Yesterday was about the early nights going to bed? Today is all about the early mornings to rise.
Now trust me, I still don’t consider myself a morning person. It’s still often difficult for me to get out of bed, whether that be from exhaustion or just a lack of motivation to do anything and face the day. And I have spent years confused by anybody who was up at the crack of dawn and chose to be awake.
But now most days, the latest I can sleep in is 7 AM. Most days I’m up by around 6, sometimes as early as 5. Where this switch came from, I don’t know, but I figured I would embrace it. And indeed, I truly do appreciate becoming more of an early riser so I can see the beauty of being awake before the world is. To see the sun gradually rise. To have moments of pure silence and peace, or more time to be productive and proactive so I can ease my mind later in the day.
With that early start, I can begin my day less rushed. I can take the time I need to get ready and enjoy the process of a morning ritual. I can collect my thoughts and intentions for the day to ensure I’m starting on the right foot. I’m grateful for the opportunity available in that early morning, the promise of a new day waiting to be seized.
And, inevitably, I’m here to mention why waking up early can be good for you, too. Which, if you need a serious reason to think about setting an alarm clock, hopefully these will serve as incentives.
In 2010, Christoph Randler, a biologist from Harvard found that early risers are more proactive. When presented with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself”, an early riser is more likely to agree. There are less distractions in the early hours of the day so you can achieve more with minimal interruptions. After a good night’s sleep, your brain is charged and ready to work hard. You are at your efficient best and will get things done quicker and better, at least once your body gets used to the earlier wake-up call.
As I’ve already mentioned, having more time in the morning helps you set a positive tone that impacts how you feel and act the rest of the day. Studies have shown “morning people” are often more positive, more optimistic and more likely to experience satisfaction in their lives. Rather than the temptation to put off certain tasks, it’s pretty satisfying to finish school assignments, blog posts, and maybe work out if you’re into that, all before the day “officially” starts. My days can feel less hectic and stressful knowing I’ve already gotten some things checked off my to-do list, and it feels nice to remember that even if my only actual task completed was in the morning, I still got it done. You have to celebrate the little things.
So if you’re a chronic night owl or generally despise mornings, I get it. But if you’re interested in hopping on the early riser boat, hop on aboard. There’s plenty of room. We leave harbor at dawn. Sharp.
Seriously though, how does one start waking up earlier if their body doesn’t just randomly switch wake-up times like mine did? Have a personal reason you want to wake up earlier because as much as I can ramble on, if you don’t resonate with an intention you set yourself, I can’t convince you of anything. Be gradual with yourself in transitioning, even if that means waking up just five minutes earlier than the morning before. Be wary of hitting snooze or relying upon an annoying alarm to wake up to. Establish a morning routine you’ll actually look forward to, like having true time to eat and enjoy breakfast, getting into a new hobby like exercise or meditation, or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Regardless if you wake up at 6 AM or 11 AM, the most important thing to be grateful for is that you woke up. Realizing that each day, we can rise in a healthy body, in a healthy environment, knowing everything life has to offer us, is the best habit of all. Anything I’ve mentioned this month would be nothing without the simple gift the morning brings and everything that is meant to come our ways. Each morning is an opportunity to express gratitude, to treat ourselves, others, and the world with kindness.
That mindset is not just designated this month, but for every morning of every day in any month. I hope to celebrate gratitude in all I do and wake up in a sound mindset aware of these gifts, and I hope the same for you.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie