A How-To Guide to Waking Up Early
The alarm blares. Another bright morning has come to pass.
And as a result, another small, but mighty decision reckons.
Do you continue sleeping? Or get up and seize the day?
The truth is, it can be an extremely difficult choice. And you begin wondering why you wanted to wake up early in the first place! I mean, who’s idea was this anyway!
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Today’s article is all about how to make that hard choice easier. So you learn how to wake up early and put yourself first for a change, every single day.
You’ll be amazed at the transformation this has on your overall mental and physical health.
The Benefits of Getting Up Early
Most people’s mornings begin in an immediate state of overdrive. The children are clamoring for breakfast. Or there’s no time to spare while racing to be on time for work. Self-care?! Um, no.
We get lost in the hustle and bustle of what others need from us. Especially as moms, that’s often an every minute responsibility.
Now, picture yourself spending the first hour of the day solely on your wellbeing. What does that look like for you?
Perhaps you now move your body every single day. So naturally, you have more energy, less stress, and you sleep better.
Or you meditate daily. Which makes you calmer, more focused, and lowers your anxiety.
Or you use a daily devotional, journal, or affirmations. Which all help to keep a more positive perspective on life.
Now, imagine how drastically better you’ll feel with one hour a day, after just a few weeks.
Change Just One Thing
As it turns out, to elevate your self-care in an astonishing way, it takes only changing one key habit (getting up earlier). You no longer have to fight yourself over time and energy because it’s built-in, first thing. Therefore, you reap those beautiful self-care benefits long term.
So, to learn how to wake up early to take dramatically better care of your self, here are the best tips (from science and experience)! Then, read on for my morning routine to see what may work for you!
9 Strategies to Wake Up Early
It’s 5, 6, or 7am. That annoying alarm keeps ringing. And you REALLY don’t want to get out of bed. What do you do?
Get up anyways. You can do it! Here’s how:
1. Go to Bed Earlier
This can be harder than it looks though.
Inevitably, news or text messages will come in through your phone at 9:00 pm leaving you thinking too much to rest. So, protect your sleep and put your phone away an hour before bedtime.
Then, create a simple winding down routine. Perhaps, you enjoy a cup of tea or watch a lighthearted show. Do things that help your body relax for the night.
Also, start with going to bed just twenty or thirty minutes earlier. After a time, your body will adjust to any new time schedule you give it, and you can continue to tweak your perfect bedtime schedule.
The key is to stay consistent (even on the weekends).
2. Use Wake Up Techniques
If you tend to be groggy and disoriented in the morning, use techniques that help you wake up. Move your alarm clock across the room so you can’t hit it multiple times. Then, splash water on your face or brush your teeth first thing.
Still not awake? Open your curtains or go outside to see the sun.
Finally, incorporating movement first thing helps wake you up for the rest of your morning routine. Try light stretching or a set of pushups to get your blood flowing.
3. Play Mind Games
It’s ok to play mind games on yourself, right?!
As suggested in the stellar book, The 5 am Club, try changing your alarm clock time to fifteen minutes later. You’ll trick yourself into thinking you’re waking up at 6:15 when it’s really 6, therefore making it easier to make the switch.
4. Keep a Marble Jar
Sounds strange, but it’s based on personal experience!
Habit experts differ on how long it takes to form a habit. Some say 21 days, others 30, and still others 66 days. These day markers indicate the switch point, when a habit becomes easier to do than not do. And it’s a glorious point to get to.
When I first began getting up at the crack of dawn, I put one of my children’s marbles in a glass jar every day. It was highly motivating, and 66 marbles later, it was a visual reminder that I achieved something special for myself.
Related Post: How to Build Better Habits, Backed By Science
5. Give Yourself a Reward
Decide on how long you’ll stay with getting up early, and create a reward to look forward to when you give the habit a chance to stick for good.
With my marble strategy, I promised myself a massage when I reached the 66 marble mark. It was every mother’s dream, and something I could get excited about but that didn’t derail my progress.
Related post: How to Motivate Yourself When It Sucks
6. Do Things You LOVE in the Morning
No one is going to get up early to mop the floors. What fun is that?!
So, make sure that whatever you do for your self-care time deeply benefits you and makes you feel incredible. That in itself will help you get out of bed.
Read here for more self-care ideas! Or get the tool-kit below!
7. Be Firm But Flexible
Here’s the deal. A commitment is a commitment. If you say you are going to get up, then you should do it. YOU are important. So, put yourself first.
Now, saying that, you can’t let one bad day drop you off the cliff.
Sometimes, one of my three kids has a bad night or I get to bed late because we’re out. If I can, I sleep in the next morning because sleep is IMPORTANT. Just make sure that the following day is back on track!
8. Find an Early Bird Partner
If you have a friend that’s also interested in how to wake up early, text each other when you get up at your self-appointed time.
Often, positive peer pressure gives us the accountability we need to follow through on our goals. It’s a powerful secret weapon.
9. Use Outside Stimulus as Needed
Still can’t get into the early wake-up routine?
Put on some upbeat tunes or drink a cup of coffee to kick yourself awake. There’s nothing wrong with a little stimulation (in moderation) to get you going in the right direction.
What Time Should You Get Up?
Luckily, that depends entirely on you and what you want more of in your life. If your family doesn’t wake until 8:00, then perhaps getting up at 7:00 am is plenty of time to double down on your self-care.
We all have different needs and personality tendencies. So, you do YOU!
My Early Morning Self-Care Routine
By waking up early, I am able to take care of myself beyond what I thought was possible for a mom of three little ones. (But again, this doesn’t mean you have to get up as early as I do). I know I’m crazy.
4:50 Alarm, change clothes, drink water
4:55-5:20 Workout (exercise length varies from 20-40 minutes, and if I run outside I wait until the sun comes up)
5:20-5:40 Meditate with the Headspace App
6:00-7:00 Deep, undistracted work (no one sitting on my lap or yelling in my ear)
Don’t forget, different actions work for different people! To see more morning routine ideas, check out:
Something to Consider
How to get up early is easier than you think. It simply takes a few strategic actions and day by day, waking up with the sun becomes a little easier. Over time, it’s second nature.
And eventually, you’ll find that you wouldn’t have it any other way.
What helps you get up early? Share your tips below!
Other self-care posts to enjoy…
- How to Organize Your Perfect Self-Care Day
- A Self-Care Guide for Moms
- The Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Self-Care (great for any time of year!)
- How to Vastly Improve Your Quality of Life