FARGO – Most winter mornings, I feel like Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
I want to keep my sleep mask on and stay in bed with my cat.
But mornings don't have to be a struggle. The early hours set the tone for the day, and I want mine to be positive and uplifting, even on gray, wintry mornings.
Two of my favorite sources for lifestyle inspiration – www.mindbodygreen.com and the "Glitter Guide" blog – recently published ways to wake up happier. We can all use a boost, especially in February. I gathered my favorite hints from both lists for calm, positive, gratitude-filled mornings.
1. Ignore your devices. I see this tip over and over: Emails, texts and social media can wait in the morning. It's likely the only time you'll be technology-free.
2. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than your usual time. Ease into the day by waking up slowly. And go to bed earlier. Sleep is essential to feeling good.
3. Keep your bedroom tidy. Waking up in a clean space can help you feel tranquil. A messy room can make the mind feel messy, too.
4. Smile. Even if you don't feel like it, smile. It feels silly at first, but it'll lighten your mood.
5. Practice gratitude. Name five things you're grateful for – it can be anything. Practicing gratitude has endless science-backed benefits.
6. Buy flowers. Looking at flowers can have a positive effect on emotional health, according to research by Rutgers. Keep some blooms in your bedroom, bathroom or wherever you'll see them most. I buy market bunches at the grocery store each week and they only cost $5.
7. Prep the night before. Pick your clothing, plan your breakfast and get coffee supplies ready each night. Think of it as mise-en-place for life. The French phrase is used in cooking and means to "put in place."