I am not a morning person. At all. I hit the snooze button way too many times than I should and am usually left scrambling my out of the house 10 minutes later than I should have. And in my groggy state I always seem to forget to do something whether it’s forgetting to put on deodorant, brush my teeth or grab my breakfast. And after that, my whole day is off kilter and leaves me feeling like a grimy slob. WHY CAN’T I MORNING?!
Luckily, there are a couple of simple life hacks that can help out even the worst of morning people. Check out these 15 easy DIYs that will make your mornings SO much easier.
15. Plan your outfit the night before
Remember back in elementary school when your parents would lay out your uniform the night before? Didn’t that make things so much easier? Well, I guess everything was easier back when you had people doing all the adulting for you. But it’s a fact that planning out your outfit the night before work will speed up your morning routine significantly. No more fussing over which necklace would match your shoes at 6:00AM or whether you should wear your new tan knee high boots with jeans or leggings. Get all of that out of the way (and I mean ALL of it- you don’t want to realize that you accidently grabbed your neon pink polka-dotted bra while wearing a white blouse before it’s too late) the night before and spend the extra minutes turning your plain old cup of joe into a yummy caramel macchiato with extra froth.
14. Disable the snooze button
Trust me on this one, the snooze button is not your friend. It’s like a little devil on your shoulder that says, “Come on, you know you want a few more minutes of sleep. Isn’t the bed just so comfy? Don’t be afraid to push me more than once.” The snooze button is such a bad influence. Most modern alarm clocks don’t even come with snooze buttons any more because they know that they just mess people’s mornings up. But to those of us who just use the alarms on our phones, it can be a bit trickier. To those Apple users out there, all you have to do is go to “edit” on your alarm and toggle the button to “no” beside the snooze icon. You are much more likely to get up on time when your clock doesn’t give you the option to sleep in. You snooze, you lose.
13. Keep your bathroom organized
I have such terrible morning brain fog that once I step into the bathroom I totally forget what I’m in there for. I usually head straight to the bathroom when I wake up to wash my face and tell myself that I’ll come back after my rushed breakfast to brush my teeth and apply my morning skin care products. But wait… What was I going back to the bathroom for? Set your bathroom up in a way that it will stay organized but will have everything you need easily accessible. Try lining up all of the products that you normally use to get your skin ready for the day on or near the sink. Seeing it on the sink will remind you that you haven’t used them yet. Line your face wash, facial scrub (added bonus that it helps to energize the skin), toner, moisturizer etc. in the order that you would normally apply them in.
12. Crank up an energizing morning playlist
Isn’t the quiet stillness of the early morning so soothing? Doesn’t it just make you want to crawl back into your bed and drift off into dreamland again? It’s hard to resist when all you have to listen to is the early birds softly chirping. So, what can you do? Create a playlist specifically for the morning to get you moving! You want something that’s upbeat but don’t want the bass to blow your ears off. You don’t want to be overwhelmed with something too fast – you just woke up, after all – but you also can’t have a slow waltz either. Pick something that you feel has the perfect balance. Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Common (odd combo, I know) always get the job done for me. It helps too if it’s something you dance along to loosen up your muscles and work out any sleepy stiffness.
11. Shower the night before
This is one that I have always followed. I was never able to jump on the morning shower band wagon partially because the warm water and steam make me sleepy. Also, I hate leaving the house with wet hair and try to avoid using a blow dyer as much as possible (I have pink hair and it doesn’t need any help fading). As a girl, I have to worry about landscaping more than one area. And shaving takes time. Rushing through shaving is never a good thing. No one has time to deal with nicking a leg or, ahem, other areas. No, thanks. So get all of that out of the way the night before while you have time to actually enjoy a bit of pampering. Just shift your shower schedule to the evening and save yourself time (and potentially pain) in the morning.
10. Keep your ‘do simple
I look at girls who have elaborate hairdos at 8:00 in the morning like they are unicorns. I just don’t know how they do it. I have enough trouble fumbling my fingers through my hair to create some kind of braid-thing that early. So instead, I keep it simple. But simple usually looks, well, simple. And we don’t want to look simple. We want to look like the gorgeous, shiny stars that we are! Luckily for us, there are some clever people who have created adorable hairdos that look like they took a long time but actually only take up 5 minutes or less of your precious morning time. Check out 25 easy hair tutorials over here. Okay seriously, how cute is #9?! Once you master a couple of these, gone will be the days of sloppy French braids and last-resort messy buns.
9. Plan your meals for the whole week
This is a common trick among dieters to help them stay on track. Well, even if you don’t need to diet it can help you stay on track too! Put aside a little chunk of time on Sunday and plan what your breakfast, lunch and snacks will be for the coming week. That way you will know what to prepare the night before instead of leaving of scrambling to get something together in the morning. Overnight oats have become my new best breakfast friend. Just throw some oats into a mason jar, add some milk and whatever flavorings you want (I love mashing up a banana with some cinnamon and walnuts- tastes just like banana bread). Throw in some protein-rich nuts or even a scoop of protein powder to keep you full and satisfied for hours. Eating breakfast at home will also save you a few bucks since your stomach won’t force you to buy it breakfast on the way to work.
