I am not a morning person. My younger self used to think even getting up at 7 am was waaay too early. (Those were the days.) When I began teaching I noticed that I would still struggle to be awake and have a positive attitude in the mornings. I came up with a few tricks to make my mornings a little easier (if not actually enjoyable) so that I was ready to teach students as soon as the bell rang. I hope you find these useful as well.
1.Get up earlier
I know this seems counter intuitive, but I have found that having some extra time in my morning actually makes it much more relaxing. I have time to sit and enjoy my coffee, or meditate, or read a bit. I’m not rushing around running late already. Try even 10 minutes earlier and see if you feel more relaxed in the mornings.
2. Set your alarm (and mean it)
Just because you set your alarm earlier doesn’t mean you get I hit snooze an extra time. I set my alarm to the time I absolutely must get up, and then I roll out of bed and let my dog out when it goes off. I never let myself get into the habit of snoozing, and I encourage you to break that habit if you already have it. It’s poor quality sleep and it can contribute to a stressful morning of running behind.
3. Create a little you time
Even if it’s just 5 minutes, add a little space into your mornings. I like to spend a few quiet moments over a cup of coffee, no newspaper, no phone, just me and my coffee. Maybe you prefer reading or meditation. Maybe a quick morning workout is more your thing. If you make yourself a priority in the morning you will have more energy for others throughout your day.
4. Cut down on the morning decisions
Decision fatigue is a real thing. Our brains only have the capacity to make so many decisions in a day before we get tired. It’s part of the reason teachers feel so exhausted at the end of a day. We’ve made so many snap decisions through the day that we wear ourselves out. I save some of my energy for the day by laying out my outfit the night before, and having the same breakfast every weekday. It streamlines my morning routine, and I don’t feel worn out before I even get to school.
5. Use your drive time for good
I have about a 20 minute drive to work everyday. My mornings improved substantially when I started to use that time to actively improve my mood. I listen to positive podcasts (I highly recommend Good Life Project) and I also have a couple of playlists of songs that pump me up or calm me down (depending on what I need). How can you make the most of your morning commute?