Rising Early — The Natural Way to Look Better, Be More Energetic and Enjoy Life Fully
“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom” ~ Aristotle
I wasn’t always an early riser. In my 30’s, I used to stay up really late and had a hard time waking up. Eventually I realized that morning time is a much more creative and dynamic time for me. Mindfully I started to shift my internal clock. I intentionally practiced baby steps toward rising early. Nowadays, waking up early is a real treat – it’s a time for me to workout, write, think, meditate and set my day. It’s no longer a practice; now it’s a way of life. Is that something you desire?
What I’ve learned from rising early:
- Rising early hinges on my good practices the day before.
- What I do after 3 pm today makes it possible for me to get up by 5 am tomorrow.
- What I eat, how much I move, how I wind down my day and how early I go to bed affects my ability to wake up early.
- Rising early is a state of mind reinforced by focusing on the many rewards and health benefits.
- Rising early is a gift.
Someone I admire and follow on Instagram is Robin Sharma. He’s the author of “The 5 AM Club,” which is a delightful story full of motivating insights and practical suggestions.
Back in 2018, I wrote an article about five benefits of rising early — productivity, more time, creativity, mindful decisions and peace of mind. Research continues to show its benefits. And as I’ve observed human nature, I can add five more benefits of rising early:
Strength and determination. When you prove to yourself that you can gain mastery over the strongest pull on earth — the warm, cozy comfort of your bed — it builds confidence that you can master other things, like cutting out sugar or exercising regularly. You prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you think, and you’re committed to optimal health and living fully. (Maybe I exaggerated that it’s the strongest pull, but it’s one that claims victory over many people every day, so it’s up there!)
Eating to live, not living to eat. Poor eating habits are fueled by sleeping in, as you need to rush out the door without eating or grabbing something quick. This starts each day on the slippery slope toward donuts, candy bars, and chips. You think, “I’ve already blown my diet, might as well give in.” A balanced and health-sustaining diet takes mindful consideration, not only in planning and preparation, but also in the actual process of eating and enjoying the taste AND feeling its energy refresh your body.
Better relationships. Our emotions are directly linked to the quality of our sleep. When we’re tired, we listen less and are irritated more. Getting up before everyone else allows you quiet time to set loving intentions for the day. This lays a great foundation for being mindful about the things you say and do throughout the day. Having more empathy and compassion will inspire others to do likewise.
Youthful appearance. Rising early gives you more time to meditate, exercise and take care of your nutritional needs, and that’s going to make your skin look fresh and glowing. You can erase years by adding a skin care routine to your morning. I’m excited that Caryn at e3 is helping me learn how to use essential oils in my skin care and morning routine.
More in tune with the natural world around you. Take a cue from the sun and rise when it does and get ready for sleep when it slips from the sky. That’s what your natural internal clock, your circadian rhythm, is trying to do, and it gets confused when you fight against it. Therefore, listen to your body as it craves activity in the sunshine and sleep in the dark.
Rising early will progressively get easier, when you establish practical baby steps and have heart-aligned reasons for doing so. Here are just three suggestions that worked for me:
- Change your routine by 15 minute increments. If you’re used to sleeping until 7am, it’s unrealistic to expect your body to spring out of bed 2 hours early, without protestations; but 6:45 am is definitely doable, causing minimal disruption to your natural routine.
- As soon as the alarm goes off, move out of the bedroom. Your body wants to relieve itself, right? So take advantage of this natural desire to get you out of bed and go to the bathroom, then choose to stay up, by walking into the kitchen and drinking some water.
- Have a plan. How can you use this precious gift of time to do something with lasting benefits? Marcus Aurelius gave some excellent advice: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Rise early, not because you think you should, but because you want to enrich your enjoyment of life. Personally, I have so many wonderful things to do, I can’t wait to jump out of bed and get started.
Regular habits do not make you a boring person or erase your ability to be spontaneous. Just the opposite. Living on the edge will leave you feeling drained. Regular habits build supportive systems that give you energy to seize new opportunities with excitement. Would you like to learn more about listening to your body? I invite you to download my free report, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice. You’ll find invaluable principles of embodiment that help you connect with YOUR body’s wisdom.
Thank you for the use of your photo Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash