A morning gone wrong can make us feel like the rest of the day is doomed, a thought which might all too easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course, there are things like the proverbial (and actual!) spilled milk that we can't control, but there are plenty of things we can. Setting ourselves up for success in the morning is one of them. And it starts with the last ten minutes of the night before.
With tomorrow's promise of a new beginning in mind, these before-bed tasks should set you on the path for getting up on the right side of the bed every day:
1. Power down your devices
Give yourself a short break from your phones, tablets, computers, and screens in general before you go to bed. Freeing up some head space allows you to wind down from the day and just be. (Not to mention that blue light before bed is not great for sleep.)
2. Make a brain dump
Racing thoughts can keep you from falling asleep or could keep you awake if you wake in the middle of the night. Prevent both by getting that ticker tape of thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
3. Make sure your kitchen is clean
Hopefully you've done the dishes and the kitchen is in pretty good shape, but give it a quick once over and make it truly spotless so it greets you with its tidiness when you walk in to make coffee in the morning.
4. Speaking of coffee, get your brew ready to go
Take out your mug, grind your beans, and fill your pot or set a timer. If you drink something else in the morning, prepare that. It's like a hello from last-night's self and makes you feel just a little warm and fuzzy at the top of the morning.
5. Pick out tomorrow's clothes
This is no fun to have to fumble through when you're trying to be somewhere on time. Pick out everything at night—down to shoes and accessories—and enjoy a smoother morning.
Shutting out the rest of the world to think deeply on something will relax and center you and set the tone for a restorative slumber.
7. Focus on your senses
Take a few minutes to become aware of your body by focusing on your sense of sound, sight, smell, touch, or taste. This might be a mini ritual you do every night, such as purposefully enjoying the scent and sensation of your face wash or turning on a warm glowing diffuser with a favorite essential oil. Paying attention in this way will ground you and help shut out disruptive internal and external noise.
To help release some physical tension you may be storing in your muscles, do a few gentle stretches. (You can even do stretches in bed).
Reading fiction can be more relaxing than taking a walk or drinking a cup of tea. What better time to disengage the mind from daily stressors than right before bed?
10. Set your alarm for an optimal amount of sleep
Waking up at certain points in your sleep cycle helps you to wake up feeling refreshed rather than dragged reluctantly from dreamland. Look into apps like Sleep Cycle to help wake you up at the ideal time.