I first read the question as “What do you do when you wake up?” and my answer was “Which time?”
My entire family has a weird brand of insomnia. We usually drift off to sleep readily, but at whatever point (or points) we wake up in the night, getting back to sleep is another story. The lists of things to do and things to worry about is relentless and drives one to distraction from sleep. My best remedy is to play Ted talks that are interesting enough to distract me from my worries but not so interesting I can’t drift off eventually and play them in the dark (to avoid the screen) until I fall back to sleep. Sometimes one works. On a bad night, 3 or 4 are required.
For almost my whole life* I have been a morning person. I’m up with the sun. As an adult, I don’t need an alarm. I will set one when I have to get up extremely early to be somewhere (mostly when traveling for work), but it’s silly, because I know I will be up anyway. And I always am.
For awhile I used to be to the gym at 6am, because I was awake anyway, so I might as well, right?
But my body has been changing this past year and mornings are hard. I’m usually awake, but I’m still so tired. I have no desire to be to the gym at 6am. I want to just remain, sloth-like, in bed and read – the scriptures, the news, anything I can get my hands on – until I absolutely have to get up. And this is even in the summertime, when it’s already light outside.
M-F finds me, after the reading, getting showered and ready for work in 20-30 minutes. The 5pm me is always happy with myself if I have carved out 10 minutes to empty the dishwasher in that time. 5pm me is ecstatic if I have planned ahead and thrown some food into the crockpot. And remembered to turn it on. Then it’s off to work, 8ish like.
I’m still a morning person in the sense that I like to get things done in the morning. Dishes, laundry, picking up around the house. So Saturday mornings usually I get up, remain in my pajamas, and go about the house while everyone else is still sleeping trying to put things back together after another busy work week while things fall apart at home.
*Except for when I had little kids/nursing babies. Then I slept until they were up. I was SOOOOOOOooooooo tired. It was so very weird to sleep while the sun was in the sky.
Also, I seem to be the only morning person in my family. Which makes for a quiet morning when others don’t have to be up and heading out the door for something. I love the quiet peace of the morning.
Post edit: Just as I was typing this post my 21yo daughter (who is not a morning person) came in and begged me to go to 6am yoga with her. I have known for some time I need to return to yoga. I hope I still have it in me to return, both to yoga and to 6am.
[Day 19 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]