Your alarm goes off. No matter how many times you’ve changed the alarm sound between “peaceful ascending bells” and “evening foghorn,” you still want to sigh dramatically and fall back asleep as soon as you hear it. You hate your alarm. Besides, those picture-perfect mornings with singing birds, acai bowls, and finding your inner peace only exist for Instagram models, right? Maybe not.
Mornings do, as they say, set the trajectory for your entire day. That’s why I began my mission to remove that negative alarm connotation from my morning ritual, and attempt to find some of that positivity and inner peace mentioned earlier. As college students, our lives are insane. The amount of sleep you will get during any given night is eternally uncertain, and there never seems to be a stop in workload no matter how many assignments you finish. This is why finding solace in your morning routine can make such a positive impact on the rest of your day. Although I have by no means found the ultimate, foolproof, instant motivation-inducing morning routine, I have discovered some tips and habits that have helped make my mornings something I look forward to.
GET UP and Treat Yourself
I know it’s difficult, but in order to have a great morning, you really need to get up first. I used to struggle with this so much, but the one thing that really helped me was giving myself something to look forward to. Personally, this means telling myself I can have a fresh cup of coffee with my favorite sugar-free caramel syrup. You can look forward to anything that motivates you to start your day: maybe there is something specifically special about today, or maybe you have been craving a dining hall waffle since last night and you can finally get it. Whatever it is, use it to start your day with excitement about the little things in life.
Listen to Music or a Podcast
Music is the ultimate mood booster. Start your morning with your favorite upbeat songs or your favorite podcast (here are some podcast ideas). Dance like a fool if you want to. It really does make picking out your outfit 100% more fun, plus you can pretend you are in a coming of age movie scene, which I personally do way too much. (P.S. If your roommate is sleeping, headphones are your best friend. The morning jams wait for no one.)
Take a Moment to Reflect and Be Thankful
Take a moment to breathe. Think of something you are thankful for. It sounds super cheesy, but it really does give you perspective. One of my favorite habits is to think about all the things that I have accomplished or have now that I wanted a year ago. It helps to highlight all the amazing things you have accomplished to start your morning right.
Indulge in “Me Time”
To quote Parks and Rec, treat yo’ self! My favorite thing is to multitask “me time” and productivity by watching YouTube videos while I do my makeup. This is honestly my favorite part of my morning routine. Watching YouTube (or Netflix) for ten minutes or so in the morning while doing your hair, makeup, or another part of your routine gets something done while making you feel like you indulged. If you have a hard time getting sucked into the internet rabbit hole, I highly suggest finding a single Youtube video between five and ten minutes long and simply turning your computer off when it’s done. I like to browse videos when I have free time and save them to my “watch later” playlist so I have a video to be excited about in the morning. This also keeps you on schedule if you tend to take way too long doing your makeup (like me).
Do Something that Makes You Feel Beautiful
This means something different for everyone. For me, it means picking out an outfit that makes me feel stylish and confident. For other people, it could mean anything from wearing your favorite earrings to practicing positive affirmations. Whatever it is, take time to do it. You deserve to feel like the beautiful person you are all day.
Eat Good Food
Another annoyingly timeless saying: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a nutritious and full breakfast will regulate your hunger for the rest of the day. Plus, no one enjoys the loud stomach rumbling in your 8:30 am Intro to Anthropology course. Treat your body well and eat a wholesome breakfast which you enjoy.
The best way to prepare for a stress free, organized day is to plan it in advance. The morning ritual of pulling out my planner and rainbow gel pens makes a huge difference in how my day goes. Reminding yourself of what is due that day and what your commitments are is the first, and perhaps most essential, step in actually getting those things done. I also find that having a physical, paper planner which I can color code and erase to my heart’s desire is easier than an online calendar. I also find that a beautiful and colorful planner makes me super motivated to actually use it. I love my current academic year planner, which you can find here.
Incorporating these habits truly have made a huge difference in my mornings. I hope this helps you too, and may you have the most zen, Instagrammable mornings from now on!
If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email email@example.com.