DO YOU WAKE UP WITH A SMILE ON YOUR FACE? (By Janine Mick Wills)
What is the first thing you do when you open your eyes each morning? Do you wake up with a smile on your face? Or do you hit the snooze button, groan, roll over, and get a few more minutes’ sleep? If so, I have some ideas to make waking up each morning a joy instead of a burden.
I admit. I’m a morning person (Though I also like afternoons and evenings!). I can hardly wait to wake up and start my day!
Years ago, when I worked in a Christian school, this perky attitude aggravated two of the ladies I worked with. They frowned when I came to school, smiling and bouncing off the walls! And you’re right if you guessed they weren’t morning people!
You must prepare the night before if you want to wake up with a smile on your face.
- Each evening prepare for the next day. Pack the kids’ lunches, put things out for breakfast, lay out your clothing, set things by the door so you can grab them on the way out (i.e. car keys, phone, your purse, coat, gloves, important papers, etc.). This saves time the next morning, plus alleviates early-morning stress, which can carry over to the rest of your day.
- But by doing the above, don’t stay up late the night before. Establish a reasonable time to be in bed each night. Getting more done and staying up late, may hinder the next day. You will be tired and not as productive. God gives us sleep to repair our bodies and rejuvenate our minds (Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep).
- Each night before you go to bed, write down the things you need to do the next day. Number them in the order of importance, so you’re sure to accomplish the most important things. Writing things down also allows you to address each item, so you won’t think about them all night. Plus, reviewing your goals helps cement them in your subconscious mind. This allows you to come up with solutions while you sleep for a better performance the next day!
- Turn off your TV, phone, and other electronic devices at least fifteen minutes before you go to bed. Allow your body AND mind an opportunity to start relaxing. Reading helps me, but I’m careful not to read a book which stimulates me to stay up and start another project!
- Massage lotion on your body. It helps ease the day’s tension, helps combat dry skin (Which can make you itch at night), and sets up a relaxing bedtime ritual.
- Set your alarm clock fifteen minutes earlier than normal. I promise those fifteen extra minutes can make a world of difference in how you see mornings. If you’re worried about losing that extra fifteen minutes of sleep, go to bed fifteen minutes earlier the night before.
- Practice clearing your mind through breathing and spiritual meditation. I’m not into meditation that allows Satan a stronghold in your life, but deep, cleansing breaths which soften into more shallow, calming ones, help release the day’s pent-up tension. Talk to the Lord. Don’t ask for things (This could reinforce things of which you are concerned). Instead, thank Him for all He is and all He’s done. I would venture to say before you are finished thanking Him, you will fall asleep!
What to do each morning to help begin your day:
- As soon as you wake up, thank the Lord for keeping you safe through the night and for the new day stretching out before you. Thank Him for your salvation, for your loved ones, and for another day to serve Him and others. Ask Him to help you complete the important tasks you wrote on your list the previous night and to help you to work toward your goals (Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up).
- Take in some deep breaths to oxygenate your body. A good rule of thumb is one deep breath in through your nose, hold at least five seconds, and then blow it out through your mouth. Do this at least ten times (Do this throughout your day as well. We sometimes resort to shallow breathing out of habit or because of stress. Your body cannot perform at its optimum level without oxygen!).
- Take 5-10 minutes to stretch before getting out of bed. Don’t overdo as your muscles won’t be warm. Stretching lets your body know it’s time to start moving. Keep your eyes open while stretching. I sometimes want to shut my eyes. But this is not conducive to getting out of bed! If it’s possible, turn on a light which isn’t too bright. When light enters the eyes, it stimulates receptors, which in turn, signal the body that it’s time to wake up.
These things may seem more time-consuming than time-saving. You might want to sleep those extra fifteen minutes. But I promise, if you incorporate these ideas, your life can be revolutionized. You will stop dreading mornings. You’ll wake up anxious to talk to your heavenly Father, you’ll start your day in an attitude of gratitude, and your body will be prepped for action through deep breathing exercises and stretching.
Sometimes, the reason we dread getting up in the morning is because we have nothing of which to be excited. If that’s your case, head over to the “Goal Setting for the Glory of God” section. When you have a purpose and are working toward it, life takes on a whole new meaning. You can hardly wait to start putting your plans into action. A person, who doesn’t have any goals, drifts around aimlessly with no motivation to do anything! And a non-rolling stone gathers ALL the moss!
If your evening and morning rituals are less than stellar and non-motivating, try the above suggestions to jump-start each day. Remember, it may take a couple of weeks for them to become habits, which your body and mind will naturally gravitate toward. But before you know it, you may find that mornings are your favorite part of the day, and you just might find yourself waking up with a smile!