Waking Up Happy

The smell of coffee is unequivocal.

The smell of coffee is unequivocal.

Waking up is probably the hardest part of my week. I know that sounds trivial and somewhat monotonous, so let me try to explain myself better: having the motivation to pull myself out of bed, get dressed, go to class, and study, after a long night of studying and a short sleep, is really hard.

It doesn’t even seem to matter how many hours of sleep I get: 5, 7, 9, I’m still tired and unwilling to leave my cocoon of sheets and fleece blankets. Waking up happy is something I’ve (evidently) struggled with since starting university.

I used to just push through mornings of irritability and exhaustion, but that really wasn’t working. Making a few changes to my pre-bed and morning routines has helped me alter the course of my mornings and consequently, my entire day.

coffee-cup-mug-cafe-mediumOne of the most important things for me is to feel prepared. I can sleep with a clear mind and wake up at ease if I know everything is in order for the new day. I make my lunch the night before, get my bag ready, and sometimes even lay out an outfit for the next day. If I get to put on some of my favourite clothes in the morning, I’m instantly a new, confident, and happy person (although sometimes going to school in sweats and a t-shirt is just the right thing to do).

After I feel adequately prepared for the next day and I’m laying in bed dreading having to wake up the next morning, I force myself to think of one thing I’m looking forward to the next day. Often, it’s the food I’ll get to eat (I love food), but it could be anything: a new episode of “The Voice,” coffee with a friend, cuddling my dog, you name it! Having something to look forward to makes getting up a little easier on the soul.

Fuel up with protein and fruit!

Fuel up with protein and fruit!

Once I’m actually up (aka, after 5 alarms), I try to get my day started in the right direction by connecting with another person (or animal, because pets are people too). For me, this means having my morning coffee with my boyfriend before we go our separate ways for the day. If you live alone, or your schedule doesn’t overlap with your roommate’s, then call your mom — she’ll love to hear from you — or say hello to a stranger on your walk to school.

The last, and perhaps most important thing I’ve learned about making mornings tolerable is that I can’t rush. I get up 20 minutes earlier than I actually need to so I have time to make myself breakfast (it really is the most important meal) and think about the day ahead. When I feel relaxed, confident, and have a full belly, I’m bound to have a better day.

Waking up happy isn’t easy.  There’s no overnight fix for grumpy mornings, and sometimes waking up will feel like the most unnecessary thing in the world. But with a few changes, you can alter the course of your mornings and have a brighter day.

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