Have an Optimistic Morning
By: Robin Noble
It’s tough to be the morning person. It’s even tougher when, on a groggy Monday morning, you head off to work and spot those individuals who’ve woken up at the crack of dawn with incredible optimism and energy. You might be thinking, “how do I become that person. How do I enjoy getting up”? Although the shift in your morning thinking might not happen immediately, the feeling of joy and optimism can be felt the moment you get up, over time. If you’re having trouble looking on the bright side of life, no worries, we’ve all been there. But how do you switch off those automatic thoughts?
Create a New Bedtime Routine
A lot of people will tell you that a brighter, cheerier morning starts with a calm, easy night of sleep. Those people aren’t wrong. Before you can start waking up totally ready for the day ahead, you need to have a good night’s worth of sleep. Like so many of us in this modern age, it can be difficult to get that perfect night of sleep that makes you feel entirely refreshed in the morning. And although there could be certain medical issues causing you to lose sleep, there are a lot of material items (your phone for one) that might be keeping you up at night. First thing first:
- Figure out when you plan to go to sleep. Some people need more sleep, some less. If you’re not sure how much sleep you actually need in your life to wake up ready to take on the world, it’s best to stick around the general standard of 8 solid hours of sleep. This means, of course, if you plan to get up earlier you should think about heading to bed earlier.
- Spend a few hours before you go to bed relaxing. By “relaxing” I don’t necessarily mean you have to lay in bed or stop doing anything entirely. Relaxing can mean doing simple chores before bedtime. Laying out your clothes for the next day. Preparing lunch for tomorrow. Reading a book. Listening to a podcast. Mostly, when I say take an hour or so to “relax”, I mean stay away from a bright screen or that good old addictive social media. It’s incredibly difficult for our brains to shut off in bed the moment we decide to put our phones down for the night. Give yourself the time you need to wind down.
- Spend time on yourself. Creating a new nighttime routine might mean spending a bit more time pampering yourself before bed. Sometimes, after a stressful day, we skip right to bed just to escape from a day’s worth of anxiety and annoyance. Instead, wash that day away figuratively and literally. Take a bath or shower. Spend some time experimenting with new skin or hair products. Find a new way to pamper your skin, keep it refreshed, and feeling optimistic itself. Of course, spend time on your fundamental routine of brushing your teeth, flossing, etc. Whatever you do, and however you do it, spend some time on you.
Get Up Differently
It’s easy to get up and press the snooze on our alarms, but challenge yourself by greeting the day without immediately falling back asleep. Instead, try some new ways to wake up slowly instead of staying in bed, only to have to rush off after sleeping in for a little too long.
- Wake up and meditate. Meditation and relaxation are a vitally important way to gain a little clarity, peace of mind, and meet the day with a certain amount of optimism that you might not otherwise have. You don’t have to spend an hour meditating, and you don’t have to practice a serious level of meditation. The key is to connect with your feelings and open yourself up to positive thoughts. Get out of bed, stretch out your limbs, take a seat on a nice, comfy pillow, and check in with your breathing. Find a rhythm of breathing that feels natural and calming. Think about keeping that rhythm of breathing throughout the day.
- Think about what went well and what will go well. Take some time, as soon as you wake up and start your normal morning routine about what you’d like to accomplish in your day, and think back on what went well the day before. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create an impossible list in your mind of the things you need to get done in a day. Don’t put pressure on yourself to find something incredible that happened in the day prior. Think about the small stuff instead. What did you enjoy? What, if anything, felt like a bit of validation. When thinking about what you want to accomplish in your day, don’t restrict yourself to thinking about just tasks on a list to check off. Instead, think about it in terms of feelings, thoughts, and emotions. If optimism is on your “thoughts and feelings list”, try to use it throughout the day. It may feel silly at first. Heck, you might even feel cynical about the whole thing. But switching up your mindset to open yourself up to optimistic thoughts, and allowing yourself to hope for a great morning, may be just what you need.
No matter your routine, the night before or the day of, remember to face your morning with a healthy sense of optimism and opportunity. Even if you’re forcing it at first, you’re kickstarting something new. A fresh way to look at your normal days. You’re giving yourself a greater chance to feel that optimism, and in turn, it will eventually that optimism will greet you in the morning.