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If I was getting out of bed on time, or in a manner that was not a crazy, “Oh sh*t, I’m late!” rush, there had to be a very good reason.
And, I’m embarrassed to admit, in my 20s and early 30s, work didn’t often make the cut and I was frequently making apologies for being late.
(Of course, being a broke, stressed, single mom, getting two kids fed and ready, traveling to two different daycares before a further 45-minute commute to work, all on a Hail Mary’s worth of gas in the car didn’t make things easier, and I’m sure that had something to do with my reluctance to get going—but I digress.)
For most of us in North America, the clocks have just changed and so it feels like we’re waking up a little later than usual. Ah, a reprieve! But eventually, we’ll get used to the adjustment, and as the mornings get colder and darker, it can get so much harder to get out of bed.
By the start of December each year, I’ve gotten into a toxic relationship with my snooze button and there’s no getting out.
These small habits have been helping me to become a morning person. If you’d asked me 10 years ago if I’d ever be one of those, I’d have choked on my (third cup of) coffee.
So, if you’re anything like I was and can’t get your butt out of bed on time to save your life, give these ideas a try.
1. I tidy up before bed.
This one’s simple. It’s much easier to feel like getting up when you know your space isn’t a disaster. I’ve gotten myself into a routine where I spend the last hour before bed getting ready—which includes both self-care and picking up. I make sure any last dishes are taken care of, I put away stray items, gather up the dog toys, and I give the bathroom counter a wipe after I’m done with skin care.
2. I make sure my to-do list is solid and reasonable.
I’ve been loving Evernote to keep both my personal and work life organized, and I’ve gotta say: it’s a whole lot easier getting out of bed when I know that I don’t have a mess of unknowns ahead of me, or that my day isn’t going to be overwhelming. I make sure each day’s must-do list is short, reasonable, and leaves me some downtime. The truth is, sometimes the day becomes overwhelming anyway…but it doesn’t have to start that way.
3. I change my alarm sound frequently.
I like to change my alarm song pretty often—usually to a song I’ve been loving lately, one that I can sing along to. It’s just a more pleasant way to wake up, and the change in melody usually helps me to wake more fully, without hitting the snooze button. The last week or so, my wake-up song has been “Simple Things” by Teddy Swims.
4. I keep a lamp by my bed.
Since all of my bedrooms had overhead lights, I hardly ever used a lamp in the room. That changed a couple of years ago, and now, I turn my lamp on as soon as my alarm goes off—I don’t have to get out of bed to flick the switch, and the light is so much softer and kinder to my freshly opened eyes. In the winter, when it’s still dark in the morning, it’s much too easy to hit snooze and go back to sleep. So, I turn on the lamp and sit up a bit—while still staying warm in bed. It helps cozy up the wake-up and eases me more gently into the day. Make sure to turn it off when you get up!
5. I set my alarm earlier—so I can lounge a bit.
It’s much easier waking up when you don’t have to scramble out of bed and into getting ready for work or whatever you have going on. So, I wake up earlier to give myself time to lounge about in bed. Sometimes I just stare out the window, sometimes I snuggle with the dog, sometimes I watch a bit of YouTube or TikTok, or I read something, or I jot some thoughts down. It’s way easier to get going when you’ve given yourself time to just be first.
A couple of pro tips: first, make sure another alarm is set if you’re prone to falling back asleep, and second, be mindful of what kind of media you’re consuming right as you wake up. I’m intentional about what kind of hashtag I’m viewing on TikTok, for example.
6. I plan something to look forward to.
It doesn’t have to be anything big. A fancy coffee. Feeding the local blue jays and magpies and crows some peanuts. A morning walk before work. An episode of a guilty pleasure TV show for later that evening. A baking session. Whatever makes you light up a little bit in anticipation.