Become a Morning Person By Your 8a.m. Class
By: Kiera Dempsey
We’ve all been there. You stagger out of bed and it’s barely light outside. In the darkness of your room you search for some clean clothes to throw on. You walk out the door and the cold winter’s air slaps you in the face. You might grab a coffee on the way to class to sustain you through your 8a.m. lecture if you have an extra minute or two.
But, how can you have a fulfilling day when you start your morning in a way that’s so rushed and chaotic?
What if I told you that a few tweaks to your routine could make your mornings and even your entire day better? It’s possible, no matter how apathetic you are to the sound of your alarm.
Wake up earlier
This may seem counter-intuitive. Why not get as much sleep as possible? Isn’t waking up at 7a.m. more than enough time to get dressed and head to your 8a.m. class? Nope.
Sorry, but in order to get the most out of your mornings, you need time to establish an enjoyable routine without feeling rushed.
According to The University of Toronto, the early bird does, in fact, get the worm. They state that early risers “reported greater positive emotions” than night owls.
Stats aside, having an extra hour or two to yourself in the morning sets you up to have a productive and meaningful day.
Begin your day with something you love
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? I’m guessing it ranges from finishing up last-minute homework to scrambling to eat something somewhat nutritious before you head out the door.
Why would you ever want to wake up in the morning if you knew the second you got out of bed you would have to do something you’re dreading?
That’s why you should make an effort to start your day with something you look forward to. Personally, I keep it simple. I start my day by carving out at least 30 minutes to make myself coffee, sit on the couch with my dog and watch the news. By beginning my day with something that makes me happy, I actually look forward to getting out of bed.
You can choose anything. Love to read? Set aside 15-20 minutes to curl up with a book. Maybe you’re more of the creative type. Set aside some time to paint or write.
No matter what you choose, I’ll bet you’ll soon be itching to jump out of bed at the first ring of your alarm.
Start a morning yoga practice
If I had to recommend only one thing to do before heading out the door, it would be yoga. Nothing has improved my mind and body so quickly and changed my perspective on life like yoga has.
I used to wake up with a back-ache and a foggy mind and wouldn’t recover until at least mid-afternoon – even with coffee! I found a daily morning yoga routine about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
While I love yoga and practice it daily, I’m no expert. For expert advice, I interviewed Laleh Nader who is certified in Kundalini, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga. Laleh practices yoga “first thing in the morning.” “It’s a great way to wake up because it helps me get centered and focused and sets the tone for my whole day. The yoga gently wakes up my body. I feel like I’ve already accomplished something good for myself right away instead of doing it later when the day gets busier” she says.
It’s important to practice as much as possible and incorporate yoga into your daily life. Laleh told me,
“I practice every day. It is part of my morning routine, now, just like brushing my teeth and showering! When I finish my practice, I feel centered and connected to my Spirit. I feel calmness, inner stability and steadiness. I feel optimistic. I am choosing to create positive energy that I carry into my day, rather than waiting for something good to happen externally to feel good. I feel empowered because I have a say in how my day goes by the energy I project. I can’t control people, places and things, but it is amazing how life changes when I just focus on taking care of my own mental, emotional and physical well-being.”
Laleh compares yoga to filling up a gas tank. She says, “If I don’t do my yoga practice, initially I am OK. It is like I have a full tank of gas, and I may be able to ride it out for a few days, but ultimately, the fuel runs out. I start to feel like a leaf blowing in the wind, rather than the tree that has its roots in the ground.”
While all of her advice was beautiful and helpful, to sum it up, she told me, “Yoga is an experience. It means “union” – of body, mind and spirit. I can talk about all its benefits, but the real transformation comes from just doing it and letting go of any expectations and/or judgements. It’s not about comparing or competing with anyone else.” “Yoga just makes sense.”
I highly recommend her “5 Minute Morning Yoga Flow” if you’re looking for a good place to begin.
If you would like to learn more about Laleh, here’s her social media info:
Facebook: Laleh Yoga Living
YouTube: Laleh Nader
Listen to a podcast
So what is a podcast, anyways? According to Forbes, it’s simply “a radio program that listeners can tune into anytime they want.” Wether you’re interested in learning more about colors or want to be sucked into a crime drama, there’s something worth listening to.
To me, the best time to listen to a podcast is on the way to class. Wether you drive an hour or walk down the street to commute, it helps warm up your brain for the day. Podcasts can range from 2 minutes to over 2 hours and they each offer new perspectives on the world surrounding you.
So, there you have it. Four techniques to becoming a morning person by your 8.a.m class. Try implementing some of these tips tomorrow and I guarantee you’ll have a calmer and more meaningful morning.
By: Kiera Dempsey
Photos by: Alex/Creative Commons
Divya Thakur/Creative Commons
Kate Ter Haar/Creative Commons
Kevin Talec/Creative Commons
Bill Wren/Creative Commons
Casey Fiesler/Creative Commons
- written by Kiera Dempsey on March 14th, 2016
- posted in Writing for the Web