This is not what it seems, I promise. If you’re a night owl trying to seriously become a morning person, well, I’m sure there are a ton of other ‘how to’ pieces on the internet that may help you get started on the right track.
This, on the other hand, on my corner of the internet, is in some way an admittance of defeat.
If you’re a night owl like me living in a world that’s built and seems to function solely for the early birds, well, this one is for you.
The night is for sleep and rest. I get it, I really do. But what can I do if it’s at that very time when darkness falls upon us that my brain comes alive?
I like to function at night. It’s as though when the lights are turned off, that’s when I have my lightbulb moments. All my senses awaken in the dark and for some reason, it’s also then my most creative side shines through. I have a burst of inexplicable energy I don’t quite find in the midday glow and my concentration levels skyrocket in the dark too.
You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that most of my blog posts get crafted at 2 am. I listen to podcasts mostly after midnight and do all of my reading then too.
It may not work for others, but it works for me – at least it used to.
As I stated earlier, I don’t think the world is programmed for night owls like myself. School meant I had to be up and running before the sun was up. Work not only requires me to be up and running before daylight, but it also squeezes out optimal energy for many straight hours. For me to thrive on loud vibrant mornings, I’ve had to make some adjustments to my daily routine which I’ll share with you now.
Hence, no. This is not about turning you into a morning person or getting you in the gym by 7 am. I believe that’s not for everybody although the wellness industry would have us believe so. It’s about learning how to preserve energy as well as protecting your own. A night owl may not need to become a morning person, but they sure need to know how to navigate cold mornings and long working hours too.
These are some of my top tips for being a high functioning night owl striving to make it in a 9-5 world:
The One Snooze Rule.
We’ve all seen those movies where the female lead wakes up in the most unrealistic way. They jump up right after their alarm rings, sit themselves up and yawn as they stretch. In a matter of seconds, they lift their duvets allowing their feet to touch the floor and begin their day instantly. Well, I’ve never been that girl. I wonder if you have…
If you are anything like me the hardest part of the morning is probably getting out of bed. Although I could jump out right after my alarm because I always hear it at first ring, I can never get my body to collaborate with my mind fast enough.
I always allow myself to hit the snooze button one time only each morning. It’s nine minutes which could definitely be used differently. However, those nine minutes are a very essential part of my mornings. It’s a quiet still moment where I mentally prepare to start the day and sort out my early messy thoughts. Those nine minutes are non-negotiable.
Plan For Simpler Mornings.
Overly complicated mornings are just not for me, so I always aim to simplify them. Part of my night routine which I do without fail is to prepare for the following morning. This means picking my outfit for the day the night before or writing a list of things I am yet to tick off my to-do list. By doing this I get to exploit my midnight energy so it can rub off on my morning too. Essentially, I do the things I know I’ll thank my past self for when I’m grumpy and sleepy in the morning!
Embracing The Siesta.
Growing up, I never liked the idea of a nap. It felt as though I was wasting away precious hours in my day so I just wouldn’t allow myself to indulge in that.
Fast forward to now and I don’t know how I’d survive without napping here and there. I don’t necessarily do it every day, but I make sure to listen to my body to know when it’s necessary.
A two-hour nap in the evening after work is just what I need sometimes to be able to function later in the day. This way, I’m able to break my day into two and refuel before taking on the second half.
The Key Is Balance.
Finding the right balance really is the key to most things. In the same way, it’s also the hardest to find.
It’s all about knowing your weaknesses, feeding into your strengths allowing compromise to take place when necessary.
Balance looks different to everyone, and it takes a different shape in people’s lives. Balance for me is getting through early mornings, being able to maintain a good work routine whilst also enjoying my nights. This, however, cannot be done without compromise and careful planning.
There will be times when you’ll have to choose to go to bed early in exchange for being fully alert the next day. Other times, you may allow your creativity to steal you into the dead of the night. It’s all about listening to your body. It’s all about knowing its rhythm; when to slow down and when to dance around it faster.
Your restless romantic roamer