Don’t trust how you feel in the mornings

I am a morning person, but even I don’t spring out of bed completely bright-eyed and bushy tailed. There’s a biological reason for this. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is highest in the morning, meaning that it’s probably rather unnatural for us to be morning people!

A valuable lesson I’ve learnt is that we should not trust how we feel in the mornings. After being awake for half an hour or so, presuming we are well-rested, the tiredness, grogginess, irritability and even panic of the morning will abate. The most traumatic step is often getting out of bed, but if you refuse to snooze the alarm and simply get up, you’ll start your day the right way.

Motivate your mornings

Giving ourselves something to get out of bed for can help motivate us in the mornings. We might literally have to get up for work, kids or other responsibilities, but it’s worthwhile giving ourselves a more personal motivating factor. This will be something tailored uniquely to your interests. For me, I’m motivated by two things. One, after having my phone on flight mode, I look forward to checking in with my Whatsapp groups to see what conversations I’ve missed and two, I feel motivated by the cacao and maca drink I make. Knowing that I’ll have some conversation to engage my brain and a drink to get my gears going helps to get me out of bed. For others, the motivation might be 10 minutes of undisturbed yoga practice, watching breakfast television or listening to the radio. Finding something that encourages you to view the mornings as peaceful, tranquil or energizing is important. Remember a morning heralds the beginning of a new day, full of new possibilities and experiences. It IS something to be excited about!

Drink this

I am not a coffee drinker. I can’t stand the taste. But sometimes I feel more tired than I do on other mornings, perhaps because I’ve not got my usual eight hours or because the mornings are getting darker and colder. After I’ve brushed my teeth, got dressed and put on my makeup for the morning, I get some almond milk and add my cacao and maca powder from Pukka and blitz it all together in my Nutribullet. I instantly feel more awake and alive and I don’t need to drink much of it in order to feel this way. Whether the effect is authentic or a placebo, I feel something in my brain ‘switch on’ after drinking it.

Get moving

I walk to work from Charing Cross station and the walk helps to wake me up. Exercise stimulates our brains and the morning is the perfect time to do this. Your likely to feel more sluggish sitting on the train, tube or bus than you are going for a walk. If this isn’t possible, consider stretches, yoga, jogging on the spot or some other form of light exercise as soon as you wake up. Do you remember early morning PE classes, when your teacher would make you run around a field? You might not have enjoyed it, but I bet you felt awake afterwards!

Say this

The words we speak frame the way we act and behave and directly impact the day we have. If we start the day positively, we are more likely to have a good day, and even if we have a bad day, we are more likely to be able to cope! It’s a win-win. Focus on saying something positive to yourself.

Marissa Peer advocates saying, ‘I am enough.’

You could pick any affirmation or mantra, but whatever it is, stick with it and say it every morning.

Think this

You can subtly brainwash yourself into enjoying mornings. Remember how desperate you were to jump out of bed on Christmas day, or when you knew you were going on holiday. If someone was driving to my house to give me a million pounds, I’d be up in a shot! This is partly why giving yourself a reason to get up is so important – it gets you into the habit of embracing mornings because you expect something good or worthwhile to be happening. You have a purpose for the day. If it’s hard to bat away the negative thoughts in the morning, print the below out and read it allowed to yourself when you wake up:

‘Today is a new day. I feel excited and positive about the opportunities ahead of me. I am the architect of my day. I understand that I have the power to make today a good day. Things may happen that are beyond my control, but this is a natural and accepted part of life. I am looking forward to the day before me. My day starts now.’

Listen to this

I like to listen to something inspiring whilst I walk to work. It might be a song like Michael Jackson Off the Wall, but usually I listen to motivational speakers like Marissa Peer, Louise Hay and Mel Robbins. I also listen to a channel on YouTube called Power Meditations, which has a series of ‘I am’ affirmation videos designed for mornings. I find them very energizing and encouraging.

Let you brain control your emotions

Remember, how we feel in the mornings is largely down to cortisol which can make us feel stressed. As soon as we get up, we get on with it. If you’re used to viewing mornings unfavourably, this will take some practice, but you can become a morning person too. If we give in to how we feel in the morning, which is really no more than a biological hangover, we can tell ourselves that ‘okay, I’m tired now, but in ten minutes once I’ve washed my face and had a drink, I’ll feel more awake’ and open to the day. Let your brain have the final say rather than how you feel.

What are your tricks and hacks for a more magical morning?

All my love

K

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