Mornings can be difficult for everyone, especially if you decided to marathon season two of House of Cards the night before. While unavoidable, there are lots of things you can do to make mornings easier and more enjoyable, or at least more tolerable.
1. Wake Up Differently
The routine wailing sound coming from an alarm clock or phone can offset a bad mood for the rest of your morning. Its irritableness may also tempt you to push the snooze button in an attempt to quickly dismiss it. Instead of waking up to something you dread, it may be beneficial to switch things up. If you set your alarm to your favorite song, you might feel more inclined to let the music continue, avoiding pressing the snooze button and losing time on getting ready for your day. Another way to wake up is leaving your blinds up just enough so the sunshine can seep through. Natural sunlight signals the brain of the time of day, so instead of waking up from a deep sleep, your body will be more prepared, being half awake. If these options seem unappealing, there’s always the best (but harder) solution: go to sleep earlier.
Today, quiet moments are quickly fleeting and rarely opportune. Journaling is a great way for you to be able to clarify your thoughts and feelings that may be jumbled inside. Since the journal is for your eyes only, the writing does not have to complex or use correct grammar or even follow a set pattern. Writing about things from the day before, deciphering your dreams, and planning the day ahead of you helps you better understand yourself, reduce stress, and solve problems more efficiently.
3. Read Something Short and Sweet
Motivational and inspirational quotes have the power to get us through a rough day ahead, or a rough week past, and also have the ability to encourage dreams. They can be incredibly uplifting and put you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day, which can be incredibly infectious to the people you come across. In addition to a quote, learning a new word a day can be highly beneficial. You’ll be able to considerably increase your vocabulary for use in both an academic and social context. Download a quotes app and a word of the day app on your phone, or set your homepage for a website you like, and start sharpening your mind instantly.
4. Eat Breakfast
Despite being the most important meal of the day, breakfast is probably the most neglected meal of the day. Waking up late is generally the cause for a missed breakfast, so it’s important to make time in your morning plans for breakfast. Skipping breakfast may force you to obsess about when you’ll get to eat your next meal, and a growling stomach can be distracting. According to WebMD, eating a healthier breakfast can improve concentration and performance in the classroom, give you more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity, and lower cholesterol levels. If it’s a decision between pressing the snooze button a couple of times and eating breakfast, go for the latter.
5. Smile More
If you’re up early, chances are you’re not alone and will run into people with the same struggles of waking up as you. Smiling is contagious; even if you or someone else is feeling down, if you smile, others will most likely mimic the facial expression. Surrounding yourself with the positivity that can be found in smiles may put you in a better mood and make others view you as more friendly and approachable. Additionally, according to the study, “What is Smiling is Beautiful and Good” in the European Journal of Social Psychology, smiling was found to increase rated attractiveness when compared to a neutral non-smiling expression. This holds true to the expression, “A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body.”
Image courtesy of: Dr. Jeff Brown.