Learning how to wake up early has been no joy ride for me. However, I can proudly say, courtesy of Motherhood and the necessity for a bit of me time (and the resulting sanity), I am finally there.
It's taken me a long, long, long....... time to be qualified to call myself a morning person, but I am finally there! And boy does it feel good!
For most of my life I have struggled with being an early riser, I told myself I WAS NOT a morning person. I would have a few months of doing well, then slip back into my bad habits; not going to bed till late, drinking late at night, eating big meals, oh and just being a lazy arse. When the alarm clock came on (my hand just couldn't stop pressing snooze). The irony of it is, is that becoming a morning person was always on my to do list! Always.
Well fast track 2 kids later and more chaos than you can shake a stick at and I was jolted into joining the elusive "morning person" club. And all I can say is why did it take me so $%#^ing long!!
Before I share with you my tips, I want to share with you this. It is not easy! Even now after several years of early mornings, I still don't find it easy! But it is doable. And if I think about it, no matter what time I get up is going to come with some resistance, so why not do it properly.
Early mornings will change your life, especially Mums who are have little to zero "me time". This part of the day (if the kids stay in bed) is like pixie dust and you will be quite honestly amazed by how productive you can be and feel in just a short time or "alone" time.
So how do we get there?
Early To Bed Baby
I know this is not easy. I hear you loud and clear, "but there is so much to do still" and you want to relax and watch TV, browse social media, and generally wind down. I get it but as much as I would love to stay up late doing my "jobs" getting up early and more importantly find "me time" will top all this!! I promise.
Routines can be changed or tweaked. Maybe put the kids to bed 15 minutes earlier, have a simple dinner that requires less prep and washing up. These changes are hard and your head will definitely put up a fight, but testing your habits and routines malleability is healthy and can give you huge rewards.
Don't Press Snooze!
The Snooze button, who on Earth decided that was an essential function on every alarm clock known to humankind!
By pressing snooze you are making your first decision of the day be "not now". This "not yet" can stay with you for the whole day. What's more, hitting the snooze button, only to be woken up 10 minutes later as you drift again, can leave you waking up feeling more groggy than you would if you had woken the first time. Your mind has relaxed into sleep, even started to dream again and then you jolt it awake again. For some of us this habit of pressing snooze can continue for 20 minutes even longer. It gives our brain crazy signals and is not productive. I mean seriously, is sleeping for those extra 10 minutes going to make a difference. The short answer is no!!
A great tip is to put your alarm clock or phone in another room. Drastic maybe, but for some of my clients, in fact a lot, this does work. When a Mum is faced with the fear of her child waking up half an hour early you would be surprised the things she will do.
A great book I have been trying to read is Mel Robbins' The Five Second Rule. I would love to hear your thoughts if you have read it. Mel discusses a lot about making decisions quickly and getting out of bed, using her simplistic 5 second rule, is a sure fire way to get your ass up. Her TED talk is awesome and may inspire you such.
This is a huge incentive for me and probably a lot of other Mums too. For a long time I only really treated myself to posh coffee in a cafe. At home I would just do what is easy, a cup of instant with a splash of milk, done. However now I have implemented it into my morning routine and it is something I look forward to every morning. I spend money on a really good coffee and make myself a luxurious pot to saver before the kids get up, complete with a nice cup and hot milk.
This may sound small, but to me, and many Mums out there, a hot, albeit nicely presented, cup of delicious coffee is pure luxury. This is a special coffee, no there is no baileys in it! I wish, but it is magical in that I actually enjoy the experience of drinking it as opposed to drinking it cold whilst pushing the kids out of the door.
Good Morning Images
Ok, this is my hocus pocus element of this post but I truly believe visual impressions or images can have massive impact on your motivation and willpower, and yes science does back it up.
Creating or putting images in a place of significance, be it in your head or on your bedside table, can, if you allow them, motivate you to get your ass out up.
It doesn't have to be a complicated or arty image. It might just be an inspiring quote or a picture of you when you were fit and strong or a picture of the slinky dress you are eyeing up. Whatever it is, don't fail to recognise the importance of images and their effect on us.
In this digital age we are constantly being bombarded by images, from pinterest to Facebook to Insta. As much as I love these platforms, they can be a distraction to what you really want and sometime, (especially when you are feeling sensitive) evoke feelings of not being enough!
Take control and YOU decide what image you are going to see in the morning to inspire your day.
A Project Mamma post could not be complete without an Exercise component!
Morning exercise has huge benefits to your physical health, but what is more is its magical effect on your mental health.
I exercise daily to some degree. I know this is not "normal" to some people, but for me, a small amount of exercise is like my early morning coffee! It wakes me up, preps me and primes me for the day ahead.
Morning exercise doesn't have to be overcomplicated. It could be a morning walk, a sneaky 15 minute interval or a series of yoga poses or of course a massive gym workout. But what I am saying is that it need not be huge to have benefits, particularly to your mental state.
So there you have my 5 teensy tips. They may not sound groundbreaking, but like everything I preach here at Project Mamma they are effective and it is often the small tweaks and changes that have the biggest effect
Yours in wellness