5 Tips on How To Avoid Committing a Murder Before 7am (AKA How to Better Enjoy Your Early Mornings)
Let’s face it: it’s the rare few that garner unrelenting joy from waking up at the crack of dawn or the unconventional Dark O’Clock (mornings that begin so early, the time on the clock seems irrelevant as it’s still pitch black outside). Although there are a handful of individuals that seem to jump out of bed with ease and delight as the alarm does its 6am Mating Yap, most of us groan, moan, curse, and bury our heads under pillows and blankets at the mere glimmer of sunlight or the buzz of technology. Why us, some gripe. I just fell asleep, others adamently protest. But oh no, too bad. Time to get the fuck out of bed. (Excuse the vernacular.)
So because it is Monday and because I, too, fall prey to the Horror that is Early Mornings, I have a few tips that I follow to make these Horrors a little less horrific.
1) Kick That Screeching Alarm To the Curb. No, this does not mean “don’t have an alarm clock” – this means you should invest in an alarm that doesn’t deafen you or make you want to slit your wrists. There is a surprisingly huge difference. Make your bedroom a no honking, beeping, blaring, rattling, or ringing zone. Post a sign if you have to, seriously.
Instead, try investing in an iPod dock/clock combo that plays a song you love – you’ll feel happier and instantly more awake. Conversely, if you don’t want to invest in a dock, you can pick a pleasant sounding alarm clock or ringtone for your phone. Many cell phones nowadays come with an array of tones that are airy, pleasant, and non-deafening. You can also download new tones in iTunes (for iPhone users) and other online app stores.
Also, remember to change it up. Even if you listen to your favourite song every morning and it makes you feel great, as time progresses, you will start to associate that song with the agony of early mornings, and once that happens, your favourite song will soon become the bane of your existence. It’s simple conditioning – think Pavlov’s dogs, but with less salivating and more morning-induced homicidal intent. Same goes for pleasant ringtones – keep it varied. So, every week or so, pick something new.
2) Make Your Bathroom a Sanctuary, not a Crypt. Know what’s more depressing than having to get up at 6am? Having to get up at 6am and walk into a dreary, dark, poorly decorated, cluttered, and/or unsanitary bathroom. And let’s face it: the bathroom is or either should be everybody’s first destination after their feet leave the warmth of their sheets and hit the ground. Not only should you have to relieve your bladder the moment you wake (if not, you are not consuming enough water in the run of a day, which boasts a slew of unpleasant health issues), getting a shower and/or washing your face has a very rejuvenating sensation. Simply put, it stimulates the senses (touch and smell). But this isn’t enough to make mornings all sunshine and rainbows. Know what helps? A nice bathroom.
I’m not suggesting you call in a contractor or interior designer – that would be pretty extreme. You know, unless your bathroom is still piping and plywood, then you may want to consider that. No, what I’m suggesting is making your bathroom aesthetically pleasing, and this doesn’t take a lot of work. Aesthetics can stimulate pleasure zones in your brain, and the more pleasure you can feel at 6am, the better! Here’s a few suggestions to consider:
- install light coloured blinds or curtains that let a little morning light in – it’s easier on the eyes than harsh artificial light
- buy some potpourri, a nicely scented candle, or a plug-in air freshener – mint and citrus are stimulating and rejuvenating scents
- clean your bathroom regularly – the less laundry piled up on your floor and water stains on your countertop, the more you won’t dread walking inside it. And if you have more serious concerns like scum, mould, and crusted-on makeup, it may be time to evaluate your hygiene and health. Living in filth is neither good for your respiratory system or state of mind.
- if given the chance, paint your walls a light or bright color. While dark colours can be stunning when done right, in the dew of morning, they make everything look bleak and looming. If you have the redecorating bug and love dark colours, use them in the half-bath instead.
- invest in fluffy, fuzzy, warm towels that you can’t wait to use every morning – there’s nothing like the comfortable embrace of nice fabrics when drying yourself off
- buy a scrumptious smelling shower gel, hand soap, or facial cleanser – once again, mint and citrus are great choices, and you can find many inexpensive varieties at your local drug store. Believe me, the sharp scents will snap you out of your sleep-induced stupor.
3) Get Your Groove Thang On. And no, I’m not telling you to channel the Disco era – unless that makes you want to break it down and grove around, then by all means, channel away! What I’m (unsuccessfully) trying to suggest is for you to make a morning playlist for your iPod, phone, or whatever that is filled with music that makes you want to sing, dance, and act like a complete and utter fool. You know that song that you love to scream the lyrics to while at a club or bar, headbang to while you should be driving with your eyes on the road, or shake your ass to while doing the dishes? Why not blast it every morning!
A good place to have a dock, CD player (do people still own these?) or radio is the bathroom – just keep it away from any sources of water. I knew one girl who kept hers under the sink, in the cupboards, and just cracked a cupboard door while in the shower. Your morning wash and primp will not only be a little more enjoyable with music, singing along or moving around also quickly wakes up your muscles and brain.
Also, choose upbeat, feel-good music and keep it varied. Like said above for alarms, the same thing gets dry over time and can lead to some unpleasant associations. But while you have a pleasant association with a song, rock out and enjoy the happy brain chemicals.
4) Make Coffee a Breeze, Not a Hassle. Caffeine is your friend, and, drug or not, it is Mommy’s Little Morning Helper. Not into coffee? Fine, grab a tea bag and rock on. Whatever your preference, many of us look to our morning beverage of choice as a necessity, not a pleasurable perk (PUN). If this is the case (and I’m not judging as I’m such a caffeine addict that I experience withdrawal symptoms when under-caffeinated), make your morning caffeine easier.
What do I mean by that? Use the timer on your coffee maker. There are few things that are more glorious than the smell of coffee in the morning, even if you don’t like the taste. Just breathe it in. But do you know what’s more glorious than the smell? Not having to make it in the morning. Just get in the routine of making sure the machine is full of fresh beans and water before you sneak off to bed.
Don’t own a timed coffee maker? You’re a tea drinker? You can still make preparation easy with a little initiative! For coffee, fill up the basin with water and coffee beans or grounds before you go to bed. All you’ll have to do when you wake up is plug in the machine and press Start. If you’re a tea drinker, the night before, get in the habit of filling up the kettle with water, taking down a tea cup or tumbler, grabbing your favourite tea bags, and placing it all next to the stove. Wake up, go to the kitchen, turn on the stove, and voila. No searching, no doing dishes, no pulling your hair out. Just easy.
5) Just get it on. And by that, I mean have sex. Whether with your partner or yourself, nothing wakes you up and makes you feel amazing about yourself like a good, ol’ fashioned orgasm. Don’t think you have time? Have a quickie, buy a vibrator, or both! On top of that, you’ll get out of bed more awake than any of the above steps can induce, so you’ll get through your morning routine that much quicker.
On the scientific side, most men’s testosterone spikes in the AM hours, making it very easy to get them aroused and willing to have a pleasant wake-up romp. And ladies, no makeup compares to your post-sex glow. Additionally, you get some great exercise in even before you make it to the shower. Take that, love handles.
All in all, why not try some of these this week and see how it goes. Although it takes a little work to implement some of these suggestions (well, some of them), I guarantee your early mornings will be less horrible. I’m not promising that morning will suddenly do a 180 – regardless of what you do, mornings by-and-large suck. But, who knows, you may be less inclined to commit a murder before breakfast.