May 31

4 Benefits of Waking Up Early


I have recently started waking up at 5:30 am on purpose. I used to be such a morning person but when I had kids, getting out of bed even a second before I absolutely had to felt like torture. Now that my kids need me (slightly) less at night, I found myself motivated to start waking up earlier again. I thought it would be hard and planned to start with 6:30 and slowly move to 6 am. However, one morning I found myself wide awake at 5:30 and instead of staring at the clock or scrolling on my phone, I got up. I made my coffee and enjoyed my breakfast in peace. The immediate reward of having that quiet start to the day made getting up the next day at 5:30 so easy.

I still have some mornings where it is hard, especially if the kids didn't sleep well, but knowing how good I feel when I wake up early and take time for myself has continued to motivate me. I now have a morning ritual of coffee, journaling, and planning my day that sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

Here are some benefits of waking up earlier.

1. Slow start to your day.

Nothing increases stress and anxiety like trying to rush out the door in the morning. You are much more likely to make mistakes, forget things, or have a short temper if you don't have a moment to reflect on your day. I have found that my days have felt infinitely longer by waking up just an hour earlier. 

2. Easier to make better decisions.

Waking up early creates a sense of accomplishment. Starting the day with a win is an easy way to motivate yourself to get more wins. I find that checking off that first task on my to-do list makes me feel more empowered to accomplish my other goals. You are also more likely to eat a healthier breakfast rather than grab something sugary or expensive on the road which leads to the next point...

3. More time to eat breakfast.

When rushing out the door in the morning it is easy to skip breakfast but, eating breakfast is critical for your concentration and general energy throughout the day. Many people don't feel hungry immediately after they get up so, waking up early allows more time for the body to wake up, feel hungry, and eat. This way you are not sitting in a 10 am meeting with a growling stomach. And as stated above, you'll have more time to make a healthy breakfast instead of grabbing something processed later.

4. Time for hobbies or other interests.

One of my favorite things about waking up early has been the chance to get the dishwasher unloaded or get my own dishes cleaned up before the kids get up. I am also able to prepare their breakfasts so that our morning runs more smoothly. I then find more time later in the day to do things I enjoy, like practicing piano, going for walks, or reading. I have also enjoyed the early morning time for listening to audiobooks or my favorite podcasts. 

You don't have to wake up at 5:30 to see the benefits of waking up early. The most important thing is that you are waking up early enough to have some time for yourself that isn't rushed. Try giving yourself even just 15 minutes extra in the morning to see how it changes the tone for the rest of the day. And if possible, find something that is immediately rewarding about getting up early. For me, it's drinking coffee by myself. Having something to look forward to when you wake up will make sticking to your earlier mornings a lot easier. 

Anne Rice, LPC, LMHC, CPCS

About the author

Anne is a licensed therapist in both New York and Georgia. She is the owner of Firefly Wellness Counseling located in the Atlanta area. Her team works with all members of the family struggling with anxiety, depression, and big life changes. Anne loves helping adults and teens navigate life's difficulties by creating a comfortable and safe place to share anything and everything that is on their minds. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Princeton University and her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.


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