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Sometimes, the morning light can seem piercing to your eyes and on that particular morning, it may be extremely hard to get up to start your day. The blanket might feel like a second skin and the urge to go back to sleep might be strong, but when there are important tasks to be accomplished, you force yourself out of the covers and into the daily grind.

For self-professed night owls, the one thing worse than getting up early to start the day is being rushed through the process of waking up. The difficulty of facing the morning sun can be made significantly worse if you do not leave enough time to get your bearings before making a mad dash out the door. Perhaps you don’t have time to grab a cup of coffee before you go to work or you have to forgo your daily shower so you can make it to the office on time. If you are not fully prepared to be all that you can be, how can you expect to be able to wade through any tasks when your body is protesting and your mind is underwater? In order to start thinking more clearly, you have to be on top of your game and take full advantage of all of the opportunities you have to improve yourself. Here are some ways you can grab that inspiration and better balance your life:

1. Get to sleep at a regular time every night. While this may be difficult for those without a concrete sleep schedule, getting a consistent amount of hours of sleep every night can make the mornings seem much clearer. Maybe you never noticed the beauty of the morning sky until you actually felt alive enough in the daylight to observe it. This is your chance to take advantage of every hour you are awake and not continually waste the time that you are given! Even if you have to start slowly in backing up your sleep schedule, resetting your internal clock is an important step in the right direction. After a few weeks, you will find your ideal sleep time and feel much more refreshed as a result!

2. Set your alarm to earlier than you think for maximum time getting ready. If you are rushing through your daily shower and coffee, how is that helping you wake up in a calm and relaxed way? Even if you are just sitting in your kitchen slugging down black coffee before you drive to work, that is not the best plan to ensure that you will get to work on time with a refreshed attitude and clear head! Even if you have to set three separate alarms and it’s the third one you always respond to, it’s a significantly better system than hitting the snooze button once on a single alarm and oversleeping. Find the alarm system that works best for you and run with it – if you leave yourself ample time to adjust your outfit choice and fix your make-up, you will feel much better hitting the pavement and starting the day!

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3. Leave yourself open to interaction during the morning hours. Even if you aren’t usually the chattiest person before noon, make an effort to get involved in conversations around your morning haunts. If you never made an effort to talk to the people you work with, for example, they might think you’re not very friendly, even if it just isn’t your natural inclination to make conversation on a whim. Start small by asking a co-worker to lunch or inquiring on what the person next to you is is working on. Opening yourself up to the world around you might be just the push you need to make the morning hours more pleasant and productive!

4. Drink more water. Even if you are the biggest caffeine addict you know and barely drink anything that does not give you a boost, drinking water can be just what you need to feel better during the day. As most coffee drinkers know, caffeine crashes can be ugly and have the propensity to mess with your internal clarity. If you replace that second cup of coffee with a glass of water, or start by slowly cutting caffeine out of your diet, it may be just the stepping stone you need to feel more cleansed and refreshed during the day! Even if you slowly incorporate water into your daily liquid intake, a small bit of detox is better than none!

5. Take some time to yourself to reflect on your mood. Even if it’s just a short walk outside during your lunch break or a stolen moment to listen to music, take advantage of any quiet time to meditate and center yourself before searching out other people. Be conscious of how you can improve your mental state in order to stay alert and fresh throughout the day, as keeping yourself productive and busy are always second to your health and well-being. Take care of yourself and seek reflection when you need it, as it can be vital to your success and clarity as a whole!

Having mental clarity and being productive are generally not synonymously linked, which is a definite problem – people often burn the candle at both ends in order to be successful, yet they sacrifice their mental stability and sleep patterns in order to get the job done “right.” However, it is often much smarter to get your sleep schedule and caffeine intake on track, as well as drink more water, interact with the outside world, and take some time for yourself in order to have the faith to keep moving! Consistently putting health and well-being forefront in the realm of productivity might be overlooked, but it’s never too late to incorporate some of these tips into your life. You can work hard and still have the sanity you crave if you make your promises small enough to handle while committing to a system that works individually for you! Go out there, girls, and start living stronger and healthier lives!

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