Starting Your Mornings Off Right

I made the mistake of not falling into a proper morning routine for about half of the previous semester. I love to sleep, and I tend to be a night owl, so mornings are not a time when I wanted to be active and getting ready. I avoid 8:00 a.m. classes like the plague, and I have been known to leave my 15-minutes-away-from-campus house at 10:28 for my 10:30 class. However, I realized this wasn’t going to work for me long-term. I felt tired all the time, even on nights when I got eight hours or more of sleep. I never felt quite ready for the day ahead, and I forgot to bring completed assignments to class. As a solution, I ironed out the wrinkles of my routine and learned what worked for me. Now, I will share them with you: my insider tips on how to have relatively-painless mornings when you prefer the cover of night.


                                                                                                (Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash)


Take showers in moderation

Hot water can damage skin. Taking a hot shower frequently (every single day) can lead to what some have called “defatting.” This is known as your skin being stripped of the natural oils that protect your cells. Personally, I take a shower not as part of any sort of routine, but as part of me listening to my body. So, for instance, I shower after doing things like yard work, exercise, or before things like dates or big events. Sometimes I shower when I just don’t feel clean, which is usually every 2-3 days. Ever since this change in my routine, my skin has thanked me.There are probably some people reading this thinking I'm gross, or maybe that you don’t know how you could go without showering and not feel disgusting. There’s a trick to it: increase the hygiene in other parts of life. I change my socks and underwear every day, wash my face in the mornings, brush my hair thoroughly and change out my bedsheets every week. The only parts of your body that produce odor are the sweat glands in your armpits and groin. Wearing deodorant and being, ahem, conscientious, will take care of that problem. It takes some getting used to, but if you can get over the initial change in routine, your skin will be grateful and it will save you time.

Waking up at the same time, every single day

Last semester, my logic was: On T-Th I had a class at 9:30. On MWF, my first class was at 10:30. So it was cool for me to wake up at 8:15 on T-Th and 9:45 on MWF, right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. My circadian rhythm was more out of sync than your dad trying to do the Cupid Shuffle at your cousin’s wedding. I never really felt rested, because my body was never quite sure when the appropriate time to fall asleep would be. The irregularity was the death of me. After the halfway point of the semester, I started getting up at 8:15 every day. I immediately noticed a change in my energy levels remaining even throughout the day. Setting a consistent morning alarm will do your body good. One thing that’s helped me is tracking my sleep. If you own a smartwatch, wear it when you sleep and track your patterns. If you notice any inconsistency, remedy them by falling into a stable rhythm.

Take care of tomorrow’s problems the night before

I’ll admit, I’m still learning how to do this myself. But, what I have learned: preparation makes perfect. Pick out an outfit the night before, and lay it out or make it easily accessible. Put the books and completed assignments for tomorrow’s classes in your backpack. Try to have papers printed out a few hours in advance, and avoid the stress of the fact that printers can smell fear and will never work when you need them most.

Finally, start the morning off right

Try to eat at least a granola bar or some fruit before you leave in the morning. Read the news and maybe an article or two from your favorite online magazine (*wink*). Practice a morning devotion for your religion. Read a daily affirmation or do some yoga, or maybe hit the gym if that’s your thing. Do what makes you feel good, and puts you in the right mindset to face whatever challenges the day has for you.