I fucking love Autumn. I can finally dust the cobwebs from my chunky knit jumpers and get the spring back in my step with the help of my ankle boots. But with the change in season comes the dreaded change in daylight hours, and suddenly, everything turns dark (and we're not just talking about hair colours).
What used to be a bright and sunny morning at 6am on my walk to the train station has now turned into a confusing time-warp state, where it still feels like midnight but the birds tell me it's morning. And the sound of tap dancers on the roof tell me it’s raining. Yup, definitely October now.
I don’t know about you fellow commuters, but I've found it harder and harder to get up in the mornings. The warmth of my bed is so inviting, I wonder if I can still be a badass career woman if I catch the hour-later train. You can, but my natural body clock and personality type has the early bird motto ingrained in my work ethic. So, every morning, off I go into the darkness.
If you're on the same autumnal page as me and also struggling, here are some of my personal morning rituals that get me through the darkness:
Watch the sunrise. This is so cliché I know, but I’m not talking about your usual picturesque orange, Lion King opening type of sunrise. I’m referring to the immediate break of dawn. It hasn’t quite decided a colour, so it displays all of them like a faint rainbow. As the white light breaks the barriers of the night on the horizon, you can see faint red-to-orange-to-green-blue, and it is stunning. You definitely don't see that when you lay in.
Stretch. Like a fucking cat all over the bed. Do it as soon as you wake up, otherwise you'll be more tempted to hit snooze and go back to sleep, or feign illness to sleep all day. Start at your toes and work your way up until every twist has been turned and every muscle has been loosened. Then enthusiastically jump out of bed. (If you're not sure how to do this and need further demonstration, I recommend watching a few '90s breakfast cereal adverts.)
Do some positive affirmations. It doesn't have to be life changing. It can be as simple as ‘You are a badass, let’s get shit done today’. Whatever you need to tell yourself to help you make the most of your day, go ahead and shout it... if you’re partner/neighbour/sleeping pets allow it. Even if that badass thing is to sit at your window to watch the sun rise with a cup of tea while you fully awaken, you've achieved it.
Think of all the great things you appreciate because you've risen early. You probably have a head start on work so you can finish earlier and achieve that much-desired work-life balance. You could go to the gym or a class. You can think about all the great food to eat during the day. Personally, I manage to fit in at least two personal development podcasts on my walk to the station, so I'm grateful that I've listened to the advice of successful yet total strangers to help me through my day.
Struggling in the early mornings doesn’t make you any less badass. If anything, it makes you even more badass that you're determined to achieve some early rises. Even if you don’t do it regularly, or don’t need to do it for your job specifically, do it at least once just to see what your day is like when you do. You never know what you can achieve with those extra hours awake.