Reinventing Your Morning

There’s nothing better than waking up and feeling well-rested; the birds are chirping outside your window, the coffee beans are brewing, and the sunrise is painting your room golden, making you feel relaxed and ready to take on the day ahead of you. But let’s be honest, this isn’t the reality for most college students in the morning.

With all the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s hard for students to enjoy their mornings. Even if they do manage to squeeze in a solid eight hours of sleep, they can still feel lethargic, reluctantly dragging themselves out of bed to start their day. Integrating some of these tips into your morning is a great way to establish consistent habits and an overall better morning routine.

  1. Avoid morning decision-making
    Leaving decisions for yourself in the morning instead of handling them before going to sleep the night before is an unnecessary source of stress. Things like picking out an outfit, printing out an assignment for tomorrow’s class, or packing a lunch are all easy tasks that you can often do ahead of starting a new day.
    By eliminating these little tasks in the morning, it can save you time for other things, like making a nice breakfast or putting more effort into getting ready.
  2. Wake up at the right time for you
    Some people might think that the only way to be productive in the morning is to jump out of bed at 6 a.m. to begin your day. While starting the day super early is beneficial for some people, it’s important to make sure that you’re also getting the right amount of sleep and starting your day off at a time that works best for you.
    Adriana Simancas, a junior marine and environemental biology and policy student, commented, “When I try to make myself wake up super early, it just makes my day worse because I’m still tired. When I get enough sleep, I feel more productive and prepared for the day because I’m well-rested.”
    It’s possible to sleep in if you don’t have any plans in the early morning while still having a productive day. The key is to maintain the right balance of sleep, which is between seven to nine hours according to the National Sleep Foundation. Getting too little or too much sleep can lead to drowsiness during the day, decreasing your productivity and your mood.
  3. Limit your phone usage
    It can be tempting to reach for your phone immediately after waking up, checking all the notifications you missed while you were sleeping.
    However, being bombarded with a bunch of texts, emails, and social media notifications right when you wake up in the morning can cause stress before your day has even begun.
    Going on your phone in the morning is also a big distraction. It’s easy to fall victim to mindless scrolling; one minute turns into twenty and suddenly your running late and scrambling to get out the door.
    Try to minimize your screen time in the morning to avoid these distractions.
  4. Make your bed
    A great way to get your day started is to complete an easy task, like making your bed. Not only does this make your room look tidier, but it also sets the tone for the rest of your day.
    Simancas added, “I make my bed every morning because it’s an easy task that I can complete. It’s a domino-effect; once I start one little task, it encourages me to continue doing other tasks for the day.”
    As unassuming as this task may seem, making your bed leads to higher, sustainable productivity.
  5. Start your day off with something you enjoy
    It can be hard to feel motivated to get out of bed when you don’t have anything to look forward to except getting ready for class. Try to integrate things into your schedule that make you look forward to getting up instead of lounging on your phone.
    Doing things like making a nice breakfast or brewing a cup of coffee or tea are great ways to motivate yourself to get your day going. You could even make these things to-go so you can enjoy them without running the risk of being late for school.
    Ariana Rayes-Connelly, a junior psychology student, elaborated, “I like to make myself a nice breakfast in the morning because it helps me start my morning in a calm way. It helps me take control of my day.”
    If you give yourself some more time in the morning, a walk outside or a light workout or yoga session are also great ways to get your day started if you enjoy getting in some physical activity before having to sit for classes.
  6. Make a to-do list
    Writing down any tasks you need to complete for the day can help keep your mind on track.
    A junior marine and environmental biology and policy student, Einat Shayer, expanded, “I like to make to-do lists in the morning because it helps me to plan out my day and keeps me organized and motivated.”
    By making a to-do list, you can prioritize any work or personal tasks you need to get done, which makes it much easier to organize your thoughts and plan out your day accordingly.
    By integrating some of these tips into your morning, you can find out what routine works best for you. Establishing a morning routine that you genuinely look forward to not only maximizes your productivity but can also help you enjoy your mornings more. Start your day off on the right foot!