Girl, I get it. If there’s anyone who understands the draw of long nights and sleeping in, it’s me. Until I got my sh!t together, I was that person who went to bed when the early risers were already getting up. However, while it’s all well and good to enjoy a funky do-it-yourself kind of schedule during quarantine, I wanted to give you all a couple quick tips on what I believe – and research has proven – to be the best way to start your day off to boost both happiness and success.
So, let’s begin.
1) Get. Up. Early. I can’t stress it enough. You’re most productive in the early hours of the day, and your body will also thank you for being on its desired sleep schedule. Some of the most successful people in the world are up around 5am and in bed about 9pm because they know they are fueling their productivity simply by doing so. If you get up by say, around 6am? You have the world at your fingertips for the next 13+ hours and an adequate amount of sleep ahead of you. Not to mention, unless it’s a Friday night or weekend, you won’t miss out on anything because you will have plenty of time to both get what you need done and take advantage of all the extracurriculars that are occurring during the most active hours of the day.
2) So it may seem silly, but it’s actually incredibly important. Breathe. It’s as simple as that. Take 5–10 minutes to mediate, or even just do some deep breathing while you’re preparing your things for the day. Pay attention to your breath always. You are feeding your mind and healing your body. It’s not a joke. You will be happier, more productive, and more at peace if you give your mind just 10 minutes in the morning to fully breathe.
3) Similarly, it also helps to stretch. A lot of times, we are really sore in the mornings. Whether it’s from a gym sesh the night before or simply from slouching at the computer all day, many times, our body is overwhelmed. Stretching for a good 10 minutes will not only loosen up your muscles and make you more able and less grouchy throughout the day, but will keep you healthy, happy, and young.
4) Meanwhile, while you’re going about all this, I highly suggest that you don’t touch your phone. I get it, it’s really hard. I used to wake up every morning only to spend the next 15 minutes “helping myself wake up” by checking up on what the world did while I was asleep. However, while you may think that you’re helping yourself, you’re actually slowing yourself down. See what happens when you distance yourself from your device for at least half an hour in the mornings – just try it. You’re giving your mind room to think about other important things, immersing yourself more in the real world, and not to mention, you’re really letting yourself breathe.
5) If you want, once you’ve got your best friend back, feel free to put on some music, or even a short motivational speech. Listening to something high-vibrational and positive in the morning, especially if it’s something you’re fond of, can really help you in getting that happy head-start that you need.
6) Sixly? Drink lots of water. I know it can seem like a pain to run to the restroom between classes or meetings, but it’s worth filling your system with this magic drink. Drinking water oxygenates your brain, cleanses your system (and your pores) and keeps you as healthy and hydrated as you need to go about your day quite awake and perfectly — motivated.
7) If possible, I would suggest making time to work out in the mornings. Even a 2-minute plank before breakfast will not only help you burn off those stubborn calories from the day before, but will allow you to wake up faster and generate better energy for the day ahead.
8) Notice how all of these things are great energy boosts and can really help you wake up? Know what’s another thing that will do that for you? Showering. Now, I get it, for some of us, [especially us curly (frizzy?) haired people], it can be a battle to shower in the morning. However, if you can set enough time for yourself, it’s worth it. It’s refreshing, it feels nice, and it always serves as a good reminder that you have a whole new day – the gift of the present – ahead of you.
9) Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. I cannot stress it enough. You’re not only boosting your metabolism and preventing those scary fits of hanger, but providing yourself with energy to fuel yourself throughout the day. I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it’s what you start with and in the end, what really gets you going. It’s energy, and, something to look forward to! Treat yourself with a healthy (and tasty!) breakfast (so important), give your body those nutrients it needs, and I can bet you won’t regret taking the extra 10 minutes to do so.
10) Make a list of at least 5 things you want to accomplish today, and 5 things that you are grateful for. Every day is a gift – don’t forget that – and it should be treated that way. Dreading all the work you have to face and peers you don’t want to see? Other than getting a new job (sort of kidding) I would recommend adding in a few “little things” you can do for yourself that you have to look forward to. Set aside half an hour at the gym, or in front of Netflix. If you’re not looking forward to the day, you’re doing something wrong. It’s important to get work done and do things for others, but it’s just as important to look out for yourself too. If you’re living the days paycheck to paycheck, something has to change. Not to mention, setting up this list will make your tasks seem less menacing and make what you were dreading in the first place slightly easier to pursue. Basically, you’re turning each day into a well-organized gift.
11) Finally, smile. Now don’t laugh – it’s not funny. Haha. In all seriousness though? It’s scientifically proven that holding a smile on your face can actually make you happier! Now how about that? So you’ve woken up, had a good breakfast, planned for success, and now you know you’re actually quite happy about it.
Overall, my loves? — this is all simple advice. Take it or leave it — take some or leave some. But I suggest you at least give it a shot. You can alternate, play around, see what’s the best fit for you. But overall, give yourself a chance to look forward to a full day ahead of you — let’s make today your bit —
“What was that?” Ah right, okay then — let’s make today… let’s make the present, the gift it really is.