An image of a sunrise through a window, with trees in the distance.

WAKING UP EARLY

To look out at a sunrise is a wonderful and precious thing. No matter how many times we may see a sunrise in our life, it will never be the same sunrise twice. With that sunrise comes the promise of a new beginning, a chance for change, the opportunity of a new day. No more waiting for new year, the prospect of new resolutions and a sense of possibility is on the other side of dawn, right as the horizon line breaks into gold.

Videos litter the internet with their ‘5am Morning Routine’ titles, bragging discipline and meditation and health benefits. It all seems so simple, to make this change, to incorporate multiple things into our extra hours gained, to become the type of person who is up in those silent hours, at peace with the first chirping birds. Or, to be the person awake with eye bags, drinking coffee from the jug and wondering why on earth you’ve made this a part of your daily life… Not everyone is made to rise early, but could it benefit most of us to wake up earlier?

For many of us, waking up early can feel like a burden. It can seem like just another way in which our work schedule has shaped our life- just another way to take away those luxurious hours of sleep and cut them short. The bags under our eyes and the early morning fog of the mind often do little to inspire us. All too often, we’re in a rush to be somewhere, a rush to grab breakfast and go, a rush to beat the traffic or catch the train.

The decision to change our routine in order to wake up early seems simple. Often, though, there is no prescription for us to change our daily routine. We are so used to how we exist on a daily basis that to make a change, even as small as waking up an hour earlier, can feel disruptive. It can be difficult to make a positive change in our lives when it doesn’t feel so positive in the first place. Of course, changing part of our daily routine necessitates that we change other aspects of our life- the time we go to sleep, what we do in our extra time in the morning. It’s about consistency, and commitment. It’s about reminding ourselves of what’s important to us, and if part of that is having some time and space to ourselves in the morning, then perhaps waking early is the right decision.

Once we’ve made that change, how do we best use our extra time? Some say meditation, others say it’s the time to be productive, young and eager students suggest that it’s the best time to read a textbook, calm entrepreneurs recommend no technology in that first hour. What we do with that extra time, ultimately, is up to us. There can be no singular path for each of us to follow- only multiple, changeable paths. Whether we choose to meditate, do yoga, or send messages to friends in different timezones, there is no right or wrong way to spend our time, so long as we find joy within it.

Do you wake up early? How do you spend your time?

Featured image: Tarik Haiga via Unsplash.

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