The shorter days and darker mornings have set in and that means it is even harder to drag myself out of bed when the telltale Ripples chime from my iPhone alarm.
You know those people who spring out of bed ready to take on the day? No matter how early that day starts? I envy them. I wish I had the natural inclination toward productivity with a smile.
Confession time. I am the opposite of that person. The sunny disposition I project out to the world does not exist in me first thing in the morning. It takes work for me to cultivate an attitude that is acceptable for human contact.
For me, the work started years ago, with acceptance. After years of trying to make myself something I am not, I finally embraced my true self. That True Self knows that no amount of modifications to my life will ever be enough to turn me into someone who naturally greets the morning with a smile.
Once I embraced that reality, it allowed me to figure out some coping skills. After all, I could carry my inner grouch through the day (and let’s be honest, some days I do) but I choose not too. Life is no fun for grouches or their family and friends.
Here are three things I do when that alarm rings so that I bring the me that feels good into the world. If I don’t, the cranky one who first opens her eyes each day shows up instead.
Tips for Turning Cranky Mornings into Sunny Ones No Matter the Weather
- Cold Water: First splash it. Then drink it. I could walk around all day in a fog if I carried my morning with me. Splashing my face with cold water helps lift that fog. Drinking a glass of cold water first thing in the morning helps not only with hydration but also waking up the rest of my body. It’s almost like the glass of water is the switch that needs to be flipped in order to start up my body for the day.
- Movement: I used to fancy myself someone who could wake up early to work out. The reality was, the thought of working out made me want to stay in bed longer. I get workouts in now, but almost never first thing in the morning. Still, I need to move my body in some way to fully wake it up before starting the duties of the day. I prefer sun salutations. They are not just a full-body stretch, but also the rhythm of a sun salutation flow gets my heart rate going just enough to feel ready to keep going. That said, if they day is really feeling like I am walking through mud, the sun salutations are just a start. Some days, I have to turn on some great music and dance like no one is watching. (First, I make sure no one is, because no one needs to see that!)
3. Positivity: It is very easy for our minds straight to go to a to-do list before our feet even hit the floor. Or, can you relate to grabbing your phone to shut off the alarm and suddenly you’re doom-scrolling through twitter and never wanting to get out of bed? In order to keep those two things from happening, I start the day with some positive words. (And sometimes the aforementioned dance party for one.) If I have time (meaning I only hit snooze once, not 5 times) I may read a little something from a book or pull a card from a motivational deck. If I’ve only got a few minutes before my services are needed in the rest of the house, I head to my Shine app for their daily mediation because it includes an uplifting and positive message right at the top of the home page. So, even if I don’t have time for guided meditation, I always have time to read the positive message that goes with it.
Starting the day can be daunting, even when we aren’t in the middle of a global pandemic. Set yourself up for success and feeling good by adding at least one of these steps to your morning routine. It promises to thwart even the crankiest crankster.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.