Ways to Better Your Morning Routine

Becoming a morning person is not an easy thing to do, especially in college. Binge watching Netflix, spontaneously deciding to crash a party or two, or spending a relaxing night hanging out with friends at the Burger Stand are just some reason why KU students tend to be night owls. Though you don't want to leave these experiences out when balancing work and play, there are definitely pros to transitioning into a morning person. For one, waking up earlier tends to lead to a more productive day. There's more hours of daylight, and when it comes to those 8am classes, taking advantage of a hugs and mugs moment before your day starts can help calm you down and put you in a focused mood for the tasks of the day. Here's some tips for starting your day out right with an invigorating and relaxing morning routine:

1) If you like to work out in the crisp morning air before your 8am classes, try choosing your workout outfit the night before and putting them out for easy accessibility. Let's face it, at 6 in the morning, you don't want to be stumbling around for a pair of leggings. Make things easy for yourself and incorporate planning out a cute morning workout outfit in your night routine. It will make you inspired to carry out your plans at dawn. 

2) I know this one is going to be hard, but if you're on a tight schedule (like 99% of the KU population) sticking to a bedtime is crucial. The recommended 8-9 hours of sleep is laughable because it is so impossible to achieve, but 6.5-7 hours of sleep might be achievable with a little effort and discipline. One way to ensure that you are providing enough sleep for your body is, yes you guessed it, limiting screen access 20-30 minutes before hitting the sack. Screens mess our brains up by suggesting it's light outside, therefore sending the message to our brains that we should be up and active. Nowadays iPhones have a built in "night light" option that dims the color of your screen to a soft yellow when it gets dark. I highly recommend using this setting if you must be on your phone. 

3) Prepare your Keurig for its' morning brew the night before. I don't know about you, but the idea of just having to turn on your Keurig and immediately have the strong warm scent of coffee permeating your apartment or dorm room is intoxicating. Make it easier on yourself and prepare a reward for getting out of bed before the first light of day.  

4) I'm sure you all have heard this at one time or another, but eliminate the option of the "snooze" button!!! This is so important because if you continually hit snooze every 15 minutes after waking up, your body keeps trying to start and restart the REM sleeping cycle without no opportunity to finish a healthy circuit. Not only does this confuse your body into "needing" more sleep, it also makes you feel groggy and worse then if you just slid into your slippers and went for that coffee the first time your alarm goes off. Trust me, don't torture yourself more then you have to. Eliminate the Snooze! 

5) My last and final tip for you all is make your morning routine fun and exciting! If you're feeling uninspired or dreading waking up, come up with an incentive that makes you WANT to get up! A new work out, a different coffee flavor, burning some candles and opening your windows to let that crisp fall breeze come in, or making your bed right away so you feel like you immediately accomplished something are great ideas to spice up your morning routine. 

Though you might have been able to hold off those 8am classes for now, sooner or later those suckers are going to come up and bite you. Getting in the habit of waking up early in the morning allows you to make the most out of your busy collegiate day and gives you an opportunity to go through your schedule for the day. Having that extra time to organize your priorities and treat yourself to some TLC will lead to a more productive, less stressful lifestyle in the end. Give yourself the chance to appreciate the morning sunrises, and start your day with a fresh start!