Today I welcome you all into a very personal place—my fantasy world. And not only will I welcome you into this world, but I am going to take you straight into my wildest fantasy.
Here we go.
It’s a crisp September night, the kind the poems talk about… The wind is whispering through the newly colored leaves, the scent of fresh apples and rich pine intoxicates all in its path. After an evening of indulging in all of autumn’s decadent pleasantries, I find myself retiring early, as I am being swiftly lead back to my room by flaming desire, as it desperately shoos my along. I find myself at the foot of my hastily-made-bed, staring earnestly into the eyes of the only thing I’ve truly wanted all day. In desperation, I leap into the ravenous arms as they wrap me up in their warmth…. their warm, warm covers. SLEEP. All I’ve ever wanted! I fall asleep immediately, without waking once throughout the night, and awake with the dawn, filled with energy and life sufficient to last me to night’s return.
Isn’t this the fantasy of all who live with hashimotos?! Imagine, waking up in the morning feeling RESTED! Well, I sure haven’t mastered this, but here’s a few tips I KNOW will make mornings suck just a little bit less.
- Give yourself a pleasant alarm. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to start my day in a half-dreaming fury as I stumble out of my bed to turn off the wretched blaring of some kind of clamoring bell hybrid. (I wake up to “Good Morning” by John Legend, and let me tell you, his sweet voice is the most pleasant way to wake up that I can think of.)
- Get out of bed the first time. Guys, I know it’s hard, but pressing snooze is only going to make it harder and harder to get out of bed. Not to mention, you steal time away from your precious morning moments needed to set your day up for success!
- Drink a glass of water. I know it’s not the first thing you want to do when you wake up, but not only is it good for your health, but will really help rehydrate you and get rid of some of that nasty morning mind fog. (And if you’re feeling extra spiritual, you can even include some lemon in there.)
- Move! Friends, I kid you not. Some mornings, regardless of how much sleep I got, I slide out of bed and am literally unable to open my eyes. When this happens, I like to start getting my blood flowing by doing some stretches, or pushups, if I am truly desperate. (Not only do you wake up, but in doing so you are provided the opportunity to casually tell all your friends you like to start you mornings out with pushups. What up, BA points.)
- Make your first things needed easily accessible. I like to make my first few moments of consciousness as easy as possible. The first thing I do in the morning, besides sing with my mice and birds as they help dress me, then dramatically throw open my curtains to reveal a blissfully sunny day, is to engage in a desperate scramble to the bathroom because, you know, I’m well hydrated. I keep my flip-flops right at the foot of my bed, so that I can I can avoid stubbing any toes in those hurried moments. Second thing—after that nail-biting race, is to take my thyroid pill. I keep it out on my desk every night, because who likes rummaging through a pill drawer in those first ungodly hours of the day. You get the picture.
- Turn on some music. After I grab my coffee and have my time of prayer and writing, I like to blast some positive music to keep me awake and start my day off with some enthusiasm. (This morning I threw it way back and bumped some Al Green: Soul Survivor.)
- Let your first thoughts be thoughts of gratitude. I’ll be real, my first thoughts are sometimes more along the lines of, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” But generally, I catch myself before that NO gets too much longer, and I take a moment to change my perspective. God has given me a new day and a fresh start, and I have another opportunity to live life to its fullest! Let’s get it!
- Provide yourself with good lighting. Okay, earlier I might have been joking about dramatically throwing open my blinds, but I do think there is something so important about having good lighting in your room. Not only is it harder to be sleepy when it is brighter, but it really helps to boost the mood. This is especially important for us sunshine lovers as we endure those dreary winter mornings Oregon is good at providing. It may be dreary outside but IT SURE AS HECK WON’T BE IN MY ROOM!
- Don’t lay in bed looking at your phone. This is a habit many of us have developed, and if it really works for you, then great. However, what I’ve found is that not only does it burn away precious time in your morning routine, but it also can kick off your day with some anxiety. This happens because before you’ve even mentally prepared yourself for the day, you grab your phone, check your texts, emails, messages, or HELLO, homework load, and all the things you have to do that day start overwhelming you and stressing you out. If you give yourself time charge up first, you can deal with these tasks without having an anxiety attack.
- Clean your space the night before. Look, I’m not a neat freak by any means. That being said, it sure makes mornings easier when the first sights you see are a tidy room that evokes feelings of calmness, rather than feelings of, “I think I’ll just get back in bed.” Do yourself a favor and make a habit of tidying up before you go to bed. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!
For all of you who AREN’T morning people, what are YOUR best tips to make mornings a little easier?