I'm a huge fan of waking up early. It's the perfect time to be selfish and really get my "me-time" in as most of the rest of the city is still sleeping (not to mention, I get to catch the sunrise depending on the time of year). Since I love working out, I go to the gym first thing in the morning. It gives me the chance to breath and focus before the work day begins (which helps with my anxiety), gets the endorphins going, allows me to catch up on the news headlines (shoutout to TheSkimm and Flipboard!), and gives me a huuuuge boost of lasting energy.
Not only do I love to wake up early on the weekdays, I love to wake up early on the weekends as well. Since I'm a pretty active person, my weekends usually consist of physical activities like going a long walk to the dog park with Koda (my pup), going on a hike, or running in Marina del Rey with my boyfriend. Since those activities can be done anytime throughout the day (because there's no M-F 'work-hours' constraint), I like to wake up around 7am and get coffee at Groundwork Coffee or Alfred Coffee and/or read a good book and just relax. It's amazing to feel like you have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you want.
Of course there are weekends where I'm out late on a Friday or Saturday night and am not feeling 100% the next day, but I'm usually out of bed before 9:00am and am even more motivated to get back on track to feeling my best again.
I know that not everyone is a morning person and, believe me, I used to not be either. I used to brag about how late I could sleep in while in high school - my record was 2pm on a Saturday. Thinking back on that makes me cringe - so much wasted time when I could have been doing so many activities! I believe that waking up early is truly a habit that anyone can form.
Here are some tips that I've learned over the years that may help you too:
- Try setting your alarm tone to a song you know will motivate you. Whether it's Drake, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, or One Direction, pick a good one that makes your heart sing and makes you want to dance!
- Don't hit snooze - jump out of bed without thinking about it. I used to think that hitting the snooze button might help because it would give me a couple of extra zzz's. I recently found out that it not only makes you more tired, it decreases your productivity throughout the day. If you wake up to your alarm and immediately hit the snooze button to get a little more sleep, you enter a new sleep cycle that you can't properly finish which can slow down decision-making abilities (aka sleep inertia). You can read more about it here: CNN.
- Turn the lights on. I know, it's painful but it's sometimes too tempting to get back into bed when you get out of it, especially if it's still dark outside so turn on the lights ASAP!
- Make your bed. After you jump out of bed and turn the lights on - make your bed. It's simple but it'll give you a sense of accomplishment and makes you less tempted to jump right back in. As said by U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven during his commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014, "Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better."
- Squeeze half a lemon in water. There are tons of health benefits to drinking lemon water. Not only does it flush out toxins in the body and fights viral infections, it gives you an energy boost - perfect before going to the gym or doing whatever early morning activity you want to do!
So whether you're waking up early to workout, read a book, meditate, get coffee, or whatever else, I highly encourage you to try it and would love to hear about it!