For most of my life, I can honestly say I’ve never been a morning person. Not saying a word to anyone aside from a nod before noon had been my method of operation for years. Now that I’m a mom, that’s changed. Getting up early, sometimes before the sun is all apart of parenthood. If I don’t get up, my children will make sure I do by continuously poking at me until my feet hit the floor and onto the edge of that lone LEGO I somehow missed while cleaning the night before. In short, waking early can sometimes be painful, in more ways than one.
But despite the early rising pains, I’ve discovered that it’s the perfect time to get things done. No, not for the house…for me. I stumbled upon this realization one morning at about 6:45 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep any longer. After unsuccessfully willing my eyes back to sleep for at least another hour, I dug under my bed and pulled out a book I hadn’t seen in about 8 months. Do you know within an hour I polished off a couple chapters, showered and made breakfast, for myself. The fact that I did all of that while everyone else was still snoring was astounding.
Why had it taken me so long to discover the beauty of getting up before everyone else? And here’s the kicker I thought I was going to be tired throughout the day because I was up so early, nope. I felt pretty damn good. By the end of the night, I told myself I would get up early the next morning to read some more. Wait a minute…did I just tell myself wake up early to read? The idea sounded crazy because I stay up past midnight most nights yet it made perfect sense. That night I shut everything down at 1 a.m. and set my alarm to wake me at 7, I was up at 6:30. That’s when I realized two things, one – I really wasn’t that tired, and two – waking early really wasn’t so bad. Yes, I just admitted that, out loud, on the internet.
Some night owls may be asking, why wake up early when you can do these very things after everyone has gone to sleep? I know this cause that’s what I used to think. And the answer is simple, you’ll have more energy. It’s true. Why? Because you’ve gone to bed earlier and you haven’t done anything that will drain you of your energy. Not to mention the added excitement about how you’re going to start your day.
I now try to make a conscious effort to get up before everyone at least three times a week to indulge in:
Eating Breakfast Alone
Having the first meal of the day all to myself in peace is a beautiful thing, especially when I can eat it while it’s hot. Some days I make a full breakfast and other times just oatmeal and tea. It’s not much but it’s nice to sit and savor each bite without tiny people crowding around me staring at me until I give them a bite.
Take A Long Hot Shower Or Bath
So long five-minute showers, that are really two minutes because you spend three minutes opening the curtain to find out what all the screaming is about. Now I can take my time and enjoy a 15 or 20-minute shower, which is really 10 minutes cause I spend the other half performing mini shower concerts. What? Like you don’t do it too.
Meditate / Enjoy the silence
Silence is truly golden. I enjoy just sitting around in my own thoughts. It just allows me to be in the moment and to just breathe. I may also use that time to meditate. I love Calm app. I’ll pop in my headphones and listen to the sounds of my choosing. I prefer listening to raindrops and waterfalls or I may choose soothing sounds. Either way, when I’m done I feel relaxed and at peace.
Indulge In A Favorite Hobby
A quiet morning will allow you to peacefully indulge in your favorite hobby. Mine is books. The excitement you’ll feel dabbling in something that you love will give you a renewed energy and excitement toward your hobby. I’ve also gotten into journaling. My favorites are activity journals that give me the opportunity to jot or try to sketch out my thoughts and feelings.
One word, Dexter. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this show before? I’m hooked on it! Some mornings I wake up just to watch one or two episodes. There are other shows that I watch depending what’s on my DVR. If you’re DVR is empty then check the news. See what’s going on in the world outside of Sprout channel.
Now, what about those evening hours? I still use them to do stuff for me but mostly I use those hours to hang with Jeff. In the mornings we don’t have that much time since he’s getting ready for work. But at night is when we hang out. Sometimes talking, sometimes not. Just being in the room together is all the quality time we need. It’s important to remember that self-care doesn’t just revolve around us. We have to include our partners so they don’t feel like we’ve forgotten about them.
So you see while waking early used to be a drag now I do it happily because I’ve taken the best part of the day to take care of me!