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What waking up early did for me and what it could do for you

Special by Shelby Skrelunas

I’m 22 and will be turning 23 this September. Let’s just start here, life is starting to hit a little different, my mindset is going through changes and all I want to do is succeed and have attainable goals set in mind to have accomplished by the end of year, maturing finally? Maybe, but like many other people in this lazy lazy world, I tend to sleep in. I sell handmade items online and don’t have a 9 - 5 to get to everyday, so in short, it can allow me to get a little lazy and it’s easy to not wake up early because I simply don’t have to, but it’s a new year and with a new year comes new resolutions and ones we intend to actually follow farther than the first month of 2020 *wink wink*. What could waking early do for me and what do I hope to achieve in this tiny turnaround of life? Waking up early would allow me a more productive day, longer days, make me more successful in health and life, and maybe even make me feel better overall. So, I tested it out for 5 days and logged how I felt each day, everyday was different and everyday it became more worth it.  Here is a synopsis of this wonderful enlightenment:

Day 1: It’s 8 am right now, the suns out and I’m still a bit tired. I woke up at 6:10 and spent about the first 30 minutes going through social media, I wasn’t feeling this morning thing to the extent I was hoping, it took a lot of willpower and discipline I didn’t think I had to NOT hit that snooze button. We have snow right out my door so it’s pretty easy to not want to leave the bed and stay cuddled in warmth under my ugg blanket! I was feeling a bit groggy but that’s just normal for a first day waking up about 4 hours before your normal time or waking up early at all in fact. On a more positive note, it did feel good to be up at that time and my head felt a little more clear and ready for the day, all in all I do feel happy that I did it and I’m hoping this will allow me to get tired a lot earlier in the nights. 

Day 2: I fell asleep around 10 PM the night before, on my normal routine I can fall asleep as late as 2 am, so it definitely is fixing that terrible sleep schedule! I felt better waking up this morning, it wasn’t as difficult as the morning before that’s for sure, I made myself some tea with the handy keurig and read a few blogs and articles. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, so doing it early in the morning made it extra relaxing and that much more enjoyable! I felt like I could obtain the information better, understand what I was reading more clearly, and enjoy it even more, mornings would definitely be a good time to learn or be creative. 

Noon: Shipping labels were printed and packages picked up and out the door, on a normal day none of this would be done till about 4, so yay me? Early mornings lead to easier productive days. 

Day 3: The minute I wake up every morning I gravitate towards my phone and will waste about 30 minutes to an hour doing nothing but wasting away time on social media, so for day 3 I added in a small challenge: I was going to spend the first hour awake NOT on my phone. After almost grabbing my phone for the first 15 minutes, I put all of my time that is usually spent scrolling through Instagram getting a few packages packed up and ready, then proceeded to fold some laundry that had been in the dryer the evening before. Tidied up my room and listened to music on my google home (I got it for free for a being a subscriber to Spotify and I love it so much!). The hour was over and I already felt better about my day, started it out with any of the negative news I might’ve scrolled pass on my Facebook and getting nothing done. I had gotten so much done in that small hour and felt proud and accomplished, the small things still matter! 

Day 4: I woke up this morning feeling energetic, more energetic than usual at 6 AM so I decided I’d go head and hit the gym a littler earlier this morning, I go to the gym almost daily but that is usually later in the evening or at night. That is one of my daily goals no matter what, I don’t like to miss a workout and it sure does feel good to already have it done, I’ll try more morning workouts but I’m usually a pretty relaxed person in the AM so this wouldn’t be an everyday thing, but I’ll definitely squeeze it in every now and then. Morning workout done and loved, our day started awesome. 

9 PM: It’s around that time in the night when I’d usually be headed to the gym, but since it was already done this morning it allowed me the evening for other things. I think a more productive morning definitely allows for more relaxed evenings. Hitting the hay early tonight and striving for an even earlier morning the following day. 

Day 5 and overall conclusion: It is the last day of this 5 day test but I am pretty positive I’ll continue it on long after. I feel less stressed and a little more relaxed throughout my days. My overall mental health feels improved and my physical health has as well, in the end I do feel like a more energetic person overall. There’s something very peaceful about waking up early. I’m not sure if it’s the silence and knowing there aren’t thousands of people rushing around town at that very moment or if it’s knowing you are one of the very few people in this town actually awake at that very moment looking at the pretty sunset. I haven’t woken up at 5 am without feeling groggy in quite sometime, in these 5 days I’ve felt the benefits, I’ve seen the positive in it and I think it all starts with your mindset first and why you’re doing it. This morning I woke up feeling refreshed, I was so set and ready to start my day, and I was happy. This is something I will continue doing and hopefully inspired some of you to give it a try. It’s been a rewarding experience and one I’m very proud of myself for. A small step but a step worth taking. We all deserve to find success and this is just a start. 

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