RISE & GRIND: Six Reasons Why You Should Become a Morning Person
Photo Credit: @vshinthecity
It's 7:00 AM and your alarm clocking begins screaming, jostling you out of a lovely dream. How incredibly rude. I don't blame you for hammering the snooze button a time or two for a few more peaceful moments of sleep before the chaos of your day ensues.
It's this logic that made me an avid life-long morning hater until very recently.
You see, mornings don't have to be chaotic. When given the opportunity, they actually can be kind of great! Especially when you know that your day will be busy.
Formally, I was always of the mentality that, yes my day will be busy--therefore, I want to get all the rest I can to be better prepared. When, in reality, taking a few extra minutes in the morning #1 really isn't going to impact how rested you are (come on guys, 20 minutes to an hour is a drop in the bucket when you consider you've already been sleeping five to eight hours) and #2 you can set yourself up to be in a better mental, emotional and physical state for your day.
One of the biggest bonuses of having extra time in the morning is being able to make yourself the breakfast of your choice rather than grabbing the easiest thing on your way out the door or having nothing at all. It takes less than five minutes to make eggs, french toast, oatmeal, or a fruit and yoghurt parfait. Morning people get to take their pick. Having this extra time also allows you to make healthy choices instead of being stuck with having to choose between a bagel or a doughnut when you're rushing to work.
Giving yourself a few extra minutes to get ready for the day can make a significant difference in your confidence. If you wake up with only a few minutes to spare before you have to run, unless you laid out clothes the night before, you generally end up throwing on whatever you can find. Ladies: I think we all know what happens when you try to rush eyeliner... Making time to get dressed at a relaxed pace allows you to choose something to wear that makes you feel good, contributing to confidence. Also, if you're not in a hurry and single-mindedly focused on catching the subway or navigating traffic, you can mentally prepare yourself for the tasks of the day. Like, for example, if you have a presentation to do at work that day or a meeting to attend, you can just take a minute or two to go over notes so you are more confident in what you are doing or discussing when you arrive.
If you are willing to commit to giving yourself a little more significant amount of time in the mornings, you can have a workout. Working out in the morning not only makes you feel great by giving you a rush of endorphins but, surprisingly, it gives you more energy as well. If you make it part of your morning routine, it's a great boost to your overall health. People who work out in the morning tend to exercise more consistently because in the evening you're much more likely to skip a workout because other plans come up. A morning workout also means that you are statistically more likely to be more active all day long, you'll burn more fat, you'll lower your blood pressure and risk for diabetes, and build muscle more efficiently.
Unfortunately, rush hour is always stressful no matter how much time you have. We are not suggesting that you wake up so early that you head out before rush hour even starts but, we do believe that in giving yourself some wiggle room (time-wise) in your commute so you won't be biting your nails and worrying you will be late the entire time. Giving yourself more than enough time to get to work in the morning is an excellent way to eliminate some unnecessary morning stress while giving you some extra time to read, listen to music, catch up on current events, and/or just wake up a bit.
Not only are early risers better fed, more relaxed and healthy, better dressed and less stressed, but they are also proven to be happier, more productive and more successful. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, early risers are more proactive than night owls and tend to anticipate problems and try to minimize them before they arise. In waking up early and being proactive in your day, you leave yourself more time in the evening to do what you like to do, rather than what you have to do, leading to a happier and more fulfilled lifestyle.
Finally, in waking up earlier at the same time every day, your body gets used to a routine and helps you to wake up and fall asleep. Because you're up earlier in the mornings, you will feel more tired at bedtime which helps to not be stuck awake, tossing and turning, trying to get to sleep at night. We know how frustrating that can be. If you are considering trying to become a morning person, but you can't get to bed before 11 PM, still commit to setting your alarm 30 minutes to one hour before you would normally wake up; you may be tired on the first day, but you will fall asleep more easily that night, making it easier to get up earlier the following morning. This reset of your sleep schedule has the potential to really positively impact your life, health, happiness and sleep.
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