I have to be honest here: I am not a morning person at all. In an ideal world, I would rise from my deep slumber (I am really great at sleeping) with an hour to spare before I need to start my day and have extra time to just be in the mornings. In reality, now that I work from home every day due to COVID, my mornings usually look a little more like rolling out of bed 15 minutes before starting work for the day and prioritizing coffee over anything else.
For me, the hardest part about the morning is the process of actually waking up. I am a chronic snoozer, and it is a habit that I am definitely trying to break. However, whenever I do wake up early, I truly enjoy the mornings. I would genuinely like to become more of a morning person–and I’m sure that there lots of people who are in the same boat as me. So, add these simple steps (really, as simple as making the perfect coffee!) to your everyday routine to put you on the right track.
Here are 10 habits to start to make the most of the mornings:
1. Set your alarm earlier (or just don’t hit snooze!)
Allowing yourself the time to let your body wake up and truly enjoy your coffee and the other things on this list sets you up for a more productive and relaxed day. Say goodbye to the days of scrambling to throw clothes on and make a coffee amidst the grogginess of just waking up, and instead, give yourself the time to relax before starting your day. If setting your alarm 30 minutes to an hour earlier doesn’t seem feasible yet, ease into it by starting with 10 minutes earlier, then the following week go to 20 minutes, and so on.
2. Perfect your coffee routine
While isolating at home with my family during the peak of COVID, my mom bought a Nespresso. I fell in love with making lattes, and it really helped me start my day on the right foot. I know it might seem silly, but savoring a delicious cup of coffee in the morning seriously does make a difference. Since our usual Starbucks stops on our morning commutes aren’t happening right now, an at-home vanilla iced latte (or whatever your favorite drink may be) is the perfect way to spark a little joy first thing in the morning.
3. Eat a real breakfast
As much as we hate to admit that our parents and teachers were right, the concept of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” might actually be true. Eating a nutritious and filling breakfast can help to make you feel more energized and less snack-y, bored, and tired throughout the day–therefore setting you up for success right from the start. A few of my personal favorites are oatmeal with peanut butter and banana or avocado toast with an egg, but if you’re looking to branch out, these easy working-from-home breakfasts are a great place to start.
4. Practice gratitude
Starting the day with a little bit of gratitude–whether that be journaling (I know many people that swear by the Five-Minute Journal), a short meditation session (there are tons of apps out there to make this easy), or simply telling yourself a few things that you’re grateful for that day–allows you to be present in the moment and think about what you can get out of your day. Ask yourself questions like, “What am I grateful for this morning?” “What can I do to make today even better?” and “What do I need from this day?” to clear your mind and prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. If you’re more of a visual person, write your answers down. Keeping a journal on your bedside table (or even in the kitchen to write in while you drink your coffee) will remind you to do this exercise each morning.
5. Put on an outfit that makes you happy
If you are someone who finds joy in putting on a cute outfit each day like me (and genuinely misses the days of office fashion), this one is especially important. While we work from home, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the habit of never changing out of pajamas. But actually getting dressed each day has really changed the game for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting putting on an office-ready outfit to sit at your kitchen table all day. However, putting on a cute sweat set or comfy shorts and a tee really helps to make you feel more like yourself and more confident, even if it’s just to give yourself (your only coworker) a little wink in the mirror!
6. Make a to-do list for the day
This might seem like an obvious one, but writing out and prioritizing your responsibilities for the day helps to keep you on track and ensure that you don’t miss anything. Take a few minutes as soon as you sit down in your workspace for the day to write everything out and prioritize tasks by importance. If you’re feeling extra, do it on a cute notepad that makes you smile. And as an added bonus, in my opinion, there are few things more satisfying than completing a task and getting to check it off your to-do list.
7. Don’t skimp on a morning skincare routine
One of the things that I did while quarantining was work on perfecting my skincare routine. Once you have your’s down, make sure to stick with it–even on the mornings when you feel too tired to even get dressed. Not only will nailing down a great routine help your skin, it also wakes you up, refreshes your face for the day, and gets you feeling your best. Tip: use a Vitamin C serum every morning to energize and brighten!
8. Get your body moving
Some people thrive working out in the mornings (like our Associate Editor Maddie, who trained herself to become a morning workout person), but others (like me) just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy to be committed to a workout in the morning, so I get less out of it than if I were to do it later in the day. If you feel the same way, instead of forcing yourself to do workouts that don’t benefit you, set the simple goal of moving your body in some way each morning. This will help get your blood flowing, wake you up, and give you a natural boost of energy. Some great options for this are a quick stretching session, a short yoga flow (Yoga with Adriene is an Everygirl team favorite), or even a little walk around the block.
If you do love working out in the morning, that’s an awesome way to start your day as well! Try out these under-30 minute workouts to switch things up.
9. Tidy up your home
We’re not talking about a deep cleaning here, but a little bit of a morning tidy-up leaves less room for stress as the day goes on. Make your bed, put any dishes away, pick things up from the floor, and declutter your workspace to provide yourself with a blank canvas to start your day. A clean space leaves you with a clean mind–and it will prevent you from getting distracted by mess or clutter throughout the day. In addition, the actual process of tidying up can be super therapeutic, so you get a built-in stress-reliever right off the bat.
10. Get some Vitamin D
This might sound weird, but standing in direct sunlight for a few moments always makes me instantly happier. All winter long, if I happened to come across a lucky patch of sunshine, I would stop and enjoy it for an on-the-spot mood boost. Although it is not winter anymore, I’m trying to add this little trick to my mornings every day. Implement this by going for a walk in the sun, basking in the light from a window, utilizing your outdoor space if you have it, or even just ensuring that your home is light and bright.