Here’s a shout out to my friends I accidentally text at 6AM because I forget that being a morning person is not normal, especially in college. However, as a crazy over-achieving pre-med, I love making the most of my mornings.
The average American will have to wake up about 25,000 mornings in their adult life. You can choose to wake up groggy and bitter, or make the most of your mornings. Studies have found that waking up early can actually prevent winter-related depression. Not a morning person, you say? These tips that will make sure you wake up on the right side of the bed every day:
Prepare the night before. Even as a morning person, I am pretty slow when I first wake up. This makes simple tasks like choosing an outfit for the day or deciding which folders I need for my classes take a long time. This is easily avoided by laying out your outfit or what you need for the rest of the day the night before.
Manage your time and your energy . I am a compulsive time-manager. Part of my pre-sleep routine is making an hour-by-hour schedule for the next day. However, what I have found is that this is not useful unless you know what time your body prefers to do certain tasks. For example, I am most creative at night so that is when I do my writing, but reading and applying to med school are something that I like to do during the morning. Pretty much, do what you think you will procrastinate the most for in the morning and get it out of the way.
Cool down and sit up Ever notice yourself nodding off in warmer lecture halls? This is because warmer temperatures make you sleepy. Try washing your face with cold water, trading your sweats for shorts, or turning down your thermostat to help you become alert and focused. Additionally, sit up straight, or stand up. By slouching, you are sending your brain a signal to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for resting and digesting.
Avoid other people Waking up during the morning is for you. This means no catching up on your Twitter time line, texts you missed last night, or anything else that involves other people. Personally, I even avoid the people I live with. Anyone that talks to me during my morning coffee will get an icy scowl.
Bribe yourself If you get through your morning routine, reward yourself with a delicious snack. One of my favorite parts about waking up early is having time to actually eat something other than icky cold cereal.
Imagine the perfect morning Imagine if you were able to wake up every morning hours before your usual time. What would you want to get done? Imagine the ideal morning. Now, compare that with your mornings now. Implement one goal at a time. In regards to waking up earlier, start off slow. Wake up 15 minutes before your usual time every morning. This will make the change much less dramatic. Health blogger and weight lifter James Clear recommends incorporating a “pre-game routine” to your mornings. No, I am not suggesting waking and baking. This pre-game routine is one easy task that you consistently begin your routine with. For me, this is starting up my percolator. This task is so easy that you can’t say no. Overtime, this will condition your brain to become more accustomed to being productive after this task.
Remember, none of this will happen overnight (pun intended). Becoming a morning person takes practice. In the long run, it will give you an edge up. Planning out your mornings forces you to also plan out the rest of your day, making you a more productive person.
by Fatima Ali