We recently switched our two-year-old out of his crib and into a big boy bed. I don’t mean to brag but since he was four months old he’s been sleeping through the night. From 7:00 p.m. (lately he’s been going down around 8:00 p.m.) to 7:00 a.m., he has snoozed the night away … until recently when he started waking up at 6:00 a.m.
Now, I am not a morning person. I tend to be a night owl who loves to stay up when everyone else is in bed, the house is quiet, and I can enjoy some me time as I work, watch television, and/or unwind. I’m trying to work on setting an earlier bedtime, especially with baby #2 on the way. My key time to wake up would be around 8:00 a.m. So, you can imagine how groggy I feel when my son gets out of bed, opens his blinds, turns off his sound machine, stomps down the hallway to our room, opens our bedroom door, and shouts, “Good morning! I missed you!” at 6:00 a.m.
Yes, getting woken up with such a kind, happy greeting is always one of my favorite parts of the day. But, the 6:00 a.m. wake up call is a bit harsh, especially after a night owl type of night and a night of fighting pregnancy insomnia.
We’ve been trying to work with our son on not getting out of bed until at least 7:00 (we’re currently trying out this trick). When he slept in his crib, after he woke up, my husband and I (depending on whose day it was to take care of him in the morning), would lie in bed for a few extra minutes to give ourselves a little bit of time to wake up. Now that our son is all about greeting us in our bedroom every morning, it’s a race to get out of bed and out of the bedroom to allow the other parent to sleep.
But, recently, I’ve found ways to embrace the early morning hours as I spend time cuddling with my son, squeezing in some work, and getting the house ready for the day.
1o Ways to Brighten Your Morning
1.) Get More Sleep
Sounds simple enough, right? But, if you’re like me, it’s hard to go to bed earlier. My internal clock fights me with every ounce of strength it has. If you want to wake up earlier and happier, trim down the hours that you stay up at night. Start assuming that you have one less hour before bed and don’t agree to items that infringe on that hour. And yes, parenthood can throw a wrench into the system. Trust me on that one.
2.) Make Your Bed
By making your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. One of your first feelings of the day will be a sense of accomplishment and pride. From there, your body will be encouraged and driven to make more accomplishments throughout the day. What’s not to love about starting your day off on the right foot? Plus, the National Sleep Foundation studied sleep habits of people and realized that people who make their beds every day or almost every day are more likely to get a good night’s sleep every day or almost every day. I couldn’t agree more with that. When I crawl into a bed that is made, I instantly feel more comfortable. Don’t you agree? Click here for more reasons on the importance of making your bed every morning.
3.) Create a Morning Routine
Creating a morning routine is key to keeping schedules organized, maintained, and set. Yes, there are some things that might happen to throw a wrench into the system. But, for the most part, our morning routines are the same day in and day out.
4.) Eat Breakfast
As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To me, breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate. I prefer something that will keep me energized so I usually opt for a bowl of cereal, fruit, juice, and coffee.
5.) Enjoy a Few “Me Time” Moments
Unless you slept in past your alarm, when your alarm goes off or the baby wakes you up in the morning, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Don’t rush out of bed. Instead, get yourself in the right mindset to conquer the day. Think about the day ahead, prepare your mind and body, and get excited about what’s in store for you that day.
6.) Prepare the Night Before
For me, preparing the night before means cleaning the kitchen and putting all of the toys away. There’s nothing better than walking downstairs to a clean house. If I woke up to piles of dishes in the sink and toys strewn all throughout the house, my head might spin. For others, it might mean packing lunches, setting out clothes, getting backpacks ready, etc. Preparing the night before will mean easier, happier mornings.
7.) Write in a Journal
Writing on this blog every day is therapeutic to me. Many people I know actually wake up a bit earlier than when they’re supposed to in order to squeeze in journal writing time. Writing is a great way to free and energize your mind.
8.) Work Out
Whether you love going to the gym or you prefer a walk around your neighborhood, find some time in the morning to get active in order to feel balanced and have a chance to collect your thoughts for the day.
9.) Drink Water
I keep reading that drinking water in the morning will help your body and mind. I’m horrible at drinking water throughout the day. The first thing my husband does every morning is drink water. I need to follow suit. I usually go straight for the OJ and coffee. Oh, coffee. Hello, lover.
10.) Think Positive Thoughts
You can either choose to be unhappy or choose to be happy. Your mood in the morning will set the tone for the day. So, why not choose happy, positive thoughts as your first thoughts of the day? Don’t look at the glass as half empty. Look at the day ahead, smile (because I’ve always read that smiling can increase happiness), and be confident that you will conquer the day ahead.
How do you brighten your morning?