How I brighten my mornings

June 04, 2015

My significant other regularly asks me "how do you do it!?", meaning: how on earth I manage to dart through the house with all my energy, when the rest of the world has hardly opened its eyes yet. Ben, different than me, has a hard time waking up and getting started, and oftentimes I make him crázy when I start planning the whole day and hyperactively tell him my ideas whilst sprinting through the house gleefully.

But I love the morning! I love being awake when the world is still shrouded in silence, and to just enjoy the moment seeing the world wake up; animals and people starting another day in their lives. And I love to watch the empty streets of the city slowly getting crowded with people going to their work with a coffee and newspaper in hand. I like watching people, and our house gives me the perfect opportunity to do that given that I live in the middle of this beautiful, historic city called Zutphen. I love analysing people: looking at them and trying to imagine what kind of life they're living. Different than mine? Are they happy? Sad, perhaps?

So how dó I do it?
Fact aside that I am genuinely a morning person, I am not always my energetic self when I had a bad night with a lack of sleep. This often happens, but I am not the person sleeping till late in the day might the opportunity present itself - except sundays, cause sleeping till late is what sundays are for!

However, I have little tricks up my sleeve when I still want to wake up early with a good mood and want to feel energetic when the night was only so-so. The morning is golden to me because it sets the tone for the day!

I decided to share my tricks with you!

 Sleeping with a sleep mask
 To wake up energetic and rested, it's ofcourse logical that you need a good night of sleep. I am quite the worrier and my brain usually decides to ponder about life when I desperately want to go to sleep (I am sure it sounds familiar to many of you), but I always try to minimize the triggers that keep me awake. It's hard to shut your brain off, but a dark room is of the essence. The brain is a funny thing, you know, and can be tricked into many things, so use this to your advantage!

As I said above, I live in the middle of the city and that means that a lot of light comes through the curtains. We have the thickest and darkest curtains available, but to no avail. Therefore I sleep with a sleep mask to block out any light. And it realllly helps! I am actually sleeping with a sleep mask since a short while, but it gave me so many benefits already.

When the brain sees any light, it immediately thinks it needs to be awake. When it sees nothing but darkness, it thinks, rightfully so, that it needs to prepare for sleep!

Sleep mask by Playful Promises

I have never been a breakfast-y person before, but I really wanted to learn how to be one. So I slowly integrated breakfast into my daily routine. No bread though, like most of the Dutchies have for breakfast, but I wanted a light breakfast. Smoothies came to the rescue. Most of the time I have a green smoothie for breakfast, as these give me the kickstart for the day that I need, ánd give me a full stomach till lunch time. The smoothie I usually go with is the Glowing Green Smoothie, which contains a whole lot of (beauty) benefits. You should try it, because it's quite tasty and fresh for the green gunk it looks like! Oh, and add a straw to your glass, because straws make life more fun!

I also consume superfoods in my smoothies, or overnight oats, for that little extra energy. My favorite superfood powder that I use in my smoothies, is Maca powder. Maca is a plant, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, that contains some useful health benefits. You'll notice a change in your energy after using it for a couple of days. Start with 1 teaspoon of powder if you're not used to Maca. The recommended daily allowance is 1 tablespoon.

A quick shower/facewash
Nothing refreshes me more than a quick shower or a splash of cold water in my face. If you want to feel energetic in the morning, this is essential! Adding skincare products will also help feel refreshed.

The smell of coffee
When it's spring or summer I just LOVE to open all the windows whilst my coffee is brewing; the absolute best coffee available and particularly fresh coffee beans. The smell of coffee gives me the wake up call that I need. And, if you do caffeïne, the mornings are always the best time to consume it, as caffeïne is a central nervous system stimulant that wakes you up and increases muscular activity. But hey, any caffeïne addict probably knows this already!

Although it is adviced against if you have a hard time waking up, I love to do some Yoga in the morning. But if you have trouble waking up and are afraid that you might fall asleep whilst doing a Halasana, then by all means try exercise that does work for you. Many people love to go for a run -which is actually even better than Yoga- to get their engines running.

