I don’t want to be a morning person – a gentle approach to waking up

I hate mornings. Yes, even sunrises. They are cold – literally and figuratively, and definitely don’t evoke any kind of fuzzy, hopeful feelings in my heart. On the flip side, my favourite and most productive parts of the day are evenings and late afternoons. For this reason, I’ve never felt too excited about all those extremely popular „How to be a morning person” articles, since I know that I’m ridiculously ineffective at anything before 10 am, be it exercise or studying. Since my ideal sleeping habits – at least 9 hours from around midnight – don’t match how society works, and I’ll probably never master the art of napping, I had to come up with a few ways to preserve my energy till the hours my brain is actually capable of functioning.
So here are few insights on how I manage my mornings, for everyone who prefer a slow start to their days.

I drink something warm – usually black tea with honey and almond milk, sometimes coffee, but I tend to reserve that for the afternoons, since it feels dehydrating, and doesn’t do much for me in terms of waking up. Warm drinks are they key signal to my system that it’s time to get started, and I seriously miss my morning mug, when I happen to not have access to it (although I always pack a few teabags whenever I travel).
If you feel like your caffeine consumption is getting a bit overboard, or drives you back into a crash after a few hours, try to exchange one of your cups for any other warm drink. You may notice that after a few weeks, your body will get used to respond to lower doses of caffeine, and a mug of tea or hot cocoa will put you in a cosy mood, while waking you up in a gentle, non-buzzy way.

No breakfast for me – I got tired of the mainstream advice, that you should be eating in the morning no matter what. If you crave it, then go ahead, but for me it takes time for my system to wake up, and any kind of breakfast takes away my appetite for the day, and puts me in a food coma right off. The aforementioned hot drink is just right for me to get my digestion going, and I’m ready to grab a sandwich or an oatmeal by 10.

A light stretch– I carry a lot of stress in my back and shoulders, so a little stretching in the morning and before bed sets a nice calm mood for the day. Spine twisting yoga poses are great for all purposes, from relaxing that „I just woke up” stiffness to supporting a good posture throughout the day. Forward bending, like downward facing dog, helps with circulation and feeling more alive, as a result. Also, don’t ignore your feet! Walk on tiptoes and make small circles with them in a sitting position – it’s surprisingly satisfying.
I like to combine these exercises with some deep breathing techniques (I’ll write about my meditation and breathing practises in an upcoming post), to bring some mindfulness to my morning routine, and ensure that I’m in touch with how I feel physically and emotionally that day.

Warm water on my face – another popular hack is to splash ice cold water on your face, and I honestly can’t imagine anything more horrible in the morning. I like to do the contrary, and wash my face with hot water. It gives a huge boost to my circulation, plumps my skin, and is so relaxing. If your eyes are puffy, you can always finish off with a few splashes of colder water, or keeping your skincare products in the fridge.

I give myself time, and don’t aim for a super effective morning – this is less of a hack, but rather a mindset. I try to make everything as enjoyable as I can, and don’t stress the „getting everything done” aspect. I concentrate on fewer things, no exercise - bullet journaling – smoothie – 10 step skincare, but instead I accept that I’m not a morning person, schedule the important tasks after lunch, take my time to be present in every step of my routine, and don’t have anything set in stone. I try to be flexible, and accommodate my routine to the way I feel that specific day. I prepare my drink to go, apply whatever makeup I feel like wearing, read while sipping my tea, and pick out my outfit depending on my mood. These are the things that get me over the fact, that I didn’t had to spend that time in my bed, and get me excited for the day. I don’t desire to prepare and pack everything the night before, as I really don’t care whether my mornings are effective or not.

- Anna

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