I am not a morning person. Never have been. Ever since elementary school, I’ve been incapable of getting out of bed in a timely manner, let alone having anything resembling hand-eye coordination or a good attitude before, you know, noon. But in recent years, through a seemingly endless series of trials and errors, I’ve discovered a few ways to make mornings suck a little bit less. These days, I don’t completely, totally dread waking up in the morning, which, believe me, is a huge deal. I compiled some of my favorite non-sucky morning strategies and polled the rest of The Frisky staff for their preferred pre-work rituals, and we came up with the following tips that will have you saying “top of the mornin’ to ya!” in no time (JK, don’t say that).
1. Wake up earlier. I know this is totally counter-intuitive to the non-morning person lifestyle, because hello, the ultimate goal is getting as much sleep as possible, but hear me out. All mornings suck, but rushed, frantic mornings? Those really suck. Give yourself enough time to fully wake up, take a shower, get ready, eat, and do whatever morning rituals — reading the paper, exercising, meditating, whatever — make you feel good and prepared to start your day. Pro tip: you will probably need to learn to go to bed earlier to accomplish this. Just accept it.
2. Listen to a podcast or radio show you love. Both Amelia and Megan swear by New York’s Hot 97 morning show to get them laughing/dancing/pumped up in the morning. Ami prefers to start her day by listening to podcasts while she eats breakfast. Whatever types of voices make you feel awake and engaged, the simple act of listening to other humans being awake and entertaining gets your brain working and boosts your energy.
3. Upbeat music. When you’re groggy and half asleep, it can be tempting to hit play on your Enya’s Calmest Lullabies Pandora station to match your vibes, but all of The Frisky staff agrees: resist that urge! Opt for higher energy music instead — hip hop, ridiculous pop, 90s dance anthems, motivational jams from 80s movies, etc. It’s hard to hate your life when you’re rocking out to Drake in your PJ pants and bra.
4. Coffee. Lots of coffee. Cliche? Yes. Necessary? For most of us, absolutely. If you can’t afford to go out for a daily coffee fix, find a roast you love and make it at home. Treat yourself to a flavored creamer and give yourself enough time to leisurely enjoy your morning cuppa. I also feel strongly that drinking your caffeine out of a cute mug makes it taste better and improves your morning mood.
5. Shower daydreams. It’s common knowledge that all of mankind’s most profound thoughts and innovations have occurred while lathering up in the shower. When you shower in the morning, try to put work stress and relationship drama aside and just let your mind blissfully wander to wherever it wants to go. Who knows what amazing Head & Shoulders-induced epiphanies you’ll have!
6. Morning sex/masturbation. Is there any better way to start the day than an orgasm? We think not.
7. Take a walk. Any kind of morning exercise is awesome, but for those of us who aren’t coordinated enough to do much more than put one foot in front of the other before noon, a walk is a great way to start the day. Ami has recently become a morning walk devotee due to the “rhythmic, head-clearing aspect,” she says. “I also get inspiration from people watching and eavesdropping on conversations.” Try it for yourself — a 20 minute stroll around the block or passing up the closest subway station for one a few blocks down can make a huge difference.
8. Avoid Facebook. “Man, I’m really glad I spent 20 minutes mindlessly scrolling through heavily edited photos of my high school friends first thing in the morning,” SAID NO ONE EVER. It’s so tempting to click that little icon on your phone right when you wake up, but man, if you can put it off at least until you’ve had coffee, I guarantee your morning will be markedly better.
9. Lay out your clothes the night before. Because spending 20 minutes in your underwear staring at your closet is just not fun. Even if you don’t end up wearing the exact outfit you chose the day before, you’ll at least have a starting point.
10. Eat an awesome breakfast. One of the only things that will get me out of bed is the promise of delicious food, so I like to actually plan my breakfast ahead of time and then name my cellphone alarms to remind me of what is waiting for me in the kitchen. For example, at 7:05 my phone might start beeping and flashing the words, “FRESH BOX OF FROSTED MINI WHEATS” or “EGG AND CHEESE SAMMY.” As I go to instinctively hit the snooze button, I’m like, “Oh wait! I like eating even more than I like sleeping!” and suddenly I’m out of bed and happily munching on the most important meal of the day.
[Photo of woman with alarm clock via Shutterstock]