We all have mornings where everything feels a bit…off. Maybe you can’t find the energy to get out of bed. Maybe you can´t really shake the feeling of being groggy. Maybe you’re just in a terrible mood and should be avoided by others at all costs.
Whatever the case, being a morning grouch is a real thing. For some this might be a more occasional occurrence but for others, night owls in particular, it’s simply easier to function much later in the day. This, of course, can pose problems for individuals running on a 9-5 type of schedule. If this sounds like you, we’ve gathered some solutions on how you can conquer your inner grouch.
´Exercise immediately after getting up? Are you crazy?’, is probably how you´re going to react to this piece of advice but hear us out. First of all, it will definitely wake you up. It will also boost your metabolism and help the release of the hormone: endorphin (also known as the happy hormone), which will reduce your stress and anxiety levels as well as prevent you from feeling down. The good mood you started your morning with will uplift you throughout the day. And, if you´re actually exercising to get fit and not just to wake yourself up, guess what – you can build muscle faster in the morning, because your testosterone levels (testosterone is the muscle-building hormone in your body) are at their peak right after you wake up!
This one is for the brave ones. While a warm shower will relax you and get you sleep-ready, a cold shower will have the opposite effect. You have to be careful here though, because just pouring cold water straight on your head is not exactly the best idea, as it can be too big of a shock for your heart. Instead, start with your feet first and let the rest of the body acclimate to the cold. Another top tip is to open your bathroom windows nice and wide and let the fresh air in while you´re taking a shower. This combination of fresh air and cold water will wake you up, clear your mind and get you ready for a new day.
Meditation is often referred to as something religious/spiritual, but it doesn´t always have to be exclusively so. In order to properly meditate, you simply need to free your mind from all your thoughts and distractions and choose to focus on one thing in particular. If it´s a thought, make it a positive one: think about something (or someone) who brings you joy. Alternatively, focus on feeling a sense of inner peace, which will help you better navigate another day filled with work/school stress. You can also meditate by reading a book, creating art, or simply by sitting down and enjoying a cup of tea/coffee, without any distractions such as a phone, TV, radio etc.
Another thing that greatly influences how well you are you going to sleep (and therefore how you feel the next morning) is what you eat for dinner. According to nutrition experts, you should eat dinner roughly 3 hours before you go to bed. Dinner should consist of lighter foods so your digestive system can get a break too, so try avoiding heavy meals (like a whole Pizza or Hamburgers) in the evening. The foods that are recommended are a mixture of healthy carbs and proteins. Take the following, for example: Bananas, peanut butter, tuna and turkey.
While this one seems pretty obvious (and is probably one of the most common phrases you hear from your parents), we still greatly underestimate the power of those 8 hours of sleep. It´s even harder nowadays with your phone serving as the biggest source of distraction, with its endless memes and cute animal videos that keep you saying ´´oh, just another one and then I´ll really go to sleep´´. But more often than not, you may find that you have ’accidentally´ stayed awake until 3 AM, even though you know your alarm clock will be ringing shortly. Then we rely on our coffee and energy drinks to keep us going, but eventually the constant tiredness catches up with us and leads to burnout. Don’t hate yourself in the morning by simply getting ready for bed at a reasonable time and perhaps engaging in a relaxing activity such as taking a bath or reading a book to ensure quality sleep as well.
We know most people skip breakfast, but what you´ve been hearing from your parents and elementary school teachers for years really is true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only can breakfast itself wake you up, but the mere thought of a good breakfast may be enough motivation to drag your tired feet out of bed and into the kitchen. Figure out what type of breakfast works best for you, whether it’s Oatmeal or a full-on English Breakfast, and start your day full of energy and with a happy tummy.
If you´re not really looking to calm down and reach that ‘Zen state’ and just want to wake up, music is probably the best solution. Create your own playlists for different moods and just blast it from your speakers on full volume (or if you have roommates, just get a good set of headphones). Don’t just listen to music in your bed – get up and dance! Yes, morning dance sessions are beneficial both for your physical and mental health. Dancing will get your blood flowing and wake up your muscles and listening to your favorite tunes will get you in the right head space to begin the day.
Humans at the most basic level are social beings. Even self-classified introverts often enjoy interactions with a close friend, partner or family member. Start the morning by speaking to someone who brings you joy, or even better: help them start their day on the right foot by giving them a call (maybe not if its 5 in the morning), sending them a cute good morning text, saying how much they mean to you, or even just a funny GIF. If you give, you shall receive!
This good old rule of marriage is not exclusively reserved for married couples and can be applied to other areas of life as well. Your mental state can largely define how well you are going to sleep at night, and your morning (and the entire day) can largely be defined by whether you had a good night´s sleep or not. It’s an ongoing cycle. If you’ve had a rough day or gotten into an argument with someone and it’s weighing on your mind, try resolve your emotions, if possible, before your head hits the pillow. You will sleep better and wake up in a better mood for it.
A 2018 study found that 1 in 4 adults check their phones within 1 minute after waking up. These statistics are quite alarming, and they show just how attached we can be to our devices. Our advice is: don´t reach for your phone immediately after you wake up. Instead, do your morning routine in peace, whether it´s exercising, meditating or just enjoying your cup of tea/coffee. While Social Media and News may not be all bad, we can’t always control what we see and being bombarded with negative headlines and photos may subconsciously impact how we feel about starting the day. Find your center first and maybe save the scrolling for your commute to school/work.
If you’re feeling grouchy in the morning, get out of the house as soon as you can! It might feel like the last thing you want to do but lying around in your pajamas on the couch can make you feel lethargic and unmotivated and as a result, moody. Reconnect with nature by going for a brisk walk in a park, try out a new Café, or just people watch on a bench. If anything, being outside will prevent you from feeling like you want to go back to sleep again.
If you know you have to be up early the next morning, prepare yourself both mentally and physically the night before, because the last thing a morning grouch needs, is to be in a rush. This will lead you to feel stressed, which will likely result in you forgetting something in all the commotion, which in turn will cause you to be aggravated and make your friends/coworkers hide in fear. Prepare your bag or outfit the night before and maybe resolve to press the snooze button just once and you’ll have a much smoother start to your day.