy haze follows your blaring alarm clock and the downy comfort of your bed feels inescapable. You abuse your snooze button, scroll through Instagram for ungodly amounts of time, or plummet into the depths of post-alarm slumber and scramble to get ready.
Even as the sun climbs higher in the sky and your day progresses you’ll be pummeled by your morning mistakes. You didn’t get to eat breakfast. You forgot homework on your desk that was due today. You come home to clothes strewn over your bed and floor. The day begins with a cloudy mindset and at most a few seconds to contemplate the to-do’s, goals, and aspirations for the following 12 hours.
Don’t claim that you aren’t a morning person because ultimately, what you tell yourself comes true. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it - consistency is the key. Expect some days when crawling from your comforter feels like heading into battle, but fight on. Oftentimes the hardest tasks are also the most rewarding.
Here’s what works for me.
Use a gradual alarm that doesn’t jolt you from your slumber. Resist the snooze and check any urgent messages - but limit yourself to five minutes for mindless scrolling and accumulated mass-Snapchats.
Grab your coziest morning garments. Mine is an (admittedly ratty) robe and slippers that I keep next to my bed. The frigid apartment floor becomes bearable and it’s less tempting to tuck back into your sheets for warmth. Make your bed while you’re at it. There are about 3 million studies that show fluffing your pillows makes for a productive day. I also open my blinds to let in some natural light and send a signal that it’s no longer nighttime. Then I brew my first cup of coffee while washing my face.
I sit down at the vanity with my steaming drink and a big glass of water. Your body becomes dehydrated as you sleep, so catch up on your daily H2o intake. While I do my makeup I listen to the daily NPR podcast, Up First. It’s only 15 minutes long and keeps me up-to-date with the latest news and politics without skimming through the million Washington Post notifications I get every a.m.
The highlight of my morning is breakfast. On especially dull days nothing rouses me from a deep sleep quite like the thought of some warm oatmeal. I opt for quick eats to cut down on time and reduce any risk of skipping the meal. Put your phone down while you eat and savor your food - it’s an easy way to be mindful of your eating and clear your head before the bustle of the day begins.
Make like your own mother and pack a lunch. I stash it in my backpack so I can easily microwave it somewhere on campus, without any temptation of unhealthy quick eats or the inevitable afternoon nap that happens if I go back home.
Before you pack your bag and lock the door do a quick five minute tidy of your room. Fold up any clothes you took out and clear off your desk. When you come back home after a busy day your space will be spotless and you’ll have one less thing to tackle.
When my schedule allows.
Hit the gym.
On days when I don’t have an ultra-early class I go to the gym for a bit over an hour, then come home and rinse off.
Pull out your planner
Most days I wake up an hour and a half before class begins so I can get organized before my inbox is flooded with mail and last-minute plans pop up. I take out my planner and write small tasks to get done, in addition to looking ahead for assignments and work I should start on.