Saturday, May 14, 2016

WAKE UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED: TIPS FOR A SMOOTH MORNING

The morning sets the tone for your entire day, and therefore, it's important to figuratively wake up on the right side of the bed. 

It can be suuuper tempting to hit the snooze button to catch more z's if you're dreading the list of things you have to do to get ready for the day. With this in mind, I'm a big believer in nighttime prepping to make mornings something to look forward to. Below I share some of the tips & tricks I use for making mornings (and thus the rest of my day) go as smoothly as possible. 


Two of my morning essentials: coffee & music
THE NIGHT BEFORE
PREP A HEARTY BREAKFAST. Food is a huge motivation for me to get up in the morning, and knowing that it's already made eliminates the dread factor of having to make an entire meal first thing in the morning. I look forward to having a ready-made breakfast every morning. Right now I'm into various overnight oatmeal and chia seed pudding recipes (here's an excellent list) with fruit, nuts and green smoothies (find one of my recipes here).  I prep smoothies by placing the pre-cut ingredients in freezer bags, so all I have to do in the morning is throw the bag of ingredients and a liquid of choice in the blender. Overnight oats and chia seed pudding recipes only require that you mix ingredients in a container the night before -- no cooking needed.

If you drink coffee or tea, complete whatever steps you can the night before (grinding coffee beans, getting a mug, etcetera) so that all you have to do is boil water or press a button when you get up.

Laying out your makeup & skincare the night before can save you major time in the morning
 (and also make for a cute flatlay for Insta)
LAY IT OUT. I pick out my outfits the night before. I find it extremely useful to lay out a couple of options suitable to how I may wake up feeling. For example, I choose one outfit for if I wake up feeling badass and another if I'm feeling crummy (hello finals season). Also lay out any workout clothes to avoid giving yourself another excuse not to go to the gym. 

To make my morning go even more seamlessly, I'll often lay out my skincare and makeup products in the order of use. If you take makeup with you on the go, I highly recommend keeping a travel-sized makeup bag next to your makeup setup and tossing the products you'll need throughout the day in the bag as you use them, rather than digging through your pile of products afterward. As soon as you finish your makeup, immediately drop the on the go makeup bag in the bag you'll be taking with you during the day to ensure you don't forget to do it later on!  


PACK YOUR STUFF. This tip ties in with the previous one, but gathering all of the items you'll need throughout the day (printed documents, books, laptop, pens, etcetera) and simply putting them in your bag will cut out a lot of time and stressful scrambling come morning. 

MAKE H2O YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE BUDDY. I'm obsessed with drinking water and feel anxious when I don't have access to it (I know it's strange). I carry a reusable water bottle with me everywhere -- even to bed. That way, if I ever wake up thirsty or with a dry throat, I can easily access water without needing to get up and further disrupt those wonderful waves of z's. Staying hydrated without having to leave the warmth of your covers? Yes please.  

WRITE IT DOWN. Before you go to sleep, write a list of all of the things you need to do the next day. I keep a notepad & pen on my bedside table to easily jot down my to-do list nightly. You can also use the notepad on your phone. This clears my mind of any worry that I will forget to do something important the next day. 

SET MULTIPLE ALARMS. I like to set alarms to remind myself when I should be doing various tasks throughout the morning. For example, I set one to wake me up, another last call wake up (just in case I sleep in), another for when I should start applying my makeup, another for when I should be completely dressed and ready to go (usually I set this 10-15 minutes before I want to be leaving the house) and another for when I MUST be leaving the house to be on time. It may seem excessive, but it really helps to keep me on time. I highly recommend this tip to anyone who is chronically late. 

GET TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR. This is pretty obvious, but you can't expect to feel great in the morning if you only allow yourself to sleep for three hours. If your schedule allows you to, plan out how many hours you want to sleep, then get to bed and set your alarm accordingly. If you struggle with catching your z's, try getting yourself into the routine of going to bed at the same time every night and consider practicing restorative yoga before bed (YouTube has plenty of great video tutorials, like this one). 

GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE
GET UP RIGHT AWAY. This is the most difficult but crucial step of all: DON'T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON, GET YO' BOOTY OUT OF BED.

USE MUSIC TO BOOST YOUR MOOD.  It's crazy how much music can affect your mood. Even when I feel like what I imagine a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of someone's shoe feels like, upbeat music can somehow make me feel like I'm Beyoncé/able to single-handedly conquer the world. Knowing this, as soon as my alarm goes off I put my morning jams playlist on and get bumpin' with my day.

SAVOUR YOUR BREAKFAST. Ah, breakfast... The best part of any morning. Take your time and enjoy your meal.

SWEAT IT OUT IN THE AM.  I have a difficult time finding motivation to work out after a long day when usually all I want to do is get home and chill. So, if time permits, I prefer to work out in the morning. I find that doing so makes me feel more energized throughout the day, plus it feels good to check something big off of my do-list early on in the day.

TIME YOUR SHOWERS. This tip is for anyone who gets carried away with the pleasure that is warm water and nudity. Set a timer for 10 minutes right before you get in the shower to avoid spending too much time having a shower singing session à la Olive in Easy A /contemplating every conversation you've ever had your life. I do this with every one of my showers to both try to conserve water (respect the environment, peeps!) and ensure I'm being efficient with my time.

Also consider skipping morning showers altogether by taking them at night or by using a few spritzes of dry shampoo (Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is a game changer - especially if you apply it the night before).


MEDITATE.  The morning is the best time to meditate. You aren't tempted to fall asleep and can set yourself up to approach whatever the day brings with a calm and clear mind. I've only recently started meditating for 20 minutes every morning, and although I've yet to see any benefits beyond sometimes feeling peaceful in the moment, my pal science says it's a good habit to form that will only have long-term positive outcomes. 


What things do you do to make your mornings go smoothly? 
Will you try out any of these tips? 
Let me know in the comments below.


May your breakfast game be strong and your mornings be productive!
-R

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2 comments

  1. I like to layout things in preparation for the next day and find setting multiple alarms really useful too :) I do need to work on getting to bed earlier though! Great list of tips and reminders , thank you.

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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    Replies
    1. Ah, getting to bed earlier is the trickiest of all - I still struggle with that! xx

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