10 Little Habits to Help You Have a Better Morning

published Jun 3, 2016
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(Image credit: Elissa Crowe)

Earlier this week I asked from some help. While I’m naturally a night owl, I’ve been trying to find new ways to approach waking up in the morning. Could I possibly wake up earlier and actually enjoy the first hour of the day instead of feeling rushed? Was there a breakfast routine or an alarm clock that could have me jump out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button (again)?

Here are some of our readers’ best ideas for actually enjoying (or at least tolerating) the morning. From special coffee rituals to breakfast dates with friends, here are some of the tips I’m hoping to try out in the next couple months.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

Enjoying the morning is less about being an “early bird” or a “night owl” and more about starting your day off on the right note. While it’s not always easy (especially for people who have pets to take care of, or kids who need to get to school first thing), you can always try and make things more enjoyable for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a radical change.

Our Reader’s Best Tips for Enjoying the Morning

1. Get the sleep you actually need.

I don’t think any specific motivator can replicate sufficient sleep. I think the best way to get up and enjoy the morning is to figure out how much sleep your body needs (I feel the best after about nine hours) and be vigilant about getting to bed on time. It’s a hard habit to form, but one really that pays off if you can master it (even most of the time). – Callaslilies

Making sure I get eight hours sleep the night before (with an electronics curfew 30 minutes before lights out). – MalenaTanguera

2. Meet a friend for breakfast.

Every Thursday I meet a friend for breakfast in a lovely patisserie at 7:40, and then we go to the weekly farmers market. At 8:40 I’m driving to my office really happy … even if a bit sleepy. – Lattefiele.blogspot.it

3. Set a “cuddle alarm.”

We set two alarms, 10 minutes apart. The first one is the “cuddle alarm.” On days he works, it’s 12-hour shifts so we don’t have much time together. Having 10 minutes in bed together being mushy and in love is a great way to start the morning (plus, I HATE cuddling before bed; GIVE ME SPACE and get your sweaty body away from me). – ccseren

4. Try journaling or writing first thing.

Usually I have time to do a little journaling in the morning. I follow Julia Cameron’s advice on “Morning Pages,” and now that I’ve been doing it a while, I will never give it up. I find I wake up with ideas and insights into how to solve problems. I make notes and plan my day.

5. Start a new coffee ritual.

French press coffee with cinnamon. I put the cinnamon on top of the coffee grounds before pouring in the boiling water, let it brew 4 minutes, then plunge and enjoy with cream. – LesleyO’Canada

Stovetop espresso from my Bialetti. The ritual and the aroma of it brewing seal the deal. – AnnaFiore

We drink really nice coffee. We could save $25 a month getting cheaper beans, but life is too short. Usually one day every other week we walk together to the local coffee roaster to buy beans and they usually throw in two drop coffees for us. – ccseren

I’ve started getting up 10 minutes earlier, and it’s changed my whole outlook on my day. Instead of making a coffee to drink on the walk to the train station, I have the coffee while chatting with my partner and getting ready in far less of a mad dash than I used to. – romi_

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

6. Take it outside.

I wake up early because I love to walk in the mornings, and live in a hot climate. I get up, feed the dog, then get the leash and walk her for one to one-and-a-half hours. In the desert, there’s a lot of wildlife out in the early a.m., and I get insights and ideas for problem-solving while walking. – lghez

Going out for a 10-minute walk around the block before I start work (I work from home). – MalenaTanguera

A lot of self-care and quiet in the morning is lovely. Open the windows and listen to the birds sing. Hold a hot cup of tea and gaze out the window. – Emmasaltsugar

7. Get moving.

I head to the gym for early morning barre or Pilates classes. I might not be quite awake, but having someone tell me what to do for the first hour gets me moving and jump-starts the rest of my day. – Elizabeth Woodruff

Taking a few extra minutes to snuggle my favorite person and our dogs, followed by coffee, a leisurely breakfast, and the gym. Working out keeps us sane. – Robin Lynch

8. Prep everything ahead of time.

I’m a breakfast eater, and try to make it easy by making big batches of oatmeal so that I can heat a single serving in the microwave — fuss free. – Keepmehealthy!

Laying your clothes out the night before is key! In fact, I put aside some time every Sunday to select a week’s worth of outfits. It’s really helpful. – Miss Mailas

While making dinner, I check the fridge for breakfast items, and prep whatever I need. I also lay out fry pans or bowls — all my breakfast needs. I like coming into the kitchen and having everything ready for me. – tsuzanne

9. Turn on the entertainment.

As for enjoying the mornings, listen to music, and make time for some light entertainment. I read a few pages of a trashy novel or watch a short sitcom episode most mornings, just to let my brain wake up before I have to interact with people. – Hilloves

I actually love waking up early on the weekends because it feels truly indulgent to sit on the couch alone in my pajamas and watch my favorite terrible reality show that my fiancé refuses to partake in. – lem326

10. When all else fails, breakfast sandwich.

I’m afraid nothing I’ve found has made getting up to an alarm not suck, but my motivation to actually haul myself out of bed is breakfast-based. Last time the bargain was that if I got up on time, an egg and bacon sandwich was all mine; if I slept in, Weetabix awaited me. – Hilloves

Did we miss anything? What keeps you motivated to get up and enjoy the first hour or two of the day? What are the breakfasts that make you wake up before your alarm clock goes off?

See More Ideas in the Comments in This Post: Tell Us What Makes Your Mornings Enjoyable (Or, You Know, Tolerable) and on Facebook.