8. Set a makeup limit
The world of beauty products is a vast one. With clever marketing, these beauty companies always seem to convince us that we “need” their products. My suggestion: keep it light and simple, set a limit (mine is 5) and invest in multipurpose products. Instead of slathering on layers of moisturizer, primer, concealer and foundation use a BB or CC cream that will get all of those jobs done for you with just one layer. Follow that up with a light swipe of blush. Next up, a multipurpose eyeshadow palette. I love NARSissist palettes since they almost always include a color that matches my eyebrows as well as a variety of other staple eye shadow colors. Next, two layers of mascara (I’m not fancy, I just use CoverBlast). And lastly, a coat of lipstick. I’m a huge fan of ColourPop. Specifically their ultra matte liquid lipsticks. They are super pigmented so you’ll only need one coat.
7. Organize your bag ahead of time
At least once a week, I will leave the house with the nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something. Once I realize what that something is, I’ll have to run home to grab it and miss my bus while doing so. To take that worry away, prep your bag ahead of time. Try to make a habit of returning your wallet and keys to your bag after you use them, instead of pocketing them. Also, make sure your bag is equipped with your necessary staples. Mine usually include a water bottle, lip balm, hand cream, mints/gum, a few safety pins (I know it sounds weird but trust me, these little babies have saved me more than once. A purse strap is much more easy to break than you would think), Tylenol and a couple of hair elastics. During the summer, I’ll also toss in a mini deodorant use is especially useful on presentation days when you get a mean case of stress sweats.
6. If you shower in the AM, keep it under 5 minutes
As I said before, I’m not into morning showers. I actually like to enjoy the feeling of washing the day off at night. But to those of you devout morning showerers, keep it under five minutes and keep the temperature on the cold side. The cold water will help to wake you up. While I certainly don’t endorse those 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner combos (ick) now is not the time to be putting leave-in conditioner in. Lather up shampoo, rinse and apply conditioner to your ends and rinse. Easy peasy. Another tip would be to use this DIY coffee sugar scrub. Prepare it the night before and scrub all over in the morning. The coffee scent will energize you while also (apparently) reducing the appearance of cellulite as well as tightening and toning the skin. Rinse off with soap and towel dry.
5. Keep everything you need in clear sight
I really hate those mornings where it seems like everything has just disappeared and I have to run around my house like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to hunt everything down. Having to actually look for things delays your whole morning and gives your day a frustrating start. To remedy this, keep everything in plain sight. Lay your clothes out on your dresser so you see them as soon as you wake up. Put your makeup, toothbrush and any other beauty products you’ll need next to your sink. Put the shoes, coat and purse your taking right by the door. If you need to share keys with someone or just don’t like to keep them in your purse, hang them near your door or place in a designated bowl. Making everything more accessible will smooth out what could have been a rocky morning.
4. Prepare your coffee the night before
Science has seriously come a long way when it comes to coffee machines. I mean, why even bother going to a café any more when your coffee machine is as good as any barista. I swear, how Nespresso is able to turn a pod of coffee into a foamy, sweet decadent caramel macchiato is absolutely mind goggling to me. It’s like in those futuristic movies where people just need to press a button and out pops a steaming four course meal. But whatever magical coffee forces are at work in those machines, I am eternally grateful for them. But even if you are using a plain old drip coffee machine, you can get ahead of the game by dumping some coffee ground into the filter and placing it in the machine as well as measuring and adding your water. Then all you need to do is press “start” in the morning. Better still, most modern machines now come with a timer that will start your coffee for you at a set time. But seriously, get a Nespresso. It will change your life.
3. Keep your morning distraction-free
These days, phones and tablets are basically an extension of our arms. It’s practically a reflex to unlock your screen to check your notifications first thing in the morning. Forget about newspapers, if we want to know what is going on in the world we’ll just check what’s trending. It’s a fact that the more technologically dependent our society becomes the less self reliant we become as a whole. Our precious gadgets are also totally distracting. We get so absorbed that an hour can go by in what feels like 5 minutes. Unfortunately, they don’t have an app that gets you to work on time but your phone does have an off button. Unless it is absolutely crucial, keep your phone, TV and computer off until you are out the door so that you can stay focused. You can check how many likes your selfie got over night later.
2. Brighten up your morning
You know what helps to fight morning grog? Good old vitamin D. Yep. There’s a reason behind the saying, “Rise and shine!” According to Natalie Dautovich, environmental scholar of the National Sleep Foundation, soaking up some sunshine first thing in the morning helps, “because your body’s internal clock is sensitive to light and darkness.” So open up your curtains and let the sunlight in. If you must rise before the sun, there are products that can simulate sunlight and still give you the same energizing results. Lumie Bodyclock is a really nifty alarm clock that wakes you up with a gradually brightening light. According to their description it, “mimics the spectrum changes of a real sunrise. The brightening light brings you more gently out of sleep, prompting your body to reduce the production of sleep hormones such as melatonin, while increasing the levels of hormones like cortisol that help you get up and go. This provides a fantastic start to the day for sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and the winter blues, and helps anyone who is not naturally a morning person to feel brighter and more energetic first thing.”
A checklist (or a stationary reference chart) can be a great way to keep you on track in the morning. You can keep a standard every morning checklist by simply writing down everything you’ll need to start your day in point form. Do you have you keys, purse, wallet and lunch? Check. Have you eaten breakfast, brushed your teeth, made your bed, done your hair and makeup and walked and fed your pets? Check. You can also keep track of your workouts and certain services on each day. Start by breaking it into five columns (one for every week day) and write down everything that you will need to do that morning. Are garbage pick ups on Tuesdays for you? Write in the Tuesday block. What about recycling? Are you doing 10 minutes of yoga on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Write it in those blocks. Checklists will help you stay organized, motivated and productive.