Wake Up with Enthusiasm: Shake Up Your Routine to Combat the Morning Blues

Mornings can be tough

Ok, so maybe you won’t wake-up with enthusiasm … but you can definitely create a silver lining! Waking up and starting a morning routine can be extremely difficult, for many people. You stayed up late finishing a show, are really not in the mood for office drama today, have an unfinished assignment that you have know about for weeks, or you just want to avoid the daunting task of hair and make-up. Yuck! First, accept that you do not wake up singing, with birds chirping and Disney music playing all around. Judging yourself will only make things worse. Instead, think about ways to change your morning routine, as oppose to changing who you are.

Add to your routine

Adding something you enjoy or a reward to your routine can give you something to look forward to in the morning. The sweeter the better! Pairing something you enjoy with something you don’t can help you find balance and reduce the urge to lay in bed until the last minute. Jumping up to the snooze alarm, struggling to find something that matches and slapping on some face paint, only to get your kids on the bus without a minute to spare, is a recipe for stress and avoidance.

Instead, be mindful of things that make you feel happy or calm and challenge yourself to incorporate them into your morning. Try setting up a phone on the counter and stream your favorite show while doing your hair and make-up. Buy a new flavor of coffee that you have been wanting to try and change your alarm from “work alarm” or “school alarm” to “COFFEE EXTRAVAGANZA!!” Make a playlist of your favorite songs, but only allow yourself to listen while you get ready in the AM. A big one for me is to choose and try-on two compete outfits before bed and have them ready to go in the morning. This helps me to feel more prepared and on-my-game, while also eliminating wardrobe stress and the tendency to do ineffective outfit planning in my head. A mind-trick excuse for 5 more minutes, that never actually works. Try something everyday for one week and see if it helps. Be flexible and make adjustments until you’ve got a more enjoyable reason to get up than hearing about Anna and why she won’t do edits for Greg anymore.

Be mindful

I can’t say this enough … Let go of any judgments you have about yourself in the morning. Just because you hit the snooze button doesn’t mean you are not a morning person; it just means that you hit the snooze button. While you are at it, let go of judging the things that get you excited for the morning. Who cares that Andy Cohen and the Housewives are the reason you were able to rip off the sheets 15 minutes early today!? Plus, no one even has to know. This can be your time and you can choose to make it just so.

- Nikki Gorman, MA, LPCC