If you bound out of bed each day with joy and rapture in your heart, then congrats — you're most definitely a morning person. The rest of us have no idea how you do it, and are flabbergasted when we hear about your positive morning routine. You know, the one where you did an hour's worth of yoga and somehow also found time to read? It sounds nice. Really, it does.
You've got it down and are clearly awesome at creating a positive morning experience. So that's why this article isn't exactly for you. This article is for my fellow cranky, grumbly morning haters who smack at their alarms, begrudgingly open their eyes, and climb out of bed with scowl. This is for my people whose first morning thoughts are not exactly positive (and maybe even a tad pessimistic). And it's definitely for my ladies who would like to change things up a bit.
Because — while it may feel natural — there really are no benefits to being so miserable in the morning. "If [you] start out with the negative mindset, looking down on the day and expecting the worst, this feeling and these thoughts are going to carry throughout," says Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. "That is why a positive morning routine ... is so important. It sets a completely different tone."
So let's try to emulate our more positive friends, shall we? Read on for ways to have a better mindset in the morning, and hopefully a better day.
1. Start Off By Actually Sleeping Well
One big difference between you and your morning person friend? She probably slept like a baby, while you most certainly did not. A solid night's rest really is the foundation of a good morning, according to Martinez, so it's incredibly important to get your ass to bed. Aim for about eight hours a night, every night, and you'll feel much better come morning.
2 . Sleep On Your Right Side
If you're constantly waking up in a horrible mood, give sleeping on your right side a try. "Turkish researchers found that people who tend to sleep on their right side have mellower dreams, with themes of relief, joy, peace, and love," said wellness expert Corrie Pikul on HuffingtonPost.com. "They also report feeling better rested and less dysfunctional during waking hours." Less dysfunctional? Count me in.
3. Stretch It Out (In Bed)
If you're struggling to get out of bed, try doing some stretches to improve your mood. "This gets the blood flowing throughout your body, and you can even do the stretches under your covers," said features writer Marina Liao on PopSugar.com. "Once those endorphins are released, you'll feel less stressed and view your day with a more positive attitude."
4. Sip Some Orange Juice, ASAP
If you can feel your optimism flagging, run to the fridge and pour yourself some OJ. "It’s not just because oranges are the color of the morning sun: They’re also high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, both of which have been found lacking in patients who suffer from depression," said Pikul. And that may be just what you need.
5. Don't Flip On That TV
Personally, I like some noise in the morning to get me going. If you do too, put on music or a podcast — just not the TV. "If you're easily upset over bad news, skip the morning programs," said Liao. It's notoriously depressing, and way too overwhelming for the early morning hours. Save catching up on what's going on for later in the day.
6. Keep Fresh Flowers On Hand
One of the easiest ways to put yourself in a good mood? Waking up to fresh flowers. "Scientific studies have shown flowers will make a person happier, so keep some pretty arrangements where you can see them first thing in the morning," Liao suggested. Seriously, they'll be the best five bucks you ever spent.
7. Think Of One Good Thing
"Think of one thing that you are going to do well [today], and keep that focus in mind," Martinez suggests. Just one thing. Maybe it's that you'll make it to work on time, or that you'll eat a healthy lunch. This will make the day seem manageable — and positive — and that should do wonders for your mood.
8. Wake Up Earlier
As soon as you start making sleep a priority, you'll be popping out of bed with the best of them. And once you do, you'll find yourself with hours of "me" time to do whatever you want. "During this time do something like exercise, reading, listening to a podcast, doing meditation or mantras, or just enjoying a sitcom with your cup of coffee," Martinez says. It'll make all the difference in the world.
9. Let The Sun Shine On In
I know, the sun is bright and quite horrible in the morning. But you don't have to be all vampiric with your curtains drawn tight. In fact, you should throw those babies open and let the sun in to help yourself wake up. "[The sun] also increases the brain's level of serotonin, a chemical that boosts mood," said health writer Michele Bender on Prevention. Win and win.
10. Resist The Urge To Look At Your Phone
Whatever you do, don't reach for that phone. "Fielding work emails and scrolling through the chaos on your newsfeed is a sure-fire way to create stress ... before you’re even out of bed," noted health writer Kelly Fitzpatrick on DailyBurn.com. Save all that mess for once you get to work.
11. Make Yourself Breakfast
If you start waking up earlier, you'll start associating the morning with a calm, positive (even fun?) time. And one of the best ways to add to this is with a real, bonafide breakfast. I'm talking about pancakes, or an omelet, or even the best donut ever with a side of coffee.
If this doesn't make for a more positive morning, nothing will.
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