Each new day is an opportunity to manifest your dreams and be the best version of yourself—whatever that means to you—whether it's being more mindful, grateful, or successful. And it all starts the moment you open your eyes. If you wake up early with excitement and exuberance to take on what lies ahead, focus your mind, and nourish your body, you're apt to have a pretty great day. Conversely, if your morning is rushed, unpleasant, and filled with negative energy, you're not setting yourself up for success.
"Waking up early can be a real struggle for some, like me, and no big deal for others," says spiritual empowerment coach, healer, and intuitive thought leader Kelsey Patel. "One of my biggest tips for those who are on the more sleepy side of the morning is to start by looking at what this additional time could do for you and how you feel about your overall day."
If you don't want to get out of bed in the first place, it's also important to look at why you don't want to start your day. "I tell my clients to check in with themselves and journal out their feelings before trying new morning behaviors." Journaling questions: Is there something or some reason that you don't want to get out of bed? What do you demand of yourself each day? Are you working in a job that feels misaligned? What would your ideal morning look like? Where could you go or what could you do that would make you enjoy waking up early? How would you like to feel each day and what can you do in the morning to start giving yourself the time to receive those feelings?
Trying out a new way of experiencing yourself in the morning can really change your perspective and the way you approach your entire day. With Patel's help, we're sharing the tips you need to know for a happier A.M.—so you can wake up on the right side of the bed, no matter how early your alarm.
1. Awaken with a smile.
The moment your alarm goes off, try smiling right away. Sure, it may feel a little awkward and forced, but it's been shown to imbue your morning with positive energy. "Feel yourself smiling and receiving a gift of happiness to your breath and body to start the day."
2. Begin with breathwork and meditation.
"I love waking up in bed and meditating before my feet even touch the ground," says Patel. Once your alarm goes off, she suggests taking two minutes for breathwork (inhaling through the nose for three seconds and exhaling through the mouth for three seconds). When you feel the energy awakening your body, try sitting up in bed and playing a 10-minute recorded meditation to get your day started.
3. Set intentions for your day.
Patel recommends placing your left hand over your heart and setting three to five intentions for the day. That way, before you even start your morning, you're already excited about what you will create in the coming hours.
4. Take time for yourself.
Try waking up—and without demanding that you go and hit the ground running—take time for yourself in the morning. Yes, we're giving you permission to take an hour of me time. It can be anything from working out to taking a relaxing bath (one of Patel's favorite morning rituals). "I also love to make myself a delicious breakfast or a cup of bulletproof coffee to nourish me before the day begins." Even just allowing yourself to feel what you want, without judgment, for an hour each morning can be very cathartic.
5. Kick self-criticism to the curb.
Just because you decide to do something—in this case wake up early—doesn't mean you'll do it without exception from here on out. There are days that it just won't happen...and that's OK. "On those mornings that you need some extra sleep—whether it's from a long day, traveling or just flat-out exhaustion—it's important to give your body the rest it requires," says Patel. The bottom line is this: We're all human. Be patient with yourself.
6. Create a bedtime ritual.
Just as the way you wake up can dictate your day, the way you end your evening can dictate how you sleep and wake up. It's all connected! Patel suggests writing out one thing you're grateful for before you close your eyes and placing it on your nightstand. When you wake up in the morning, it'll be the first thing you read—a reminder of how good it feels to be alive and awake to experience everything that life has to offer.