I was glad to see all of the positive feedback on my Tuesday Ten about sleep remedies. When I was reading through the comments, I noticed that one LaurenConrad.com member Jordan Estep said that it’s not getting to bed that’s hard but the waking up in the mornings that’s the real challenge. This sparked an idea for a blog post. Jordan, I feel your pain.
Crawling out of your comfy bed early in the morning is no easy task. However, I've found there are a few ways to make mornings brighter and easier to tackle — and I even made a timeline to show you how I do it! Just remember that your schedule might be slightly different than the one below (which is geared for my 9-5 ladies out there). If this timeline works for you, stick to it. If not, adjust it so that it fits your schedule. Let’s start with the night before.
10 p.m. — Bedtime
Avoid watching TV, surfing the Internet, or eating a big meal too late at night. If you don’t give your body and mind enough time to shut down before getting into bed, chances are time will tick away without you even noticing it. Don’t find yourself awake past your bedtime — it will prevent you from feeling rested in the morning. I try to go to bed by 10 p.m. because I like to wake up and log in an early-morning workout. Aim for getting six to eight hours of sleep a night.
10 p.m. — 6 a.m. — Sleep
Just like I mentioned in my sleep remedies post, a quiet, dark, peaceful environment is ideal for getting a good night’s rest. Also, make sure you set an alarm clock before you fall asleep. It will mentally prepare you for the morning and make your brain aware of the time it is supposed to wake up. I recommend setting it about 15 minutes before you actually have to get up and out of bed. That way, you can start waking up without feeling rushed or frazzled.
6 a.m. — Rise and shine
The first thing I like to do in the morning is get up, open the windows, and start my coffee maker. The smell of brewing coffee instantly wakes up my senses, and the morning light kick-starts my brain into wake up mode.
6:05 a.m. — Make your bed
Making your bed soon after you wake up makes it harder to crawl back under the covers later — no matter how tired you are. It also sends messages to your brain that you are waking up and starting your day.
6:15 a.m. — Wash up.
After I make my bed, I wash my face, brush my teeth, and comb my hair. Whatever your morning routine is, start it now! There are few things better than waking up to a cold sensation of splashing water on your face mixed with the minty fresh taste of toothpaste.
6:35 a.m. – Exercise.
Some people like to log in their workout after they leave the office. But I think it is one of the best ways you can start your day. When I work out in the a.m., I always leave the gym feeling energized and refreshed. Plus, breakfast tastes so much better when you know you’ve worked for it. Go for a brisk run outside (the fresh air will wake you up) or try a spin class. I wouldn’t recommend a slower-paced exercise, like gentle yoga, in the mornings. You might find yourself snoozing off during shavasana. I set aside about 45 minutes for my morning workout because I like taking my time and not rushing through it. If your favorite workout is longer or shorter, adjust this allotted time slot as needed.
While I don’t recommend a gentle yoga class in the early morning hours, I do recommend doing a few minutes of stretching to improve your flexibility and warm up your muscles for the day to come. Try some stretches after your morning sweat sesh.
7:30 a.m. — Shower
Everyone knows how much a morning shower can help wake you up, put you in a good mood, and leave you feeling fresh (and smelling clean!). Make your morning better by lathering up for a good 15 minutes.
7:45 a.m. — Turn the tunes and fuel up
Playing tunes that are upbeat in the morning is almost guaranteed to make your mood upbeat, too. And make sure you don't skip the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is a crucial way to stay fit, slim down, and manage your energy levels through the day. I like to whip up some overnight oats, a veggie omelet, or a green smoothie to get my day going. Check out these busy girl breakfast ideas for more recipes.
8:05 a.m. — Get ready
Do your hair, put on your makeup, and get dressed. I like to think about what I’m going to wear the night before to avoid several outfit changes (and a messy bedroom as well). If your hair is high maintenance and you know it takes a while to tame, try to nail down a routine that simplifies your primp time. Click here for a few tips for getting ready in ten minutes or less!
8:45 a.m. — Hit the road!
It doesn’t take me too long to get to the LC HQ in the morning, so I set aside 15 minutes for my drive. If you have a longer commute, you can adjust your morning routine as needed. Either way, by the time you get into the office, think about all the things you’ve accomplished before 9 a.m.! That alone should wake you up and get you motivated for the day to come.
This is the routine I stick to, and I hope it can help you find your own morning ritual that works for you. Once you find your perfect morning routine, stick to it. Staying consistent will make your mornings easier and help you to have a schedule each day. One of the best parts about having a stress-free morning is that it sets the tone for the entire rest of your day. If you’re happy and relaxed before 9 a.m., chances are you will stay in that mood for the rest of the day!
What is your morning ritual like? And, have you discovered any tricks that make it easier to get out of bed? Let me know in the comments below.