early morning experiment: results, part 5: 10 tips if you wanna try it

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10 Tips You Might Find Helpful If You Decide to Try a Much Earlier Wake Up Time

1: The night before, do these things immediately after you clean up from supper: brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, set out your clothes + exercise clothes for the next day. (I do this stuff alongside my kiddo.) You might not go to bed right away, but you'll be ready.

2: Brush your teeth first thing when you get up. Okay, maybe you'll pee first, but brush your teeth right after that. The book suggested it, and it does make a difference. Bonus: You don't have to do that later when you're trying to get out the door.

3: Put your exercise clothes on when you wake up even if you're not exercising until after you do other things. Changing clothes makes a difference.

4:  Pour yourself a glass of water and drink it. This is another suggestion from the book. I agree.

5: Keep it dark. This one is all me. At first, I didn't turn on a lot of lights because I was worried it would shine under the door and wake up my kid. Then, I realized that it feels more special and calming somehow to keep the lights mostly off. Or maybe I'm weird.

6: Use a flashlight. If you are keeping the lights off, a flashlight is super helpful. And oddly fun. I mean, as fun as it can be at 4:30 in the morning.

7: Don't look in the mirror. I pretty much avoid looking in the mirror until after I'm showered and dressed. That way, I don't see my scowly, grouchy, 4:30 a.m. face first thing. Instead, I see my "glad I got up and now I'm ready" face. Sometimes I actually enjoy my own grouchy face, but it doesn't seem like the best start to the day on a regular basis.

8: Don't look at your effing email. For the love of Pete, please don't look at your email. I use my phone to set an alarm for my meditation and affirmation and reading and writing. If you do that too, please please please don't look at your email for just a quick second. There ain't nobody waiting to hear from you that early in the morning.

9: Lie down during meditation if you want. This is probably not great meditation practice. But it has really worked for me, so I'm putting it on the list. Only do this if you've already gotten out of bed and brushed your teeth and put on exercise clothes and had some water. Otherwise, you'll just fall back asleep.

10: Be consistent, but don't be mean to yourself. Most days since I started this, I've gotten up at 4:30 or 4:45 a.m. But there are also many days I haven't: when my mom was in the hospital, when our kiddo had the flu, when I stayed up late for a slumber party with friends. And now. This last two days as I've been posting #4 and #5 because I have a wretched cold that is screwing up my sleep something awful. Don't be mean to yourself.

. . .

This is Part 5 in a series of short posts about what I learned during my early-ass mornings experiment.

I'll see you tomorrow for Part 6. That'll be the Q&A post about this experiment based on questions and comments I've gotten from you guys. If you have something to ask, you can still send me an email or leave it in the comments by clicking here. Don't worry: I won't use your name in the post.

With love from Cheryl

PS: You are not alone.