Oftentimes, we fly by the seat of our pants through life. Rushing to work. Scrambling to make your hair resemble something normal. Hurrying to make dinner after work for 7 pm (5 pm if you’re eating at my parent’s house..) All of that converts to some pretty heavy feelings towards everything and anything that gets in our way. Aggravation because the highway is more backed up than usual. Crankiness due to our shows on Netflix not loading because of the damn internet taking too long, again. Cue internal screaming when anyone takes too long to give their order at the counter when you know yours by heartbeat.
How did they get this far and not already know what they wanted??
On top of all that daily rage, getting out of bed in the morning can be the worst. Shoutout to all my fellow night owls out there. Oh, how terrible those first few moments of waking are. I tend to see how long I can stand the scream of my alarm. Especially the days I don’t have a pressing deadline or client shoot, I’ll find myself hitting the snooze for the next hour or so.
Recently, I re-discovered this morning life hack and wanted to share it with the world. It definitely helped that the author Jon Westenberg resonated with the pure rage that fills me in the AM. Whether I’ve slept 3 hours or 30, there is typically never a morning where I wake up feeling refreshed. But the main morning life hack he suggested was to start listing the things you are grateful for as SOON as you get up.
I’ve tried downing a glass of water as soon as I open my eyes for more energy and all it gave me was a stomach ache. I’ve tried rolling out of bed to do a few minutes of yoga, yet I get cranky when the video suggests anything more than child’s pose. And I refuse to put my phone out of reach simply because I’m not an animal. Plus, I’m not looking to piss off any roommates who have to listen to 10 minutes of the same, terrible ringtones on repeat because I won’t get up.
Yet thinking of 5-10 things I am grateful for somehow works.
I don’t know what it is. As soon as I start to hate the world the moment I open my eyes, I cram all the things I am grateful for in my head and have found it makes a huge difference. Plus, I don’t have to physically do anything. No yoga in bed. No sprinting across the room to grab my phone. And absolutely no water chugging. In those groggy few minutes, I’m able to become more awake as I rattle off all the people and things I appreciate, distracting myself from the terrible feeling of waking up and keeping me from falling back asleep. There’s no guilt tripping or negative self talk. It’s the everyday life, little things that inspire me to throw the sheets off.
I am grateful for my vintage globe collection.
I am grateful to live in the city of my dreams.
Yes, I am grateful for the coffee grounds sitting in my cabinet, waiting to be brewed.
And I am so very grateful to be alive right now.
After overriding every horrible thought and anxiety, I’m left wondering what there was to even complain about in the first place. It’s a lot easier to roll out of bed when you remind yourself of the small as well as large reasons you are grateful for at that very second. We can’t assume what is here today will be there tomorrow, so why not appreciate what we have while we still have it?
Morning gratitude works well right before bed too.
I continue with this routine at night when I’m getting ready to snooze, repeating all the things I’m grateful for. Sometimes they change based on the day’s events. Oftentimes, I find that the annoyances that plagued me like getting stuck behind the guy who swiped his Metrocard AT LEAST twenty times at the turnstile, weren’t actually all that aggravating. The bad days don’t feel all that bad once I’ve gone over all the good that came out of them as well.
This morning life hack is way too simple not to at least try.
Hey, I never said it was something that hasn’t been talked about before. But it is worth incorporating at least into your morning routine. Especially if you’ve tried almost every other morning life hack out there.
Give it a go it for a week and let me know how it works. Do you find yourself becoming more at peace with life’s annoyances? Do you seem to roll out of bed a bit easier, knowing there are actually some pretty great reasons to get up?
What are you grateful for?
Here’s a few suggestions for when you’re compiling a list of things to be grateful for in the morning. They don’t have to be all serious or deep items. Sometimes it’s the small stuff that can make the AM a little more bearable.
- Are you grateful to be in the city you currently reside?
- If not, what do you love about the town?
- What family member or friend are you especially grateful for this morning?
- Is there a part of your commute that makes you smile? Do you look out at the window at that weird, faded billboard with the naked mannequin sitting on a diving board (yes, this does exist on I-95) and get a kick out of it?
- What about the cozy blanket you’re wrapped in or the new slippers you just bought?
If all else fails, be grateful for every breath you take, even if it’s to complain about how bright your room is that morning. Be thankful for the strength in your bones to swing your legs out of bed, just so you can curse the ground when your toes touch the cold floor. Take comfort in knowing that there is no one else like you, and you are simply doing the best you can with what you’ve got.
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