Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Wake Up Hating the World a Little Less

Mornings and I have never been friends. Even as a small child... even after a full eight hours, there is a small window of time where I think, rarely aloud, that I might actually die.

I'm not one for profanity, but 99% of the cursing that has tumbled out of my mouth has been a direct result of realizing that I must exit this place and by this place, I mean my bed. This is a terrible realization. Waking up in the morning is like finding out your hero is a fraud.

Think: Dorothy and pals discovering the true identity of the Wizard. Crushing

My present job requires me to arrive on-site at 7 am. "On-site" is 20 minutes from my abode. First of all, this is disgusting. However, it is less horrible on the days that I follow the simple prescription I like to call,

How to Wake Up Hating the World a Little Less:

1. Institute a decadent morning ritual

This isn't your parents' tradition. This is your own private routine to soothe and console you during your darkest hour. My routine is boring and it involves fine black grounds seeped in hot water which are then plunged with a silver magical wand... which brings me to the second part of this important step:
  • Make this ritual as easy to attain as possible
For me, this meant purchasing an electric kettle. When I finally stop pushing my snooze button, before I do anything else, I stumble into the kitchen and press that little switch. By the time I've splashed my face with water and brushed my teeth, I hear a click and I know my treasure is only moments away. Do I like the taste of coffee? Does it help wake me up? I don't even know. But that's not the point.

There is no tradition too decadent for the morning. Soak in a bath, eat a bowl of ice cream, put on an elaborate yoga outfit without performing yoga. Prepare the tools of your ritual the night before, whether this means pre-chopping the veggies for your omelet or pre-selecting your bubble-bath soundtrack. Perform ritual first thing in the morning or reward yourself  after you've done all of the other terrible mandatory morning things—after all, it's your thing; do what you wanna do.

2.) Select Tomorrow's Outfit Tonight

Yes, it's a little seventh grade and based on the fact that I wear this,

... you might think I'm joking. But I'm not. I practically step into this as my feet hit the floor in the morning. Why wouldn't I? Whether it takes you 90 seconds or 20 minutes to ensemble yourself, why wouldn't you rather sleep that extra 90 seconds or 20 minutes? Also, if you've got a great outfit picked out, it's something to look forward to and you're way less likely to end up looking dumb for an entire shame-filled day.

3.) While you're at it, have everything ready

Prep the night before. Lay out your briefcase, purse, schoolbag, lunch, etc. It takes five to ten calm minutes the night before and saves you five to fifteen frantic cursing minutes the morning of. 

4.) Awake to a space that makes you say, I'm glad I'm here

Take a few minutes the night before and straighten up. Clutter creates anxiety and distress. Studies show people eat poorly with a cluttered kitchen, sleep poorly with a cluttered bed, and perform poorly on cognitive tests with the distraction of clutter is present. Even if it's only fake, cheat-y cleaning, close drawers and closet doors and neatly stack unwashed dishes the night before.

Also, it might be a grand oversimplification, but... like your environment. Like your bedding. Like the poster hanging on the wall opposite your bed. Like the slippers you shuffle to the kitchen in. Waking up to an orderly, agreeable environment versus a reminder of last night's debauched nacho-fest is a clean slate for a better, less homicidal-fantasy-filled day. 


  1. I have never heard a better way describe the feeling of waking up in the morning as its 'like finding out your hero is a fraud'. Brilliant! I also suffer from the feeling of "I'm literally going to die if I have to get out of bed" most mornings. Loved your suggestions!:-)

  2. I have to wake up and drive 1.25 hours to work in the morning. I arrange a drive through coffee half way to work each day and it helps a ton. Also, it helps to arrange your schedule to avoid "morning people" in the morning. I live with one who still has not learned to abide by my "No conversations, and absolutely NO questions in the morning" request.

  3. Laura- love love love. Also, you are crazy for driving 1.25 hours to work but I celebrate your coffee ritual

  4. We just got a french press and i think it is the best invention ever! Though we save it for the weekends, as more of a treat and there's more time to savour :) I do a lot of driving for work, so I keep my ipod filled with Adam Carolla and Smodcast podcasts to keep the road rage at bay.

  5. I am the exact opposite. Sleep is and always has been just a necessary break that exists between awake times, the only benefit of which is a fast-forwarding through the limited visibility and cold temperatures of night time. I usually fall asleep within minutes, the alarm goes off, I wake up, I immediately get out of bed and am wide awake by the time I close the bedroom door behind me. This really irritates my wife. - The Guy Who Lives With Laura

  6. "you're way less likely to end up looking dumb for an entire shame-filled day." I LOVE THIS! Way to perfectly capture the horrible, uncomfortable self-doubting feelings that last for HOURS with just one simple sentence.

    I too abide by the 'prep my latte the night before' ritual, and it makes SUCH a difference! I think of it as taking care of Future Sabrina. She's basically a baby turtle who needs all the help she can get.

  7. I really needed this. I do 98% of my daily cursing between 5:30 (when my alarm goes off) and 6:00am (when I can’t hit snooze any longer). The other 2% is reserved for the road.

  8. This is all really great advice! I am NOT a morning person and I try to stay in bed as long as possible -- even when I have nowhere to be in the morning! So I like this whole idea of having something to look forward to even upon waking. Thanks!

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Your comments are why I get out of bed in the morning. Just kidding. But I do like them.