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Letting go of early mornings

Oh I’ve tried. I’ve tried to become a morning person. I’ve read blogs about increasing productivity, about gradually waking earlier to enjoy the silence of the day, about using the extra hours to meditate, to write, to walk and be in nature. I’ve tried setting my alarm gradually earlier, I’ve tried setting my alarm much earlier. And every single time, the result is the same. I turn the alarm off and go straight back to sleep.

I’ve come to realise something about mornings and myself. I’ve been feeling a little pressure to become this new me, a me who actually enjoys stumbling out of bed, bleary eyed, in pitch darkness and negative temperatures. I’ve been feeling a failure because no matter how many months…no actually, years… I’ve been trying for, I just don’t get on with early mornings. Save for the occasional day when I awake actually inspired to get out of bed at that time…. It’s just not happening.

The big change that I’ve come to embrace is letting go of the pressure to enjoy early mornings. I lost sight of the fact that come 9pm, I’m buzzing with ideas and creativity. I forgot that I’ll sit and write for hours into the night, with colour and sparks fizzing around my synapses. To try and change this night owl into an early bird would mean sacrificing my own unique time for creation, and misplacing it, forcing it to an unnatural place in the day. Forcing creativity never works out well for me. Forcing my natural creative rhythm probably won’t, either.

So, dear, dark mornings, I apologise. But for now at least, I sleep through your early alarms and inky blackness. I rise with daylight and tea, with the comfort of a duvet still lingering and the softness of a natural awakening enveloping my soul. I wake slowly, but with purpose. And I take my creativity as it comes, whatever time it decides to appear.

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11 thoughts on “Letting go of early mornings

  1. Hi Sal, I totally agree with this. I always tell myself I’ll get up early and exercise and I can’t do it. I’m blaming the dark mornings and may have another stab at it in the spring. This weather calls for staying in bed in the mornings not stumbling around in the dark! M

  2. Some excellent points. I always wonder where exactly the advice to get up early comes from and, when I check , the writer is invariably closer to the equator than Scotland.

    Getting up earlier is one thing when the mornings are warmer, lighter (Californians seem very keen to recommend early mornings) – in the depths of a Scottish winter it becomes something entirely different. For this reason I’d suggest you are doing the right thing to rise with the daylight! In summer up here I barely sleep, in winter I love to hibernate.

    Next year, when I’ve moved on from Scotland for other lands, I’ll be interested to see whether it is much a struggle to rise early in winter as it is here in Caithness!

    1. I find it easier to get up when it’s light in the morning Alex, but yes, when my alarm goes off in the dark I just want to stay under the duvet and hibernate!

      Where are you moving to next year? 🙂

      1. To be honest, I have no idea where I’m moving to! At this stage I’m keeping my options open, but the plan is to go full digital nomad, working on my laptop from pretty much anywhere. I quite like the idea of SE Asia, but Central and South America also appeal (and I’m trying to learn Spanish for this reason). I’ll probably move around every three or four months.

        It’s all rather scary, but I’ve been telling myself for years that I need to see more of the world – and now is a good a chance as any!

      2. Oh that sounds amazing! Have you read Colin Wright’s stuff? He writes a blog called exile lifestyle and moves countries every few months!

        Very brave decision but what a fantastic opportunity to take. All the best on your travels Alex, I’ll keep checking your website! 🙂

  3. Oh, thank you, thank you for saying this. I sit here at 9:00 a.m. (earlier than I wanted to get up, but my dogs insisted) with a cup of coffee, easing into my day. In my quest to do better, I read lots of blogs and articles, and I get so tired of reading that I should get up earlier to start my day–enjoy the silence, meditate, read . . . . If I tried to do any of those things at the crack of dawn, I would meditate myself right back to sleep. It just isn’t me. A night owl can’t be rewired like that anymore than an early bird can. Why can’t early birds understand that? It would be refreshing to see an article encouraging those early birds to stay up late to see if the mysterious darkness of night sparks their creativity. That’s when I get going–not in chilly, dark mornings when I’m half comatose. We should go with what we are. Thank you for making my morning by posting this.

    1. Totally agree Vicki, mornings are so much better when we wake naturally and take time to enjoy!

      loved the meditating right back to sleep comment… I may have done that once or twice (or lots of times) 😉

  4. Have you read into the research on chronotypes? (http://www.sleepdex.org/chronotypes.htm). If you can learn how your body clock works, you will reap all the benefits that “larks” report – productivity, creativity, etc. It’s just that the world is set up to fit larks, more. Myself, I’m an early riser and so getting up early allows me to take advantage of the way my body works. If you embrace being a later riser, I’d imagine you would get all the same benefits!

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