The past few months, I’ve been focusing on becoming more disciplined. Honestly, the way I spend mornings is the most difficult. But what I choose to do markedly changes the whole feel of my day.
It’s so easy for me to be tricked into thinking that more sleep is always the best choice. But part of being disciplined in your faith and life is taking time in the mornings to rest, not sleep! I wanted to write this partially to be a help to others and partially to remind myself to do these things.
I used to think, I’m not a morning person so it’s okay if I don’t do “morning-people” things. That’s just an excuse. Sometimes on the weekend, give yourself a day to sleep in. But these tips are “disciplined-people things” and can be adapted for morning people or otherwise.
1. Know How Much Sleep You Need. It all starts the night before. Make sure you get to bed at a decent hour – early enough to get needed hours of sleep and wake up at a good time. My hus
band and I shoot for 10 every night (he usually wakes up around 6 and I aim for 8). I typically need more sleep than he does so this works for us. If you get to sleep at a good hour, you may feel like you’re old, but setting a good sleep schedule is critical for feeling more energized next day.
2. Wake Up! If you’ve had your 7-9 hours of sleep, get up! I’m definitely preaching to the choir because I am NOT a morning person. But I notice when I wake up earlier and get started with the day, I feel much better. Rather than starting off feeling lazy or rushed, I feel refreshed and relaxed.
If you’ve had your 7-9 hours of sleep, you [I] have no excuse to stay in bed. However, I know there are nights where it’s hard to get to sleep or go to bed on time. With the exception of sickness or extreme exhaustion, it’s better to make yourself get up anyways. This way, you’ll be tired earlier that night (instead of staying up late again) and will most likely sleep better. Sometimes you have to sacrifice some sleep in order to start and maintain a good sleep schedule.
3. Set the Mood. My [desired] routine is to get up right before my husband leaves. He usually turns on worship music and plays it in the living room. When I come out to pack his lunch or make my coffee, morning grog is eased by the music.
4. Treat Yourself! Make yourself coffee, hot cocoa, or tea. Then, sit down! Sip it while you do something peaceful. If you wake up hungry, add an easy and nutritious breakfast.
5. Set Apart Time. This is what I call devotions. I usually do this while I’m drinking my hot tea. Whether you’re a student with early classes, have a long commute to work, or are a stay-at-home-mom, can effect how much time you have for this. Depending on what’s going on that day, this time is anything from reading a few verses and a brief prayer to having a full study session. I prefer reading a section of a chapter, then praying over what I’ve read, the day, and anything else that comes to mind. If I want a long, deep Bible study session or an extensive prayer time, I save it for later that day.
6. Something for You. This tip depends on the day and how much time I have. If you’ve read my Favorites page, you’ve seen the app I recommend. On Flipboard I’m subscribed to some of my favorite blogs and news. I can flip through topics and read however many fit. This is nice to move from devotions (focus on God) to me time (focusing on self-improvement).
If this isn’t your thing, maybe you want to play an instrument and sing, watch the news, or something else relaxing. Find what qualifies as “me time” for you and prioritize it. In my mind, “me time” doesn’t have to be every day, but at least a couple times a week should be a goal (I’m not talking a day-long spa day or shopping spree every week).
7. Get Ready. I’ve pretty much written these in the order I prefer, but they can easily vary to what’s best for you. I’m currently a housewife and spend most of my days working both at home and from home. I don’t have to get out of my comfy clothes, but I do have to be presentable in case the UPS guy shows up. I don’t have to be completely made up to feel ready to start a day at home. I’ll usually save that for later in the day. Whatever works best for you is what you should prioritize.
What about mornings can make your day start better?