“8 o’clock? A lie in? You must be joking!”
I’ve been an early riser for as looooong as I can remember, just like my dad! But the older I get, I do wonder if I’m starting to enjoy a lie in. And by a lie in, I mean 7:30/8am.
As a youngster I’d be up anywhere between 5 and 7am, wanting to draw or go swimming, desperate to do kick-ups in the garden or go on a bike ride. As long as I was up and at ’em, I was happy.
The best thing was that my dad was the same. There weren’t many days where I was awake before my dad, but when I was it was so exciting waiting for him to decide on what little adventure we’d be going on that morning.
So, as a life-long early-bird I feel as though it’s my duty to offer some advice on positive ways to start your day, just in case you’re struggling.
- Exercise – quite often the last thing you want to do when you wake up, but if you force yourself to get into a routine of doing 5-10 minutes each morning, you will, hopefully, start to look forward to it. It should make you feel energised and should set you up for a positive morning, especially during this ‘lock down’.
When I’m in Wales I absolutely love walking along the river in the morning (see the picture in the heading?) as it’s so peaceful!
*I am aware that many people are huge fitness fans and probably run 10k before breakfast, and there are others who won’t lift a finger unless they absolutely have to, so take this suggestion with a pinch of salt.
- Wash your face with cool water – get the sleep out of your eyes, wake yourself up a bit and, if you’re one of those people, wash your face with a nice soap. I love my tea-tree and mint face wash and just the smell of it wakes me up a bit.
- Water the plants – if you’re asking ‘what plants?’ you should buy one immediately (or 5). One of the first things I do in the morning, after washing my face and before putting my glasses on, is check on my plants. I even talk to them (yes, I’ve gone that mad).
It’s a little self-care routine that is calming, unless the neighbours are having a blazing row, and it’s always lovely to see new roots, leaves or flowers that have popped up over night!
- Make yourself a nice drink – I usually start with a hot infusion of ginger, lemon and turmeric. As it’s rarely hot first thing in the morning, I won’t have anything cold. (The days of me waking up in 25oC are so far behind me, it’s actually a little sad.) *Shakes head, rubs memories away*
Jonas, on the other hand, can’t do anything unless he’s had his coffee, but by the time he’s awake that’s usually my third or fourth drink of the day!
- Read – If I’m really into a good book (what, I didn’t finish it before sleeping???) I might set my alarm a little earlier and read before I need to get out of bed. This gives me the push I need for the day as it awakens my sense of creativity and purpose. Does that sound odd? When I’m inspired by someone else’s work, I feel that I work better and makes me feel more positive.
- Treat yourself to a bloody decent breakfast – I haven’t done this in a while, I must confess, but what better way to start the day than with avocado on toast, drizzled with lime juice, a big cup of freshly brewed coffee and a delicious bowl of fruit? Or, if you’re Jonas… a yoghurt, a fry up, 3 pieces of fruit and a plate of toast! No?
- Watch a comedy sketch – We’ve been watching Russell Howard, Russell Kane, Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre and Mo Gilligan on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram – both old and new posts. Many comedians are posting shorter skits on their social media pages and they’re funnier than ever because of how relevant they are to this awful, and bizarre, situation we’re all in.
- Get some decent music on! – Now I love nothing more than the sound of absolutely nothing, but the only place I find that is in North Wales. Sadly, Manchester has no such thing as silence. So my noise-cancelling headphones and Phil Collins are often my best friends during my times of awful neighbours. I also enjoy the Beach Boys, the Beatles and Bon Jovi. That way, I can start my day with what I want to hear.
- Make your bed – A quick, 1 minute job will leave you feeling far more relaxed, especially if, like me, you pop in and out of your room throughout the day. I can’t bear the sight of a messy, unmade bed (nor mis-matched sheets and pillow cases, but hey ho!).
- Sit down with your cup of coffee and write out a to-do list for the day. Not a 4524384932 impossible list of all the things you want to do, but one that you can reasonable accomplish depending on your mood and other commitments for the day.
I usually write my schedule in first (lessons, social events) and then add in my to-do list around these. I almost always include read and exercise, but sometimes there’s a bit of cleaning, studying Chinese or lesson planning as well. It helps me stay on top of things and feel more in control.
Of course, you are entirely free to start your day however you like but I wanted to share a few of my favourite tips for a positive start to the day.
If you have any of your own, I’d love for you to share them in the comments or over on Twitter! x