I am NOT a morning person. I am a night owl that’s the queen of getting her second wind. In the past, most of my best creative decisions were made in the wee hours, jamming to a meticulously put together playlist. However, sleep deprivation also caused me to make some poor choices, and that schedule probably didn’t help me make the best decisions when it came to the people I surrounded myself with either. Not to mention as fun as it often was, that lifestyle wasn’t conducive to the corporate lifestyle I craved.
So sleepy headed I’d crawl out of bed, still be one of the first to walk in the door and always the last to leave. I had no problem pouring what I thought was 110% into my job and the traditional 8-5 didn’t dictate whether my job was finished; I had no problem working because I loved what I was doing. The problem was, the lack of sleep piled up and before I knew it, I’d get sick every time I turned around. Now, there were definitely some outside factors aiding my illnesses, but we won’t get into those here. For now, let’s just say rolling with the punches, and sometimes there are a LOT of punches, is a lot easier after a good night’s rest!
With the Last 90 Days creeping around the corner, it was time for me to make a plan on how to be successful with flipping my schedule around. First, pick the schedule. I need 8 hours of sleep. Any less than this and after weeks of running hard, I get sick (see the previous paragraph). Plus it’s hard to read and research as many books as I do, when constantly nodding off after two pages due to not having enough energy to keep my eyelids open. Getting up at 6:30 means I need to be in bed by 10:30. My biggest challenge isn’t necessarily the getting up part, but the getting 8 hours part, so for this part of the challenge – to have a more energetic morning routine – I needed a better wind down routine.
The thing is I already had a lot of aides at my finger tips, I just needed to use them differently. I’m first and foremost a hot tea drinker. I love it more than coffee or hot cocoa and I have a whole cabinet full. There’s “stress” tea, “calm” tea, sleepy-time tea, chamomile tea, and lavender tea to help calm me down before bed. The key to my defeating my troubles is actually putting the teapot on at 9 pm so that my tea is at a drinkable temperature and I have the time to enjoy it slowly instead of rushing through. This is an easy habit to add because I take all my night time vitamins at 9 pm, so now I just have one additional step.
Another problem I had in the past was I hated how long it would take me to get ready in the morning when I had to wash my hair. #girlproblems. From my days of traveling at least once if not twice a month, I knew that I always felt more relaxed and fresh when crawling under those hotel sheets if I just had a hot shower. Plus it seemed to give me a lot more time to prep for my actual day the next morning instead of primping around with my hair. So, I needed to create that environment at home. Now whenever it’s time for a shampoo I do it at night to save me time in the morning. It also gives me the opportunity to use a lavender aromatherapy body wash and some chamomile lotion to help with that “wind down” mood. Besides who doesn’t love how great it feels to have silky smooth legs at bedtime?
The final thing I do to put me in a sleepy mood is read a book. I stick to fictional books in the evening, so that if I’m extra sleepy and miss something, it’s not a big deal. Plus I find this keeps my mind from trying to apply the knowledge and go into overdrive like it does when I read non-fiction. Now I love an e-Reader as much as any other bookworm, the amount of books you can store in that thing saves me from cramming 15 bookshelves into my 3 bedroom house!, but I choose a traditional paper or hardback book so I’m not on any kind of screen before bed. It’s 2019 people, if you haven’t heard the no screens at bedtime bit, you’ve had your head under a rock. Don’t do it! I make sure my bedside lamp has a low watt bulb with the warmer, more golden light; this is one of the few places in my home I don’t use those fancy energy-saving, last-forever light bulbs. Their light is just too harsh for me to be near when I’m relaxing.
So there you go! My ‘get up an hour earlier to do something for myself’ routine is actually is more about my bedtime routine. Now not only am I refreshed and focused for the day ahead, but I’m not fighting with my alarm clock!