Mornings usually used to go a little something like this:
God, what’s that noise? Please make it stop—why is it morning already?
All this was muttered silently while I smashed the snooze button to avoid throwing the alarm clock at the wall.
Why is the weekend over? The bed is so warm and cozy, can I please just stay here while the rest of the world gets lost?
This used to be me almost every day, especially Mondays. I was famed for not being a morning person—my family and friends would not speak to me for the first couple of hours of the day because they knew how moody I would be (which naturally increased the likelihood of getting snapped at).
The problem wasn’t that I got up on the wrong side of the bed, it was that I had to get out of bed at all. In short, there was no right side and the snooze button and I were best buddies. To make matters worse, the alternative to staying in bed made sleep seem even more inviting.
My friendship with the snooze button was fleeting, for although I cherished those extra moments in bed I would eventually have to get up anyway, rushing around because I was late after over-indulging on the snooze.
Yoga and meditation helped me to change these morning habits. I quickly discovered that being up early allowed me to experience the still magic of mornings that is so conducive to a peaceful mind.
I was also able to enjoy many sun rises—which by the way happen everyday but are so often missed because we’re too busy to notice them as we rush through our mornings. I began to stop and notice this natural phenomenon of the sun rising and soon realized I would be hard pressed to find a better way to start the day.
My love of yoga combined with my busy work schedule often meant the only class I could attend was the 6 a.m. option. I found myself rising before the sun to incorporate my passion into the day and found that when I did, the entire day improved.
These days, I get up early, meditate, do some yoga or stretching and then I start my day. The stillness of this time of day gives me a chance to think about the day ahead so that when it finally begins I am ready for what this new day will bring.
It’s so easy in this day and age to feel like all we do is work, eat and sleep. We get up and rush around trying to cram as much as we possibly can into our day, then at the end of it we are too tired to do anything but fall into bed.
We constantly say we don’t have the time or energy to exercise, read, meditate, do yoga or any number of things that would be beneficial to our lives. If we have low energy levels we think we must surely need more sleep yet it might be that we need more time to relax and be still while we are awake.
Being up early before anyone else is around helps me to get that time to myself to relax, get a head start and put my health and happiness first before the day has even begun.
Another critical aspect of my shift toward being a morning purpose is that I no longer try and burn the candle at both ends during the day.
Going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep is imperative. Why? Because who wants to get out of bed when they feel like they’ve only just gotten into it?
One tip I have for those who want to start the practice of early rising is this: think of 3 things you are grateful for before you even get out of bed in the morning. Today, I thought of the sunshine, my parents and my health. This practice takes less than 60 seconds and puts a smile on my face before I’ve even lifted the duvet. It also helps to set a tone of positivity for the day, which has helped me to worry less and love more.
Of course, life always has its hiccups but by adopting these practices I am more able to cope with what the day throws at me and less inclined to go running back to the duvet.
I personally love the stillness of the dawn—listening to the birds and watching the sun come up when no one else is around. I seem to get more done in those hours than the entire rest of the day altogether!
I actually want to get out of bed now, because it means that I greet each new day with excitement for the possibilities rather than the dread of a familiar routine I was undeniably stuck in for far too long.
Author: Jess Stuart
Editor: Alli Sarazen