In my teens, I would only wake up because I had to. I remember thinking my parents were mean because they wouldn't let my brothers and me laze in bed at our own pleasure. I know many teenagers can identify with this feeling.
I couldn't understand why I would (read: was made to) wake up at a certain time, even on weekends, even when I had no plans of leaving the house.
Fast forward to my adult life. It's no longer a surprise how my body becomes stiff and sore when I deliberately decide to lie in bed half an hour longer than usual, regardless of whether or not I had a late night. I guess with age my body has found the own common sense of rising early. I listen to my body and go along, sometimes whistling.
According to research presented by Dr. Joerg Huber at the Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2011, morning people are happier and healthier. Dr. Huber adds that early risers are able to do their daily chores and activities in good time; a morning person assimilates better with the demands of a hectic modern life.
As morning person, here are three reasons why I will continue to rise and shine:
1. It brings serenity.
The calm, peaceful and untroubled stillness of the early morning helps me connect to my center.
Living in a city dominated by booming music and the maddening honking of vehicles, it's easy to forget the sound of crickets and the sweet chirps of the beautiful multicolored birds.
When I wake early, I get to hear gratitude vibrating through me as I watch the rising of the gorgeous African sun.
2. I can stretch my 24 hours without feeling drained.
During my undergrad years, I realized that taking on those tough assignments early in the morning is so much easier and takes less time. Now mornings are my most productive hours.
It also affords me that nice and encouraging chat with friends on different time zones who just finished having dinner as I have my customary glass of lemon water to start the day — how cool! I'm able to connect in with somebody across the globe in real time. I often take the advantage of this extra time to attend webinars and online courses that have participants from across the globe.
Best of all, by the time my school-going children wake up, I've accomplished a task or two. We chitchat as I help them get ready for the short drive to school.
Later in the day, while the rest of the world is bustling and jostling, it's easy to schedule the "me" time I need. It's meaningful to me, and I believe everyone, especially moms, require some form of daily self-care.
3. It's a sign of discipline.
I'm not a stickler for rules, norms and patterns. Like everyone else, I tend to have a lot of things going on at the same time, and sometimes lose focus. With my habit of rising early, though, I'm able to set routines and a personal morning ritual.
Ever notice how all those nice movies and television shows are at night? To maintain the early morning habit, we often have to consciously shut out everything and turn in early. That takes some level of discipline.
The reward is an "easy-as-Sunday-morning" feeling the next day as you go about finishing important tasks while the neighbors are still asleep.
My early morning serves me right, but I also have days when I let the seeping rays of morning get ahead of me. Either way, my day is often charged by my morning. Shouldn't all our days be?