For the last two weeks, I have been extremely intentional about trying to turn myself into a “morning person.” In my ideal world, I would be able to allow my body to wake up at its’ natural time of around 8:00am each morning, but that’s just not possible on weekdays. I have always wanted to be the type of person that jumps out of bed at 6:00am, ready to start their day, but instead I have been the kind of person that rolls out of bed at 7:30am after hitting snooze 10 times and rushes to get to work.
The catalyst for me to start changing this behavior came because I have found myself being less and less inclined to workout after work. Maybe it’s because the weather has been so nice lately, or maybe because I just want to go home and have a glass of wine after being at the office all day, but whatever the reason, my workouts were becoming less frequent and I didn’t like it.
I am so proud to say that I have gotten up every single day work day since last Monday and gone to the gym before heading to the office! And it really has not been nearly as hard to get going as I thought it would be. If you are like me and have a tough time getting out of bed any earlier than you absolutely have to, here are just a few of the positive side effects I have experienced since getting up almost two hours earlier than I was used to in the past:
Having time to allow my body to wake up, rather than running straight out the door and trying to concentrate at work when I haven’t even been upright for 20 minutes. Sure, I am pretty groggy when I get to the gym, but by the time I’ve been moving for 10 minutes or so, my body really starts to wake up. I leave the gym with a ton of endorphins and always have a much better attitude about the day ahead than I did before. I totally accredit this to the fact that I am waking my own body up, rather than people at work unknowingly doing it for me.
Actually looking forward to my workouts. I enjoy the crowd at the gym so much more in the mornings, so I am not dreading going there and dealing with all the guys trying to show off and just being generally obnoxious. It’s a nice, quiet, small crowd of mostly old people and I love it. I also find that I have a higher level of concentration in the mornings, so my workouts are intentional, effective, and to-the-point. I think I push myself harder, because it brings me such a sense of accomplishment so early in the day.
Extra energy. With extra energy comes more productivity and with more productivity comes less stress, so it’s really a win win for everyone that is around me on a daily basis.
More time to read, whether this is in the morning or after work. I actually have more time to do everything. I really procrastinated my afternoon workouts, which in turn helped me to waste a ton of time that I didn’t even realize at the time. I love, love, love getting home from work at 5:00pm and having the whole night ahead of me. It is a beautiful thing.
I eat better throughout the day, drink less at night, and actually crave “real” food. Since I know I am going to be getting up early the next morning, I have been snacking less and having one less (maybe ;)) glass of wine at night. I would rather feel good waking up than be dreading it.
I hope that some of those bullet points inspire you if you are like me and want to be a morning person but are having a hard time with it. And now that I have typed out that list, I am even more inspired to keep it going. I am going to make an exception on Thursdays since I love my evening yoga class with my mom so much, but I am still planning on getting up at the same time and using that extra time to maybe read, write, or pick up around the house. I never thought I would be planning to get up early “just because,” but I’m really not mad about it.
I think that there is something to be said about starting your day out on a “selfish” note. Although it’s not really selfish, because I strongly believe it when people say that in order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first. When we give ourself that time in the morning to do something (whatever it is!) that makes us happy and gives us a sense of peace, we are able to carry that with us throughout our entire day and into our interactions with everyone we come in contact with. So it may not seem like such a big deal, but I really think it is. I think that we have so much more of ourselves to give when we are in a good mood and feel like we did something to better ourselves.
One more thought on this. I really love seeing the sunrise. It is so literally symbolic of a new day and I feel really special when I get to experience that and actually see it happening. I definitely did not take this photo, but the people who get to wake up to this sunrise every day are especially lucky!
So what about you? Are you a morning or night person? If you have any tips to make mornings easier, I would love to hear them!