Just lately, I’ve been getting up at 5:30am to workout, meditate and read before getting S up for nursery. When I mention this to people they say things like “I wish I could do that” or “you’re lucky you’re a morning person.” It’s not that I’m necessarily a “morning person” though; I just feel that I would rather spend that 90 or so minutes improving myself and my life, than asleep. With that in mind, here are five ways you can become a morning person:
1. Choose to be
The thing about getting up in the morning is, when you hit that snooze button over and over, what you’re saying is that you choose to stay in bed; that you would rather sleep than do whatever it is you would do if you got out of bed. For me, I would rather get fit and read, so I get up shit early and do that. Your brain believes what your body tells it. If your alarm goes off and you groan, hit snooze and roll over, your brain will go back to sleep. If your alarm goes off and you say “I’m going to have a brilliant day today” as you get out of bed, you will not go back to sleep.
2. Go to bed early
If you need your sleep that much, go to bed earlier. This is down to what’s more important to you, again: staying up late to watch Big Brother or whatever on TV, or getting up early to get stuff done. I find I’m much more productive early in the morning than late at night, and that exercising and meditating set me up for the day. I allow for that earlier alarm by going to bed earlier to ensure I’m not missing out on sleep. I read somewhere years ago that the hours of sleep before midnight are more important any way.
3. Use your alarm wisely
I’ve downloaded a motivational message for my alarm. When it goes off it tells me to have a stretch, to have a drink, to think of the things for which I am grateful. It tells me today is going to be an awesome day, and reminds me to make my bed. Yes, you may well scoff and say it’s cheesy – but I get out of bed. And these days it is dark at 5:30am.
Some people advocate setting your alarm and leaving it on the other side of the room so that you have to get out of bed to switch it off. That doesn’t work for me because if my alarm wakes S, the game is up and I don’t get my 90 minutes to myself in the morning. But if you don’t have a small person in the bed next to you, go for it.
4. Head for the bathroom
Yes, you will probably need a wee when you wake up. But you’ll also be dehydrated – so have a large glass of water. If you’re still feeling sleepy, splash some water on your face and clean your teeth. The teeth thing really works.
5. Do some exercise
You don’t need to go for a massive run or something; you can do some yoga or perhaps just a few squats. Anything to get the blood pumping. Once you’re up and moving, you won’t feel like going back to bed.
I have taken the decision to get up early in the mornings so that I can have time to exercise, meditate and read before starting my day. I thought it would be difficult to get up earlier, but I just set my alarm fifteen minutes earlier each morning and it’s not been difficult at all.
Being a single parent, I don’t get a lot of time to myself. I can’t do things like exercise and reading while S is at nursery as those are my hours for working and I take that very seriously. Getting up early in the morning means I can start my day with some time to myself, setting positive intentions for the day. Just you watch what I can achieve with those extra 90 minutes in my day.
Laura Vickers · 11/09/2015 at 11:47
Seriously cool advice here! I really need to take a leaf from your book and get up earlier, it just makes me so stressed for the rest of the day if I have a lie-in!
Can I ask where you downloaded the motivational alarm? I’d be interested in getting that! :)
Vicky Charles · 11/09/2015 at 15:59
ah Laura it was a Chalene Johnson podcast that she did specifically for her Lifers, I had to record it with my mobile as I’m not in the US so couldn’t download. If you go to her site it should still be on her podcast list though
Aimee Foster · 12/09/2015 at 08:19
This is brilliant advice. I always work in the evenings when the kids are in bed and never have time for what I want to do like reading, yoga or even going for a swim. Waking up earlier would certainly be a good way to get some me time!
Mrs C · 12/09/2015 at 09:21
Brilliant! Working full time with two kids I’m the first to moan about rushing in the morning and not having a moment to myself. You’ve inspired me – Gonna give those earlier getups a go!x
Neil · 13/09/2015 at 15:47
Great Advice! Getting up early in the morning has its benefits, the extra time early in the day provides an opportunity to prepare well to take on the day. But today’s life style has made it difficult for many to avail of this benefit. And for bloggers/freelancer is almost like impossible :)
Vicky Charles · 14/09/2015 at 13:40
I think “impossible” is a relative term – it comes down to our priorities doesn’t it! The extra time in the morning is definitely making a difference for me.
Alison · 14/09/2015 at 09:01
Good tips. I love getting up early before anyone else is awake and watching the sunrise. It is a great time to be productive and get loads done. Some great tips
Vicky Charles · 14/09/2015 at 13:32
It really is, isn’t it! I love the feeling of being awake before anyone else too!
lynn @ More4mums · 16/09/2015 at 10:11
Wow, very inspirational post. I hate when the mornings start to get darker so may have to try your advice.
Emma T · 18/09/2015 at 11:42
Pre-N and pre-blogging I used to get up early to exercise too. Just 30 minutes would really help, and that’s what I need to get back to. But now I blog, I stay up too late turning myself into a night owl, and it’s really not good for my weight and health. I do find it fairly easy to get up though – mainly because it’s routine.
My big issue is that exercising with N around is not easy. I tried it when he was young and slept in longer, but he’d still appear and try to help, getting in the way. Now, he wakes between 5.30-6.30 so exercise really isn’t going to happen. I just need him to sleep til post 6.30 so I can get up at 6. Otherwise I’ll have to get another tv and dvd set up for the other room and ban him from it while I exercise – not easy in an open plan room.
Good for you for finding that time. I’m not sure that early would work for me though.
Helen C · 18/09/2015 at 16:26
This is great advice. I think you’re right that the messages we tell ourselves play a big part. If I think negatively about having to get up earlier, it’s much more of a struggle. If I press the snooze button, it’s easy just to lie there, telling myself I don’t want to get up. That’s not productive to getting up. I also like to get up before my children so that I can get ready in peace. Far less stressful!
Vicky Charles · 23/09/2015 at 19:04
At first I was all “no I’ll just sleep longer and get up later and it’ll be fine” but actually, an hour less in bed, turned into an hour of productive time to myself allows me to have a much better time during the day. I think my daughter likes me better when I meditate regularly!
Helen · 20/09/2015 at 20:20
I need to get back into the habit of getting up and going to bed earlier and using that time to be productive!! I’ve got lazy lately ? I love you ideas!! Thank you for the reminding me how good it feels to start my day with a bit of peace!! Xxxx
Vicky Charles · 20/09/2015 at 20:48
Thanks Helen – good luck!