I have convinced myself that I am not a morning person most of my life when actually I have just never given myself a productive morning routine. I've recently taken steps to remedy that and now I look forward to my alarm. Sound crazy? I wouldn't have believed it either a few months ago.
The morning alarm is something often dreaded, usually set as an aggressive and intrusive "DING DONG" or something similar. This is only going to make us coil back into our sheets and have an abrupt and resentful start to the day. Not the best foot to begin on. Instead, set your alarm to something calmer and more friendly. If you're a heavy sleeper and feel you need something a bit more, well, alarming, to wake you up, try a tone that gradually gets louder or song that's uplifting rather than shocking. The vital thing to remember with your alarm to set it to a regular time. Whatever you're working schedule, set your alarm to the same time every day. It may be tempting to let yourself sleep-in when you have a later shift or day off, but this will only confuse your body and throw off the schedule, meaning you'll be out of sync and probably be more sleepy when you do need to set the alarm. The time set doesn't need to be absurdly early (unless you're a natural early-riser), just regular. Your body will soon adjust to the time and you'll probably find yourself waking just before your alarm naturally completely rested.
If you wake up with a busy or overwhelmed mind (we all do sometimes), write it down. Even if you find nothing springing to mind, put pen to paper and just start writing. Begin with your dreams, your feelings about the day ahead, how you slept. You're raw in your waking stages and you're true feelings will soon flood out. If you've had something lingering in the back of your mind, let it out. Just the act of putting it down somewhere will help your mind detach from it and feel as if it's been dealt with and can let go. After a short while you'll feel lighter and brighter and able to start the moorings with a clean slate.
Having a morning stretch will help wake up your body and prepare it for the day. Your circulation will be boosted, which will increase your energy levels and have you feeling more awake and prepared for the day. This can consist of anything from a few in-bed stretches (the ones we often see in waking cartoon characters) to a morning asana or sun salutation. If you suffer from back ache or are taking a sitting posture for a lot of the day, this will help loosen the tension and ease pains as a bonus.
Whether your dress code is smart or casual, comfort is always key. I've always found the common misconception of comfort or style quite limiting and, frankly, not the only options. If your morning routine consists of plonking on something constricting, chafing, or in any way pain-inducing, you're just not going to look forward to it, no matter how glam you look. The lack of discomfort does not equate to plainness. The latest trends of spots-chic attire and trainers of all varieties is a massive help in this arena, but you don't need to stick to lux sportswear to be comfortable either. A simple cotton shirt, leather-look leggings, a simple boot, even a well-cut jumper or coat can be beautifully professional and chic.
Music is such a powerful resource. The right music can help us feel uplifted, calm, and even energised. Make yourself a morning playlist consisting of all of your favourite songs that have you feeling motivated. Begin with a few songs that help you wake up - calm but upbeat. Then belt out your favourite sing-along songs. There's no need for the mornings to be drab... it's time for you to set yourself up for your best possible day. Take this time for yourself and make sure you're starting out with the best of intensions and emotions.