Not a morning person. May as well put that in my obituary. I’d rather take a 10 p.m. yoga class and midnight meeting than do anything in the a.m. I’ve insisted this for, well, ever. But turns out jobs don’t care and neither does the spinning earth and economy, so here we go. We gotta make mornings work for us.
Instead of moaning and groaning your mornings away—been there—it’s time to put a jolt of positive energy into our a.m. time. If I, a notorious morning grump, can roll into 2021 with positive morning vibes, so can you.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to start each morning on a good note. Have some to add? Drop us a line in the comments below.
Dry brush your body.
Though it seems like a Goop-y trend, dry brushing has been part of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Every morning I scrub away my sleepiness and winter skin. Nothing perks me up after a painful alarm at an ungodly hour more. While medical evidence is lacking, it’s believed to help stimulate the lymphatic system, increasing circulation and energy. And maybe, just maybe, it helps break down cellulite. Fingers crossed. Get scrubbin’.
Write in a manifestation journal.
Our love for gratitude journals is well documented, but after the year we all had, how about manifesting some magic in the year ahead? There’s something to a manifestation journal that works. First, there’s muscle memory. Writing “I’m going to buy a house by fall” thirty-five times really nails that thought into your subconscious that yes, you will buy a house by fall.
Then there’s the law of attraction, the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into your life. If you can put your wants and needs into words, and then repeat those words for an entire page, those thoughts are more likely to stick into all corners of your brain. Worth a try, no?
Ditch your phone’s alarm.
…Or any screechy, alarming, um, alarm. No one wants to be startled awake. Instead, ease into your mornings with soothing sunrise lighting and a gentle alarm, a much more natural way to wake up if we didn’t have work to get to and children to tend to.
The New York Times rated the Philips Wake-Up Alarm Clock their favorite, and many others rave about the Hatch. If you’re not ready to drop $100+ on an alarm clock when there’s a perfectly good but slightly irritating one on your phone, consider the hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock, which isn’t as sophisticated as the others, but clocks in (get it?) at just $22.
Airplane mode is your friend.
A surefire way to turn a good morning into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is by rolling over, opening your crusty eyes, and scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.
Nobody loves The New York Times app more than I do, but even I know there’s no need to open it before 8:00 a.m. Same goes for email and Instagram. Do you really need to know what that Australian supermodel was posting while you were sleeping? If possible, keep your phone off or in airplane mode until your teeth are brushed and you’re caffeinated enough to deal with that annoying request from your boss.
Gulp down a glass of lemon water with sea salt.
Hydration queen Dani Bruflodt of Thyme is Honey insists on drinking a glass of warm lemon water with sea salt first thing in the morning. Just a few of the benefits of lemon sea salt water: it can help jumpstart digestion, can kill bad bacteria in your mouth and throat, can help decrease inflammation, and may provide an easy boost to your immune system.
At the very least, reach for a glass of water before coffee, so you can rehydrate your body before dehydrating it again.
Take care of the little things.
There’s nothing revolutionary about making your bed every morning. But your mom was right: Make your bed and make your bed every day. The little things, like making your bed, opening your curtains, and putting dirty clothes in the hamper, will make you feel thismuch more put together when everything else seems out of control.
Read a short story.
Instead of scrolling you-know-what again, keep a book of short stories handy. Over your morning tea or coffee (or lemon water with sea salt!), take five or ten minutes to read. It could be one story, one page, or one poem. Whatever you choose, reading will ease you into the morning, priming your brain for a day of creative thinking.
Send one friend one compliment every morning.
Some mornings I like to remind my friend Jess, who lives a good 2,000 miles from me, how much I miss her. Maybe your bestie needs a reminder that she’s a good mom, or your cousin could benefit from hearing that she’s inspired you to you-name-it, or yet another friend could hear that she has the best butt in town. Sending a quick text doesn’t take much—what, 10 seconds?—but it’ll start your day on a good note and start their day on a good note. Win-win.
Cheers to good mornings. Or at least more hydrated, less stressed mornings.
Megan is a writer, editor, etc.-er who muses about life, design and travel for Domino, Lonny, Hunker and more. Her life rules include, but are not limited to: zipper when merging, tip in cash and contribute to your IRA. Be a pal and subscribe to her newsletter Night Vision.