There’s something rather magic about mornings. That opportunity to wake up each day with a fresh mind and perspective on your day ahead; a chance to absolutely nail life and basically be Beyoncé.
I have always been a morning person. From as early as I can remember, I have just loved what mornings offer and, even as a child, I enjoyed getting things done before anyone else had even stirred. Having two older brothers who were at secondary school before me meant that I would get up for their drive to school and that always really excited me. I was that child who would wake up hours before school started just so I could have a leisurely breakfast watching cartoons (not much has changed then).
There’s a weird sense of ownership over my life when I’ve been productive before 9am; an element of utter smugness. Whilst at University, I would regularly get up for an early morning yoga class before lectures and revel in the fact that I had already done so much (it included a cycle there and back) before my housemates had woken up. There you have it… SMUG.
But I’m not writing this just to be that annoyingly smug person whose productivity you loathe, I want you to join in on this slice of morning magic with me!
How the hell to enjoy mornings:
Now that the mornings aren’t so miserable and dark, it’s the perfect excuse to make more of your day than just heading to work and coming home. So here are a few of my suggestions:
Set your alarm early! I know this may sound horrible, especially if you’re a fan of the snooze button and lie there until you really have no choice but to roll out of bed and start sweating on the tube. But really make the most of that time you have before the stress of your day begins.
Wake up happy. I have recently found the ‘bedtime’ section on the iPhone clock which allows you to wake up to stupidly lovely sounds like birds singing (seriously I’m a Disney cliché). But there is nothing worse than that horrendous claxon or alarm to jolt you out of your peaceful state, so be kind to yourself and wake up to something that makes you happy. My friend and I used to set our alarm to fun songs that we would start singing to as soon as we woke up (fair enough I haven’t done that since I was 14, but it’s still a nice idea).
Rehydrate! I am personally so overwhelmingly thirsty every time I wake up and I actually drink an entire 1L bottle of water before getting out of bed. It’s a great opportunity to start hydrating your body and brain and getting everything going!
Get your stretch on. Whether it’s a full blown yoga sequence or just a little playtime with your breath and body, there’s nothing quite like a morning stretch to start the day. I used to absolutely love heading to an early yoga class to set my intentions for the day and have some me time, but if the thought of that scares you, then just try a few stretches on your floor or yoga mat. “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube has an amazing morning energising sequence which I highly recommend.
Put down the coffee first thing. We may feel as though coffee answers all our prayers in the morning (and sometimes this is oh so true) but try switching your highly caffeinated wakeup call with a simple hot water and lemon so not to override your cortisol levels. Read more about why you shouldn’t drink coffee first thing here.
Take time to break your fast. Honestly, it blows my mind that people leave the house without breakfast (and have no plan to eat it). I’m learning to be open minded to this notion but personally, there is nothing like a good breakfast to set me up for the day and make my morning bloody lavly. For me, breakfast is so important as I suffer from Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome and have to keep my insulin levels balanced, so a nutrition rich breakfast first thing is a no-brainer. Opt for foods with a low GI for a slow release of energy, such as oats and bananas and foods rich in proteins. My go-to breakfast is protein oats made with Missfits Chocolate Protein Powder, turmeric, cinnamon & cooked in brown rice milk. If you’re panicking about time, then make a jar of overnight oats so that the work is already done for you when you wake up.
Get your sweat on and head to an exercise class before work. There is really nothing like getting up and nailing a sweaty workout before the tubes have even got busy! There have been countless times where I’ve cursed at the alarm at 6am and questioned my sanity, but that post-workout euphoria and smugness is beyond worth it for both your mind and body. My favourite morning classes are spinning at Psycle and reshape/rumble at 1Rebel.
Walk the extra mile. Working freelance means I don’t have to be stuck on the tubes at crush-hour every day, but I still like to make my time on public transport as short as possible. Try getting off a few stops earlier and walking to work or grab a Santander cycle to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!