I’ll admit, starting my mornings has certainly gotten easier after I got sober. The scramble to get dressed and meet a drug dealer before I am facing withdrawals has dissipated and I have moved on to morning cries and changing an extremely squirmy baby.
As wonderful and appreciative as I am of my life today, not every morning starts out so hot. Some days I have to struggle to find the will to get out of bed and some just seem impossible to get through. I have read many articles on starting your mornings on a more positive note but, honestly, who has time for yoga or an hour-long exercise session every day?
Starting your mornings on a positive note isn’t an impossible feat. Here are five easy activities to implement into your day to make each one more enjoyable than the other.
1. Get everything ready the night before.
This isn’t necessarily a “morning” routine but it does affect the way your morning will begin. One of the things I definitely do every night before going to bed is pick out my clothing (as well as my child’s) and have everything prepared for the next day. This includes rummaging through ideas of what we’ll be having for breakfast, what time I’ll begin working and what we’ll be doing throughout the day. For those who aren’t self-employed, this can mean preparing your coffee machine or making sure to find the easiest route to the nearest coffee shop on your way to work. This will not only save you time and energy, but it can provide you with a few extra minutes to relax before the day begins and ease some of the morning hassles.
2. Exercising seems impossible, but it truly isn’t.
I certainly cannot find the time in the morning to set up an exercise routine that will actually work but I do fit exercise into my schedule. While I’m making eggs, I find time to stand and do my squats and lunges. Even if you exercise for ten minutes or have found time to fit in a couple of yoga poses per morning, you will ultimately feel better each day. It’s easy to skip these things because we don’t have time but if we wake up just a few minutes earlier, even the smallest exercises will have a positive impact on your body, your mind and your self-esteem.
3. Do something that makes you feel good.
One of the ways I can guarantee my day will turn out well is if I cut out all of the arguing, stay positive with my loved ones and do something that makes me feel good—whether this means look at old family photos while I’m eating breakfast or play a quick game with my daughter. Any activity that is going to put a smile on your face will probably allow you to make better decisions throughout the day and let you leave the house feeling good about your past. Some mornings I find myself dwelling on things I cannot change. One those days, I definitely look through my daughter’s birth photos or videos of her taking her first steps and my mood quickly changes.
4. Listen to music.
The best thing about listening to music every morning is that it doesn’t require you to do anything out of the ordinary or off-schedule. You can play whatever you enjoy while you’re cooking breakfast, taking a shower and getting ready for the day. Not only will it add an enjoyable tone to your morning but everyone in the house will reap the benefits as well.
5. Set your alarm early.
This may not sound like a great way to start your morning but it is. I’ll admit that I do hit the snooze button a few times but this is why I set my alarm for 15 minutes in advance. After the first or second slamming of the snooze button, I lay in bed for a few minutes before I get up. This has several benefits. First, it allows me to enjoy laying in bed awake for a few minutes instead of immediately jumping out of bed. The other benefit is that I know I will hit the snooze button one way or another, so at least I will be on time doing it this way. During my few minutes of lying in bed awake, I definitely think about the things I am grateful for and enjoy sleeping peacefully next to my fiance and daughter.
Some mornings may seem more difficult than others but one of the best parts about being alive, healthy and sober is that you get to wake up every morning and start fresh. Enjoying each morning before you begin your day can help you live and love it to the fullest.