5 Evening Habits For Better Mornings
Following five hits of the snooze button, you shoot out of bed like you’re on fire, suddenly remember every email you forgot to return, and simultaneously stub three toes on the way to the bathroom (does that happen to anyone else?).
Everyone has mornings like this once in a while, but if this sounds like you on a regular basis, it may be time to reconsider your routine. Starting the day off with confidence and calm will carry through the rest of your waking hours, and the key to setting yourself up for a good morning is to prepare the night before.
1. Get Organized for the Day Ahead
A great way to wake up feeling frantic is to know, vaguely, that you have many things to do, but no clear idea of what or when. Avoid this common energy-zapper by taking some time every night to organise your tasks for the day ahead.
Using whatever medium works best for you, whether it be an app or a notebook, lay out the next day’s meetings, appointments, and important tasks. Don’t try to plan out every five minutes – for most people, a general task list will do the job.
2. Clean Up
Looking for your wallet in a pile of laundry is an unpleasant way to start the day. Try to make a habit of putting things away before bed, and laying out anything you’ll need in the morning in an easily accessible place. Know you’ll need bus change and a bag of gym gear in the morning? Get it all together the night before, and make life as easy as possible for morning you.
3. Write Down Three Specific Things You’re Grateful For
We know – this sounds like fluffy advice you’d read on the chalkboard at a yoga studio. However, this is actually a well-research practice in the field of positive psychology. The theory goes that making a conscious habit of noticing positive things in your day will train your brain to notice more good things in general, improving your psychological well-being over time.
4. Read Yourself to Sleep
Reading, unsurprisingly, tends to boost cognitive performance, from memory and vocabulary to public speaking ability. Reading also helps reduce stress by lowering cortisol, a hormone that goes into overdrive when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Regardless of which book you choose – and do try to choose an actual book, as electronic screens will keep you up – turning a few pages before bed will likely help you sleep soundly and wake up refreshed.
5. Get Enough Sleep
This may be the most straightforward advice you can get for improving your mornings, but it’s also the most commonly ignored. No gratitude journal or perfectly colour-coded planner will make up for the cognitive and mood deficits that accompany insufficient sleep, so make sure it’s lights out at least eight hours before that first alarm bell is scheduled to go off.