Ah… mornings. Some of you love them and some of you hate them. Yet no matter what you feel about them, they are a reality for each of us. We cannot escape them. Even if you work shift work, you still have to deal with them.
I find it curious how some of us naturally find mornings a calm and inspiring time of the day, while other find it a blurry-eyed hassle that is never as good as hitting the snooze button and staying in bed for another 15 minutes (or 2 hours). Medical research has discovered some of the reasons why each of us reacts differently to times of the day. Our levels of melatonin production are one factor that influences how our body feels in the morning and throughout the day.
Yet, no matter what you body might “naturally” feel in the morning, there is one thing that is becoming harder and harder to argue. That having a stable and specific morning routine is the best strategy for setting your day on the right course. What do I mean by a “stable and specific morning routine”?
Routine: Our bodies are designed to function best in routine. It really isn’t any different than training a dog. Your dog has learned that when you go to the cupboard in the morning that holds their dog food, they are going to be fed. They come running as soon as they hear the cupboard slam or as soon as they hear the crinkling of the bag. They start anticipating the food, they start wagging their tail, they start salivating. When you create a good routine for yourself in the morning, your body will become conditioned to anticipate that routine. That will begin to make getting up easier, and you can start to function a bit more on “autopilot” rather than always having that mind battle in the morning that goes like this:
You: Oh, there is the alarm. Time to get up!
Your mind: Yeah, that was the alarm all right. But I can snooze it and get a few more minutes of sleep. It won’t hurt anyone.
You: I do think I probably should get up.
Your mind: You deserve to sleep in another 15 minutes. You had a hard day yesterday. It’s so comfy in bed here. Just lay down for a while longer. You can just wear the same pants you wore yesterday and not iron another pair today. That will save you a bit more time this morning.
You: Well, that’s true. I could cut out a few things that I usually do in the morning to give me more time in bed.
Your mind: That’s right. You don’t really need to shower anyway. Dry shampoo and a bit of cologne will do.
Avoid the mind battle and start getting a morning routine in place!!! Don’t know what to do for your morning routine?? Stay tuned and I’ll share more about what we know works to set you in the right frame of mind and get your body going.
– Dr. Sheri Fluellen