All my life I’ve been a night owl. My most productive hours throughout my 20s were 10 pm to 1 am. I would clean the entire house in those last few hours of the day and my energy seemed to be at its peak. But then? I had all these kids, they insist on being awake during daylight hours (oh the humanity!), and they are not generally that quiet. So by the time they’re hitting the hay at 9 pm, I’m DONE. I’m exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. A lot of it has to do with being an HSP, and 9 pm just happened to be when I hit my last stimulation threshold.
I probably don’t need to tell you that with homeschooling, together with keeping house and getting kids to extracurriculars, does not give me a lot of time to spend on my work. Since my work at this point involves writing, reading, researching, doing online courses, and emailing clients, I can’t do it with a lot of activity around me. And waking up at 9 am through the summer gave me zero headstarts on the kids waking up.
So I decided to join the 5 am club. With the exception of spin class twice a week throughout the past few spring/fall seasons, I’ve never considered waking at 5 am a humane experience. It’s still the middle of the night for me. Midnight is a pretty common bedtime and sleep till 8. 5 am is not an option. Or is it? Since I started waking early, here is what I’ve learned I need, and surprisingly, love:
- The house is quiet. So quiet! I’m the only one up and the silence is the most blissful experience. It is the only time I feel like I have the house to myself – since we homeschool and I never actually have the house to myself. 3 hours and I’m pretty much unstoppable!
- I have a surprising amount of energy. Since the definition of an introvert is someone who is energized by being alone, this one shouldn’t be a surprise. But I feel like I can take on the world before 7 am. It’s a miracle!
- I have clarity and focus. It’s true. First thing in the morning, I will probably not talk much if you were to bump into me (who am I kidding, I’m not going anywhere at that hour), but I have incredible clarity to write and think and work.
- I get to see the sunrise. There is something so insanely beautiful about waking early enough that it’s still dark and you feel like the only person alive. Add to that a stunning sunrise that pretty much takes your breath away and it’s enough to keep me inspired for the day!
- I get to exercise in peace. Ok so I don’t love working out at all. I’m working on it though, and the way I find works best is without an audience. I can do a spin or yoga class without too much anxiety, maybe because everyone’s pretty focused in their space, but an actual gym sesh is a pretty big no for me. But getting up early allows me to go for a run with no one in sight, or get a few planks or bicep curls in without anyone to distract me.
How do you feel about mornings? Are up with the birds, or more of a night owl? Let me know in the comments below!