Get out your tiny violins now, ladies (cough, Amanda), because I am going to share with you one of my most shameful problems – I am horrible at waking up early. Because I have been working from home for so long, with no schedules, managers, or opening hours, my daily routine is dictated mostly by the best time to be at Starbucks (11:15 AM). And… sometimes… I’m even late for that.
With the exception of the days when I am up at 6 AM working on WWKD, most days I sleep in…later than I like to admit… Many mornings have begun with Amanda texting me at 6 AM her time (9 AM ET), with my groggy responses containing sleepy spelling mistakes.
Recently, I was lying in bed around 9 AM drinking tea and being lazy. Suddenly, there was a loud banging on the front door. Startled, I huddled under the duvet and tried to hide and ignore it. Surely the banging would go away. It didn’t… the “banger” had a key to my apartment, unlocked the door, and began shouting “hello? hello” throughout the house. I was terrified, and my red-pajama-ed self was not in a place to run or fight back. I soon found out it was a very embarrassed maintenance man checking on my dishwasher, but the event was traumatic enough. I needed to change my mornings.
Lately, my life is changing and so is my daily routine. Sleeping in until after brunch time is unrealistic, which is for the better. While my routine has changed, my morning sleepiness has not. After a few mornings of missed alarms, falling back asleep, and requiring a mid-day nap, I have finally figured out how to wake up – and not be miserable about it. With a few refined touches, my mornings are luxurious and worth getting up for.
To wake up early, I start the night before. Before retiring, I prepare a big bottle of water and add tea bags or fruit to “brew” overnight. I also plan breakfast for the next day and make sure I have all of the ingredients. The thought of something pleasant to eat and drink – easy, convenient, and readily available – makes the mornings a happier experience.
Once I start the dishwasher and turn out the lights, I close the bedroom door and stay there. “Bedtime” begins immediately. Pretty pajamas are a must, of course, but I also became more strict about my evening routine. My evening toilette has also become something to look forward to, and it is nice to lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes and decompress my brain.
Sleep is tricky, but eventually I get there. My alarm goes off around 7:30 AM to the tune of a soft melody – not loud, upbeat music, not startling noises, but a sweet little tune. Right now, I am immediately checking e-mails, Twitter, and texts. I know this is a habit I need to break, but baby steps! Your iPhone should not be the first thing you talk to in the morning. But I digress…
Here is the best thing that helps my mornings start early and my day stay on track: I get out of bed and get dressed – blowout to ballet flats. I shower, do my make-up and hair, put on a nice outfit, and shoes (sometimes cute house slippers). When I leave the bedroom to make tea and breakfast, I am fully dressed and ready for what the day might bring – including intrusive maintenance men!
Then, I enjoy my breakfast – sometimes watching a little TV. Once those dishes are tidied up, I begin the day. Nothing is rushed or harried. The whole experience – from the night before to the rest of the morning – is enjoyable. And I find that every step is important.
Some days, I press the snooze button. Some days, I start much earlier. The routine stays mostly the same and I have found it to be immensely helpful. Now, when the maintenance man knocks in the morning I can answer!