Once the alarm goes off, it can be hard to get out of bed – even when you know you have lots to do that day. It's fine not to be a morning person – not all of us are – but there are things that you can do to make waking up more pleasant.
You can learn how to be positive in the morning and start your day on the right foot. While we can't guarantee that we can make you love mornings, we can at least help you to hate them a little less.
If you enjoy these tips and want to learn how to wake up the mindful way, then check out Suzy Reading's advice to help you revamp your morning routine.
Read on to discover how to start your day in a good mood…
How to be positive in the morning
Prepare for your day the night before
While some of us can jump out of bed in the morning full of zest for life, for others waking up can be the worst part of the day. Even if you’ve had a good night’s sleep, the idea of leaving the comfort of a warm duvet to face the weather, work or the walk to school can feel like the last thing you want to do.
But by moving our bodies just a little when we wake up, we can help ourselves feel both physically and mentally ready for the morning ahead. The first step is to make sure you’ve set your alarm to wake you up so you’ve got enough time to ease into the day rather than rushing.
Yawn for more oxygen
Breathing is a great place to start. Through the night, we need less oxygen as we’re in a resting state, so our breathing can become shallow. Taking a few deep breaths as soon as you wake up will help bring more oxygen into your body, fuelling and energising many of its functions and letting it know that it’s nearly time to get moving. A yawn might also help. Although many of us associate it with us feeling tired, it’s actually a clever way of taking in more oxygen, so enjoy it.
Wake your spine with a stretch
Once you’re breathing more deeply, you might already be feeling the urge to have a stretch – go with it and take any movements that feel good. There are some specific stretches that will help you to feel perky first thing – reaching arms overhead will wake up the spine, especially if you lean back a little as you do so, creating a gentle backbend.
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A gentle twist to each side while lying on your back might also feel good, and will start to stimulate your digestive organs, preparing them for the day. Think about your body from head to toe, as you begin to move it, imagining each part of the body slowly waking up. This will again prepare the body for movement, and make sure that all your muscles are ready to work and support you throughout your daily movements.
Kickstart your body, brain and heart
After a gentle start, some dynamic movements will help to get your heart rate up and kick-start your brain, raising your energy levels. Lifting and lowering one knee and then the other when lying on your back will start to engage your core muscles, which we use all day long, as well as challenging your co-ordination, encouraging your brain to wake up and start problem-solving.
Coming onto all fours and gently moving through the spine, moving with your breath, will also bring awareness into all parts of the body, and get you into a more upright position, ready to hop out of bed when you feel ready.
Assess your alarm
Could you do anything to make hearing it more positive? If you use your phone, choose a sound that cheers you up, or write yourself a motivational note on the alarm description – both will help you start the day with a more positive mindset. You could also invest in a daylight alarm clock, which will wake you up slowly with increasing levels of light and gentle sounds.
Think about gratitude
As soon as you’re awake, think of three things that you’re grateful for that day. It might be the weather, that you have a exciting plans coming up or even just coffee – whatever makes you smile.
It’s so tempting to stay in bed for just five more minutes, but doing so throws off the body’s waking-up routine, meaning that when you do get up, your body isn’t yet ready, leaving you feeling lethargic. As soon as you hear the alarm, get up.
Activate airplane mode
Many of us reach for our phones as soon as we wake up, whether that’s to check the news or catch up on notifications. But doing so first thing can stress us out and put us in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Instead, quietly go through your getting-ready routine by being free of digital distractions, then actively decide to check in when you’re awake and ready to handle it.
Prepare everything the night before
It’s much easier to face the day when you know that you don’t need to make any decisions or prepare anything. Get everything sorted before you go to bed, from packing your bag to laying out clothes to wear, and even having a cup and a bowl out on the side, ready for breakfast. That way, all you have to worry about is getting your body out of bed – the rest will take care of itself.
Looking for more sleep tips? Try our best yoga poses for sleep, sleep breathing techniques to help you relax at bedtime, and what to eat to improve your sleep.
Featured image by Unsplash/Taisiia Stupak.