First things first: I am not a person and probably never will be. In fact, I love nothing more than snuggling into my comforter and reveling in the pure, simple joy of . Even if I’m awake, I have a nearly impossible time of getting out of the without some heavy convincing. I’ll stay there, tucked deep into those blankets, for hours after my eyes have opened, if I’m allowed. But life’s responsibilities (others judging me for sleeping until noon and, all right, a ) have made me take steps to amend my ways. After all, I began telling—er, reminding—myself I actually love the early hours of the day. There is something special about the crisp and dewy air, the softness of morning light, and the quiet hush before the day really gets rolling.
On my path toward morning personhood, I began adopting some simple practices that make getting up and out of bed upon my alarm’s first (yes, first!) sound a little less harrowing. And the good news is they’re all straightforward enough for even the grumbliest of morning monsters—like myself—to follow. Read on for nine ways you can trick yourself into being more of a morning person. Watch out, world.
Warning: This is some positive manifestation–type work. If you work long hours and think of your sleep as sacred, try to begin thinking of your mornings in the same way—as crucial “you” time. What would you do if you had two more hours to yourself every day? Maybe you’d go for a walk, paint, write, or read. Whatever your answer is, your morning can give this to you.
Music is one of the best, perhaps universally helpful ways to make getting up more enjoyable. Craft a stellar morning playlist and keep a Bluetooth speaker on your bedside table. My personal approach is to start with something quiet that builds slowly so that a few minutes in, the tempo has picked up and I’m feeling more awake. A playlist is also a great way to keep an eye on the time without compulsively checking the clock. For example, if you’re on song number 11, you know it’s almost time to head out the door, and so on! Much less stressful.
Many of us are already in the habit of reading emails, scrolling through Instagram, or checking Facebook first thing in the morning from bed. Though this can help get your wheels turning, what will really do the trick is reading out loud. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of being woken up by an unexpected phone call, you’d know that after you hang up, you’re practically ready to bolt out the door. Read something—anything—out loud. It feels totally silly at first, but the benefit is undeniable!
Nothing doing the trick? Maybe it’s time for some tough love. Place your alarm on the other side of the room. Drink a giant glass of water before bed so you wake up and have to use the bathroom right away. Make getting up a literal necessity. Then, once you’re there, challenge yourself to stick to it. Moving around should at least get your blood flowing and make the thought of rising a little more bearable.
True story: It will be much harder to crawl back under those covers once the bed is made. Plus, studies have shown that accomplishing even a small task—neatly making your bed, for example—first thing in the morning can provide a little jolt of endorphins and set your day off on the right foot.
Throw open those shades, crack a window, and let that sunshine and fresh air in. Natural light (even the gray cast of a cloudy day!) and the sounds of your street should serve to slowly acclimate you to the outside world. Knowing it’s a nice day out will make it that much harder to stay in bed all day.
Stretching is a great way to get your blood flowing when you’re struggling to wake up. If you can manage, get on your feet and throw down a few sun salutations and toe-touches, maybe a few jumping jacks if you’re feeling crazy. Heck,if you need to. Any bit helps!
Nothing spoils a morning like maniacally rushing around. The key to being a morning person is proactively deciding to enjoy your mornings, and this cannot be done if you’re scrambling to get out the door. So do yourself the favor and set your alarm to an earlier time than you think you need to. Give yourself the time and space to wake up as slowly as you need (so long as you’re actually waking up!) and enjoy whatever your start-of-the-day ritual is! Having leisurely mornings will make them much more pleasant.
Think of what you’d like your morning to be about, and then craft your a.m. ritual around that idea. Indulge in something that makes you happy. Whether this means taking a nice hot shower, eating a big breakfast, or reading the paper, do it—without pause. If you start actually experiencing your mornings as a time where you get to enjoy some of the things you love most, you might just look forward to waking up.
Not a morning person? The right accessories make all the difference. Shop our picks and tell us: Do you have any tricks for waking up on the right side of the bed?
This post was originally published on June 10, 2016. Updated by Sacha Strebe.