Brutally Early Breakfast Club
Take a page from the books of Hans Ulrich Obrist, the art critic, art historian, and curator of Serpentine Galleries, in London, and Markus Miessen, professor and architect, who put together a series of early morning gatherings to exchange ideas with acquaintances who might otherwise be too busy to meet at any other time of the day. In Obrist’s words, “It can be difficult to find time to gather with friends—artists, architects, scientists—so we’d meet in a café a 6:30am to talk. Nobody can say they have a prior engagement at the time! It’s a way to get everybody together when the city is completely empty.” Another benefit? You’ll get access to your choice of the freshest batch of pastries before anyone else nabs them.
A note of gratitude
Thank you notes can resemble a chore, especially when you’re writing them after a birthday party, a wedding, or any other occasion that requires you to buy stacks of stationery and scribble until the muscles in your hand cramp. However, penning a short thank you can be quite different altogether if you compose it first thing in the morning, before you’ve done much more than wash your face and brew that first cup of tea. Remembering what others have done for you to make you feel happy and cared for is a great way to boost your morning mood and remind you of your fondest memories.
Life in your limbs
For a non-morning person, running first thing in the morning sounds like a form of cruel and unusual punishment, and the cost of dragging one’s body through the burn will never be worth the endorphins at the end. However, there are other ways to feel the glow from a good workout. Show up for a morning yoga class and you’ll realize that simply being aware of your breath, your spine, and even your fingertips is enough to make you grateful for your body and ready to tackle the rest of your day. If time and distance make that option impractical, ten minutes of meditation can achieve the same result. And no, that doesn’t mean clearing your mind and ceasing to think—focus on relaxing your shoulders, feeling your chest rise and fall, and the steadiness of the floor beneath you, and the other harried thoughts will naturally drift away.
A heartfelt gift
Who says that presents need a special occasion? Preparing a set of gifts for your colleagues, co-workers, or friends on what would otherwise be a humdrum weekday morning can serve two purposes. First, the extra task will provide an incentive to hop out of bed rather than rolling under the covers; you’ve got something to do, so don’t forget the time you need to do it! Second, seeing someone’s face light up and beam at you because of an unexpected surprise is contagious. Whether you simply buy a bouquet of flowers the night before and grab them on the way out the door, or you wake up 30 minutes early to frost a homemade cake you baked the previous evening, any gesture is likely yield delight for both the giver and the receiver.
When the daily commute to work becomes wearisome and tedious, there are at least two potential solutions. The first is to work somewhere new, which, depending on your current circumstances, may be highly desirable or simply preposterous. The second is to find a new route. Whether you walk 20 minutes into work or simply walk down the driveway to your car, take a left turn instead of a right and enjoy the scenery on the new block. The houses and businesses may feel familiar, but they can also be startlingly different in the rays of the early morning sun. These two minutes may very well serve to dispel the boredom of your commute and give it a little flavor of sight-seeing adventure instead.