How to Wake Up Happier

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Learn how to wake up happier by creating an evening self-care routine to set your mind at ease. This will help you wake up in a happier mood every day! Instead of dreading the alarm, you’ll face your day ready.

I love getting ready for bed and preparing for the next day. By taking a little time in the evening to take care of myself and prepare for the next day, I can fall asleep easier and I wake up in a happier mood.

A Self-Care Routine to Wake Up Happier

When you are wondering how to wake up happier, the place to start is by looking at your evening self-care routine. Your mood and peace of mind is important! It’s worth taking half an hour or so to relax and prepare for the next day.

You might notice a couple of “chores” on my list. That’s because doing these things will make you feel better! I’m not telling you to clean your house or organize your closets. But I am telling you to take some time for daily essentials.

Having these things done before you go to bed, really promotes a feeling of well-being.  

Learn how to wake up happier by creating an evening self-care routine to set your mind at ease. This will help you wake up in a happier mood every day!

Do Your Dishes and Tidy Your Kitchen Before You Sleep

I’ve been doing this nightly for 15+ years and I am always pleased when I walk into a clean kitchen. My inspiration came from Marla Gilley the FlyLady @ who says it best:

Many of you can’t understand why I want you to empty your sink of your dirty dishes and clean and shine it when there is so much more to do. It is so simple; I want you to have a sense of accomplishment! You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you, and a smile will come across your lovely face.

Marla Gilley

Don’t underestimate the power of a clean sink! When I get up in the morning, the sink area is where I start my day by getting water for my coffee. Instead of seeing a mess of dirty dishes or worse, dirty dishes in dirty water, I start my day with a clean ready-to-go area.

It feels great. And when I go to sleep at night, that is one less concern for me. It makes me more relaxed falling asleep because the dishes are done and the sink is clean.

It might sound silly but hey, it’s worked for me for a long time and I highly recommend committing to this each night!

To-Do List with a Twist

It really helps me to relax when I corral all my to-dos onto a list. I’ve read so many things on getting things done and writing them down is important. While, I’ve read in some places you should only put a few things on your list, if I don’t get everything down, then I’m afraid I’m going to forget them!

I was talking to my brother recently, who runs a global company. We were talking about to-do lists. He still lists everything he needs to do, daily, by hand. He doesn’t time block or use a fancy planner either.

My favorite place to keep my to-do list is in a basic composition notebook. On the front of a page, I can put all the things I want to do. On the opposite side, which is the back of the page from the day before, I can add any notes. For example, if I have to make a call that day, I can jot any notes from the call on the opposite page.

This makes it super easy to keep track of these kinds of things.

By doing it before bed, you get it down and out of your head. I hate lying in bed worrying about whether I’ll remember to do something.

As a twist, if there are some small things on the list—go ahead and do one or two before you go to sleep. You’ll wake up with a couple of things already checked off your list.

Write Out What You are Grateful For

Another easy routine is to keep a small pad or journal by your bed. At night, be sure and write down a few things you are grateful for that happened during the day. It’s so easy to go to bed and completely forget about the day before the next day.

Getting into a thankful mood the night before helps program your brain to look for good things during the day. It’s so much more pleasant to be on the lookout for good things than to be scanning your life for what’s going wrong.

Prepare for Work the Next Day

If you work outside the home, get your outfit and any meals for the day, ready the night before. If finding something to wear is never a problem for you, don’t worry about that. However, make sure you’ve got some healthy food for your next day’s meals.

I created a super easy wardrobe for work. I had a few pairs of pants, a few dresses, some tops, and some cardigans and wraps. The key to feeling good about it, is to have clothes that fit and look great on you. When you feel great in what you wear, you don’t have to have very much.

If you find a pair of black pants that fit perfect, pick up a second pair and a pair of navy. There you go! I’m serious, you can pretty much wear the same thing every day and no one is going to care or even notice.

During the weekend, plan out meals for the week and buy everything you need. Preparing your food at home is one of the healthiest things you can do, no matter how you eat! If you have everything on hand during the week, you will be less tempted to grab fast food or junk food while at work.

Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb

I have found this to be the best way for my phone not to bother me at night. My phone allows me to make some of my contacts “Favorites” and I can set my phone so that if they call, it will come through.

However, even my favorites don’t get to text me at night! Late night texts disturb my sleep and they are always something that can wait until morning. If it’s really important, my children or mom, or siblings can call and reach me.

Putting your phone on do not disturb, also eliminates other notifications. In fact, I recommend eliminating all notifications except texts anyway.

Some people like to put their phones on airplane mode which turns the Wi-Fi off. This isn’t practical for everyone, so the do-not-disturb feature works really well for me. Now most people in my life now know, that from 10 PM until 7 AM, I’m not going to be responding to text messages.

Stretch for 10 Minutes

I’ve recently started doing this and even 10 minutes helps me relax so much! Here’s an example from Yoga with Adriene.

I usually take a walk or exercise during the day but a little stretch at night is like magic sleep medicine!

Read a Mood Lifting Book Before Bed

I love to read at night and the best books for night are ones that make you feel good, don’t rev up your nervous system, and aren’t too exciting.

You want these books to be interesting enough to read for a little while, but not so good they keep you awake for hours because you can’t put it down.

So, a good mood lifting book will accomplish two things: it will help you relax and it will gently put you to sleep. Do this last, so that you can simply lay your book aside when you are sleepy and turn off the light!

My Reading List that Will Help You Wake Up Happier

I went through my Kindle books to see which ones have been great night-time reads. Some, I’ve been reading for years! Last night I was reading and my beloved asked what I was reading. It was The Joy of Life Through Yoga. It totally did the trick! (Not too exciting for sure!)

Most of these books though are really interesting. However, not so engaging that you will want to stay up all night reading them. You’ll get inspired and sleepy at the same time. That’s a win-win in my book!

Wild: From Lost to found
Cheryl Strayed

I’ve read this book several times. While I have no desire to do the kind of hike she did, this book called me to the mountains and I’ve done some amazing hikes since. If you have an adventuress inside you, check this one out.

Bird by Bird
Anne Lamott

This is my favorite book on writing, ever. There’s one piece of advice called the Shitty First Draft. I swear by it!

Carol Dweck

I found this book through my job in a college. As a coach, I worked with students to improve their academic journey through changing their mindset. Check out Carol’s Ted Talk and then go get this book.

Anne of Green Gables

I read Anne of Green Gables every couple of years. The first book, and the one that follows it, Anne of Avonlea are the best fiction books ever written on creating a life you love.

Dying to be Me
Anita Moorjani

This is a near death experience book and it’s a good one! It’s a great reminder to live our lives authentically.

The Big Leap
Gay Hendricks

This book introduced me to the idea that I had self-imposed limits in areas such as relationships and finances.

How to Wake Up Happier Every Day!

The secret to waking up happier is to go to bed happier and with a feeling of peace. These are the things I do in my life so that I can start my day with a positive mindset. As a bonus, these things will also help you fall asleep easier!

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  1. Sallie on July 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Just wanted to comment that I’ve lost 16 lbs and on schedule to lose an additional 10 lbs. And I’m 80 !!!?

    • Sara on July 27, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      Sallie–that’s wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Sallie on June 17, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Everything you wrote about really hit home with me. I am a reading addict and also a compulsive To Do list maker. Have been for years! I also clean my kitchen before bedtime. It was good to read that I’m not the only crazy person who feels better when things are settled in for the night!

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