Listening to music
I like to listen to some catchy tunes whilst preparing breakfast or dressing myself, because it really makes me cheerful.

Reading my mail
I also like to take the time to read my mail and messages on social media, and catch up with what my friends have been up to. And ofcourse I also read the newspapers to keep myself updated.

Start the day with a laugh
It sets the tone for the day. I love to watch funny cat videos, or I browse 9Gag to get my daily dose of laughter ;-). Did you know that there are Zen monasteries where the monks start the day, and end the day, with laughter? Laughter boosts your energy and protects you from the damaging effects linked to stress. And laughing feels just plain wonderful, right?


Are you a morning person? And, how do you brighten your morning?

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  1. Mornings are very hard for me because I struggle with going to sleep so much! No matter how reasonable the hour I go to bed, I don't fall asleep until at least 1am. Sometimes when its really bad I take a valium to help me fall asleep but when I do this it means I sleep so heavy I miss the alarm and sleep in - I just can't win.

    My morning routine usually consists of drinking a big mug of hot water with lemon and splashing my face with icy water to wake the hell up!

    1. Ouwch, that does sound like the everlasting struggle! I drink the hot water with lemon aswell, first thing in the morning, I love it!

      I have used heavy medication before that knocked me out before my head hit the pillow. When I decided to quit it was quite hard to fall asleep naturally ... that was a tough period so I kinda know how you feel!

  2. I'm a morning person too, and my husband is not a morning perso at all so most of the time I try not to make noise as I clean the house, read things on the Internet, check blogs etc. And I can't wait for him to get up lol, he is soooo sloooow in the morning!

    I have a green smoothie only when my husband is awake because the blender makes too much noise so if I'm hungry and my husband is still asleep I go for briochen not as healthy but sooo good!

    1. I looove briochen but hardly make it. I think I might this sunday! Thanks for the tip :-D

  3. I so wish I could be a morning person, but I really struggle with waking up. I do love my morning coffee, saying hello to my cats, and having a quick catch up online to see what my friends on the other side of the world have been up to!

    1. Ofcourse, saying hello to my cats and cuddle them abundantly is on my schedule also! Almost the whole day haha!

  4. This is a great list, and makes me excited and motivated for the morning! I actually go to bed late, never before midnight, and work and write into the early morning hours, but I enjoy being up, and have always been a good sleeper. I find it easy to wake up in the mornings, all the possibility and prettiness, I feel like I miss things when I'm asleep, and if it means a chance to go out to the quiet outdoors or eat, I'm all for it!

    1. I so recognize that feeling! Some people have a nap during the day, but I just can't; I always have the idea that I miss a lot.

  5. Fantastic advice! As someone who is not (underline that a million times) a morning person in the slightest - both by nature (I'm the poster child for night owls everywhere!) and due to my health keeping me in a perpetually wonky state of when I'm able to sleep (or not) - I really appreciated such wise, real world advice from someone who is. I haven't used music to help pep me up in the AM since I was a teenager, but that's one I can easily do again now. Thank you for the great reminder and all of this lovely post.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Aw, it was my pleasure! I never needed much sleep as a child, so it was easy for me to wake up early and it never really changed!

  6. By all means, I am THE morning person. :)
    Try to get me to do anything in the evening, and you'll get a sloppy job & moaning.. Leave it for me to do it in the morning - and I'll perform at my best. I'm like that. I was always like that.
    I believe that the morning is made to boost up your day.
    Start your day well, and everything will go smoothly. Fortunately, I'm one of those "out the bed as soon as I open my eyes" folks, and.. I'm also hungry as soon as I get up. :)


    Have you seen my new puppy???

  7. I'm definitely a morning person. I just can't help waking up excited for the day. Evenings are a totally different story! I'm a right grump once the sun sets!

    1. Yep, me too! Evenings are not really for me.


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