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What I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Morning Person

Every day, for years, I would check my phone in the morning and see the time. On a good day, the time would be 12 p.m. There is absolutely nothing wrong with waking up late, but during a pandemic, when everything feels so out of control, I found myself wanting to make a change in my life. In March, I vowed that I would become a morning person. One of those cool morning people that drank coffee and ate breakfast before noon. And that's exactly what I did. 

A few things that I noticed right off the bat is that I was in a much better mood. As I transitioned from waking up in the afternoon to waking up at around 8 a.m., I felt myself waking up happier. I felt like I had time to relax without worrying about being late for work or having enough time to eat. When I was alone in the morning, I felt at peace, knowing I was taking time for myself.

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Another thing I have noticed is that my anxiety has lessened. I felt like I never had enough hours in the day to do what I wanted to do. Now, the earlier I wake up, the more time I have for other things. There is something so settling about sitting down at 8 a.m. with a cup of coffee and just listening to the world around me. As someone with anxiety, waking up early gives me the time in my day to take time for much-needed self-care. It has given me the opportunity to read more, start listening to podcasts and go on runs. I am so much more productive now than I ever thought I could be. Breakfast was also a big motivator for me. I have always been a self-proclaimed breakfast person. I would never turn down a good breakfast, but in the past, I would wake up too late to fully enjoy having breakfast during "breakfast time." A side effect of this is that I have become a much better chef during this time because I have put myself in situations where I need to cook myself a meal in the morning. In addition to this, I get a lot more sleep because I go to bed earlier. I used to go to bed at 4 a.m. and wake up early, feeling groggy and tired.

My takeaways from these past few months of being a morning person are this: it may not be for everyone, but if you feel like you need to change something in your life, start here. With all the things going on in the world around us, you have to make time for yourself. For me, that presented itself in waking up early and getting my day started. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a year. My mental health has been better; I have more energy, I am happier and more productive. So set that alarm, make your coffee, read that book you haven't had time to open and start your day earlyyou never know what it could mean for you.

Grace Barratt is an outdoor enthusiast and has a passion for everything creative. She is double majoring in Creative and Strategic Advertising at VCU. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing and camping.
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