How I Came to Love Mornings

Not many people I know are morning people. Most of the people I know would rather get a slap across the face rather than have to set an alarm for six or seven A.M. Some of the the people I know even go to bed only a couple hours prior to the time that “insane morning people” are getting out of bed, ready to start their day.

Back at home, I was never too much of a morning person. I’d only wake up early for school and work and even then, I was always in bed until the last possible minute. I could easily sleep in until 10 A.M. on the weekends back in high school, and I’d always wake up feeling tired and groggy, my only thought being how nice it would feel to get into bed at the end of the day.

But after coming to Queen’s, that somehow changed a bit. I was up earlier, mostly because I found a purpose in being up early. At the beginning of first year, especially for the first month, I was deathly afraid of the Freshman Fifteen because of all the horror stories I’d heard before coming to school (and especially after being introduced to the four-piece). So, I decided to use the mornings to work out and build in some time for exercise. I had a tendency to wake up early to trek from residence to the ARC (Yes, even when it was -20 degrees and snowing outside) and luckily, I had good friends who were just as crazy as I was to try that seven A.M. spin class or be on the treadmill by 7:30 A.M. I was also a part of Queen’s Yoga Club and they offered morning classes off campus that usually had an 8:00 A.M. start. Even when I didn’t plan on going to the gym or to yoga, I liked being up earlier to go grab breakfast with friends and then have the mornings to myself to finish up work before my first class of the day.  

Now, in second year, nothing has changed. In fact, there are days where I’ll actually be up earlier than last year. My routine transformed into more yoga because I lived close to a hot yoga studio on Princess Street, and I loved starting the morning off with something as calming, yet energizing and detoxing, as yoga, which was a big habit that I carried over into university from the last years of high school. This past semester, my earliest class start was 11:30 A.M. so very early on, I found that if I didn’t get up early for any reason at all, it was easy to let a good chunk of the day to go to waste. The mornings, therefore, were a great way to get me out of bed and onto my mat.

So, this has been the year that I’ve truly embraced mornings. This has been the year that I’ve truly started to love mornings. Apart from getting a good workout in before people have even rolled out of bed, I found that I was much more productive in the early hours before my housemates were awake. My routine this year (not on all days, of course, because I am also a firm believer in the idea that you need to sleep in from time to time) has been to wake up at around six A.M., make it to a seven A.M. hot yoga class if they’re offering it that day, and by the time I’m back from the class and finished my shower, it’s usually around 8:30 am. I’ll make myself a cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast and sit at my desk to get some work done before I have to get ready to head to campus for my first class of the day. I find that with my coffee in hand and my mind energized from the endorphins, these are the hours that I get the most done because I’m not tired from the day or distracted by other people.

Some mornings, I might not even do work if there’s not too much to get done. I’ll read a bit, listen to some music, or do whatever I’m feeling. I think the most important thing is to feel like you have control over your mornings. Once you have control of your mornings, you then, in turn, have control over the rest of your life. The one or two or three hours you have to yourself can make such a big difference, and they most certainly add up over time.

Lots of studies out there show that some of the most productive people talk about waking up early as being one of their key drivers of success. Some of them are up at five A.M. on a daily basis, getting to see the sun come up every morning. I’m definitely not there yet, but who knows? That could be something I reach later down the line. It honestly just takes discipline and the building of good habits.

What I love most about the early mornings is the peace and tranquility of it all. I notice it most on my walk to yoga at 6:45 in the morning. The streets are quiet, the sky is still dim, and nothing is stirring. Sometimes on my walk over, it will be snowing and I’ll look up at the sky and watch the snow fall and it feels like I’m suspended in a snow globe. The mornings hold so much possibility. It’s the possibility of the day to come. It’s the possibility of what you will accomplish in the remaining hours. It’s the possibility of all that is yet to happen.

I recently just ordered a book that came out called the 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma. It talks about taking control of your mornings and elevating your life. I’m really looking forward to reading it and for those of you who have always wanted to become a morning person but found yourself incapable of getting up before the sun is up, maybe go and pick it up if you’re interested.

It’s important to remember that on some days, getting out of bed early will feel like the biggest challenge ever. There will be moaning and groaning as you try to bat away the sleep in your eyes. But the key is to persevere, and to get into the habit of it just takes time (and the habit of going to bed earlier).