It is a commonly known fact within my close family that I am unable to do anything other than growl like a troll pre-9am. Honestly, it’s been a long-held dream of mine to become a morning person: if not only to be kind and pleasant to those around me pre-9am but to set myself up for a productive day, something that doesn’t happen if I wake up a grumpypants.
How it normally goes down come 7am is that I wake up with my iPhone alarm – a noise that now evokes a Pavlovian response of terror if I hear it in the form of a stranger’s ringtone – with massive groan and a pillow over my head. I open my eyes and then squeeze them tight shut again for as long as is acceptable for my children which, as I’m the mother of an early riser (I don’t know where Elfie gets it), is usually about three minutes.
“It’s awful, it’s really really awful. There are so many things I’m driven to do with my days but can’t because I’m just too freaking sleepy for the first half of the day”
I then get up and navigate the first part of my day through eyes that are half closed, not really waking up or doing anything of productive note til about, ooh, 2pm. Which is an hour before I have to pick the kids up from school.
And it’s awful, it’s really really awful. There are so many things I’m driven to do with my days but can’t because I’m just too freaking sleepy for the first half of the day. Seriously, so many times I’ve wished to give my right arm so I can become a morning person: it’s just impossible to achieve all my dreams while I’m half asleep.
About six months ago I decided that something had to be done. I couldn’t continue to live my life in the way that made me happiest while I was beating myself up over my perceived laziness while feeling as snoozy as hell. Having scoured every single pice of writing I could find online about being perkier in the AM, here’s what’s working for me.
(And crucially I’m not going to tell you to leave your iPhone in the other room. Because nobody really wants to do that, do we?)
Become a Morning Person
Get the hell up
It sounds simple, but if I get out of bed within five minutes of my alarm going off the next five hours are so much easier. Something about not hitting the snooze button (the beautiful beautiful snooze button) just works for me.
Tick one thing off your ‘To-Do’ list early doors
If there’s one thing that makes me feel productive it’s ticking things off my To-Do list. And whether thats sticking a load of washing on or doing a quick unload of the dishwasher, as long as I’ve done something that feels useful I feel magically more driven for the rest of the day.
Get a coffee machine
Newsflash: caffeine first thing in the morning gives you a bit more get up and go. I KNOW, RIGHT?! This is very unknown information.
Although I occasionally used to drink the odd cup of coffee I never really used to go to the effort of making it at home: until now! Enter my new Melitta Coffee Machine, a dream of a kitchen appliance that not only makes a beautiful pot of coffee every day but does it on a timer, so instead of waking up to Elfie sitting on my head I wake up to Elfie sitting on my head AND the smell of fresh coffee.
It’s been a game-changer, it really has.
Shower and wash hair first thing
I’m a timesaver: I don’t like spending more time than is necessary doing things I need to do. Which is why, if I have a bath in the evening I will consider myself clean enough to not have a shower in the morning. Normal, right?
But I’ve noticed that I don’t feel properly awake if I don’t jump in the shower and scrub my scalp… I dunno, I just need to in order to feel compos mentis. So from now on I have to give up any thoughts on the waste of time in doubling up my bathing routine and, in order to become a morning person, just hop in the shower daily and get washed.
Wake up with daylight
Shall we talk about that time I went with one of my BFFs to New York, closed the black-out blinds to take a mid-afternoon nap and didn’t wake til midnight thus ruining our Saturday night dinner plans?
No, let’s not.
It’s true that black-out blinds really mess me up: I need natural daylight to wake up properly in the morning (and for this reason am unable to nap when it’s dark. Obviously). And since the clocks went back I’ve literally been surviving on my new Lumie alarm clock, a class 1 graded medical device that has the magic of gradual ‘sunrise’ in-built. The difference to how this makes me feel has been small but noticeable, meaning I gradually rise with more energy and enthusiasm. I now will not be without this come winter.
Get dressed in a great outfit
When I first wake up in the morning I find it hard to remember my own name, so goodness knows how I find the wherewithal to get dressed.
I’ll tell you: INSTAGRAM.
Getting dressed in an outfit I feel good in makes me feel really happy, which I find sets the tone for the rest of the day, meaning the post-morning hours will be a success. But because I can barely see my clothes through my paper thin-slit eyes early doors I turn to Instagram to help me become a morning person.
Whenever I see an outfit I think looks good, one I can easily emulate with the things I have in my own wardrobe, I screengrab it. So then, on the days I feel totally uninspired when it comes to piecing together an outfit (i.e. on all of them) I turn to my folder of ‘Instagram inspiration’ and just copy one of the outfits I have stored up.
And I will never tell Erica Davies, Alex Stedman or Jess (Fashion and Style Edit) how many photos of them I have saved on my iPhone. Because that would be creepy.
Are you a morning person? I’d love to know how you get up with the birds. Because you can never be too awake…