I’ve stopped using the term “morning person.”
Because if I did, I’d say that I wasn’t one. But that was before I realized that it’s not that I don’t like mornings.
But more so I just don’t like being stressed out first thing in the morning.
Which is something that just comes with having to get up for school, work, or for another person in general.
Other than that, waking up early is incredible for my mental health! Not only do I get to see the sun come up, but I get to have more time to do what I want with my day.
So if you want to be happy and stress-free, the key is to be intentional with your time. And use your time in the morning to set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
Here are 10 things you can do to make that time a little more special.
1) Stay unplugged
This is to avoid information overload and reduce potential anxiety.
Some people will choose to stay unplugged from devices completely during their morning routine.
But for those who need an alarm clock and background noise, staying off social media will suffice. Just be sure to be mindful of what content you consume.
It might not feel like there’s much of a difference in the moment, but from personal experience and experiments, I am much more clear headed when I stay unplugged.
Especially if you’re someone who’s back of the head is more so located at the front, you’ll find that you’re able to focus and enjoy the present better.
2) Practice gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful way to start your day.
Spend a moment reflecting on the things you’re grateful for. If you’d like some specific prompts to inspire you, I suggest the following:
- What was the last sunset you photographed? Why did you like it?
- When was the last time you felt proud of yourself?
- Write about a time your friend helped you feel valued.
These are just examples. Whatever you decide to reflect on, I suggest really observing how those moments of gratitude felt.
Then try to recreate those feelings actively in your life in order to embody them. With practice, you’ll feel like it’s a good morning even when the sun isn’t up.
3) Say affirmations
Affirmations are like a pep talk to yourself.
Almost like life is a big football game against your main rivaling team – and you must win to make your small town proud.
Encouraging phrases such as “I am capable,” or “I am ready to embrace the day” can really boost your self-confidence.
I’m sure there is science behind why. But for me, it’s just about training my mind to notice all the moments I do feel capable. And relating it back to when I affirmed it.
Or whenever I stress myself out for no reason by trying to foresee all the possible things that could go wrong in life, believing in the affirmations I tell myself is how I get out of those ruts.
Hey – if it works, then it works right?
Nevertheless, getting your mind and body used to positivity first thing in the morning will help you notice all the negativity in comparison.
Therefore giving you a better sense of objectivity.
Morning meditation is another excellent way to gather a sense of objectivity in order to reduce stress.
A few minutes of deep breathing, relaxation and focused awareness on the present moment can set a tranquil tone for the rest of your day.
That’s right – 5 minutes of your morning is all it takes.
If you want to further enhance it by giving it more intention, look into guided meditations! There are ones that can help you cultivate more kindness or emotional awareness, for example.
I also find that this is one of those practices that can be easier to become a habit if you do it with someone else. To keep you accountable and also experience the gift of mindfulness together.
So finding a meditation buddy for the morning can be a great way to go about it to ensure that the increase in happiness is indeed real.
Physical activity in the morning can invigorate your body and mind.
Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga or a full workout at the gym, exercise releases endorphins. Which are natural mood boosters!
I also view exercising as one of those things that can be rewarding if you have a hard time getting out of bed. Or just getting started on your day in general.
Because as soon as you start moving your body, you’ll be glad that you did, there’s an immediate physical reward, and there’s less pressure for you to make up for a “bad morning.”
So grab another friend to do yoga with if that will help you make it a habit.
Over time, you’ll have better focus and energy levels that don’t droop mid-day.
6) Have a healthy breakfast
A nutritious breakfast fuels your body and brain – providing energy that you’ll need for your day ahead.
Something I’ve become really enamored by is how different cultures do different breakfasts. Some will start the day with rice and protein, while some are carb heavier.
For the most part, I think protein-rich foods will have your brain thank you in the long-run. And avoiding heavy, sugary breakfasts will keep you from energy crashes.
But from a realistic, human perspective: making breakfast fun can benefit you to really start your morning on an excitable note.
Instead of seeing it as “fuel time” like you’re a car at a gas station. So if you can, make time and room for variety and don’t rush through your meal.
Personally, making a Filipino breakfast is on my wish-list right now.
7) Plan their day ahead
A nice slow breakfast where you can enjoy your food is also the perfect time to reflect on your plans for the day.
This is where you can set clear goals, and even write down your intentions of how you want the day to go.
Some people are able to set goals as a loose guide, and they don’t lose sleep over life’s unpredictable nature.
But if you’re someone who does lose sleep, I suggest writing down certain energies and feelings you want to embody instead.
For example, you should definitely go through what appointments and specific plans you may have. This will help you feel more prepared.
But to reduce your chances of being overwhelmed, start setting goals that will help you grow your emotional awareness as well.
Really affirm that your peace of mind is your priority.
8) Get and stay hydrated
Yes, we all know water is important. But it’s especially important in the morning.
Your body loses water during sleep, so rehydration is necessary if you want to kickstart your metabolism.
I’ve even found that my focus is a lot more enhanced when I have cold water to drink from throughout my day. Less stressed, and less moody for no reason.
So get a big water bottle, and don’t be afraid to pee often!
Your organs will be happy that you did, and that water bottle will become the most emotionally supportive partner you could ever have.
9) Spend quality time with their loved ones
While taking time to yourself in the morning can be necessary to create inner peace, I also find that solitude in the morning can become monotonous.
If you live with family or loved ones, take a few moments to connect and enjoy quality time with them.
This one’s for all my extraverts. It can strengthen your bonds and provide emotional support for a positive start to your day.
I also find that it really keeps me grounded in terms of what really matters in life. Because we all know that the hustle and bustle can get quite distracting and draining.
So even if it’s not every day, having someone to bicker and make breakfast with can really improve your quality of life.
10) Connect with nature
If possible, take a step outside and hang out with Mother Nature.
Especially if you know that you’ll get busy once you leave the house, this can be similar to mediation. A little goes a long way in helping you maintain the idea of peace.
So take a short walk, listen to some uplifting music or podcasts, and make mental lists of everything you find beautiful.
You might find that you’ll be less inclined to rush through everything. Not just during your mornings, but life in general.
Being happy and stress-free isn’t about having absolutely nothing to worry about
It’s about keeping a clear conscience by acknowledging what you can do about your stressors. These ways above can help you better manage your thoughts and emotions.
Doing so at the start of your day can create a healthy routine that doesn’t feel forced over time.
So beyond your skin-care and shower routine, making the morning something to look forward to for the peace it provides you is the key.
And to avoid huge rushes of dopamine if you can.
Change is a natural part of growing mindfulness as you allocate your time and attention differently.
So don’t be afraid to switch something out if it no longer works, and you’ll be a morning person in no time.