This post is created in collaboration with Photowall

There is a window by my bed that stays open overnight, so when sunrise comes and the sky wakes up, I eventually do too. As light pours into the bedroom, I walk, half-asleep, to quickly turn the heater off. Then I climb back to bed, check my phone for the time and weather, and reply to texts, which would later in the day be met with a typical: "Why were you up so early??"

Good morning to you all. (Or noon? Evening? Is time still arbitrary?) Two things on our agenda today, friends. First, to share with you some advice on being a morning person. Second, to tell you about this new canvas print on my wall that I am head over heels in love with. (Hang 'til the end for a discount code!)

Most of my loved ones know I'm a morning person — on most days, I'm physically incapable of waking up past 9 AM. Being a morning person, with a decent sleep cycle, continues to be one of the achievements I'm most proud of, silly as it may sound.

But for others, it might be the complete opposite. And I hear you: I hate mornings, Jo. Why would I want to be a morning person?

Appreciating mornings doesn't mean waking up at dawn (I'm an early bird, not a psychopath.) When I was working at weddings, pre-lockdown, some days did require for me to wake up at ungodly hours, but my pace stayed the same. On those days where I'd have to start at 6 AM, I still made time for myself before I leave, making sure I wake early enough to collect my thoughts, or maybe make tea.

I'm anti-rushing. I hate it. It scatters my brain and makes me the most forgetful person on earth. So I'm not just talking for the sake of "me time", but having a morning ritual helps you start the day clearheaded. 

Another reason you should be a morning person is for better productivity. I never get much work done on the days I get up at 11. Maybe you do – maybe you're a night owl and most of your work happens at night — that's okay too! But if something is still off balance, and you're after a life refresh, here are some things to note if you want to make this change...


1. Your sleep is everything. | The serious, most intentional effort to be done here is towards your sleep. Whatever is keeping your eyes open at a time they shouldn't be: Get rid of it. (Turn to Shia LaBeouf's "Just do it!" for morale.)

Earlier this week, my phone was turned off for two days and it was the best two nights of sleep I've ever had. Being in bed by 10 PM might give off old lady vibes, but if you're used to 2 AM YouTube rabbit holes, just scale it back to 12 or 1 AM. Scale back incrementally from what your habits currently are. Additionally, getting enough exercise and physical activity in the day will lessen your body's resistance to a proper rest.

2. Instant boost in the morning. | To help reprogram your brain to like doing hard things, gratification is your friend. In this case, it could be a cup of coffee the minute you wake up, a nice shower, a breakfast, a moment to journal, etc. Pick anything you'd love to indulge in (and will have time for!) Maybe you like taking photos! Get those Insta filters on and take a photo with the morning light everyday. Whip some Dalgona and sprain your wrist by 8 AM. Whatever suits your fancy, okay?

3. Make use of those windows. | Like I said, the natural light from my window is what signals my body to get up — more so than alarms. Keeping your curtains open will help keep your bedroom from turning into a bat cave 'til noon: think of it as nature's wake-up call.

4. The first morning will always be the hardest. | I'm talking a really loud alarm, and a really cranky morning attitude. That will happen – as it still does to me, whenever I wake after a night of sleeping too late. I only have one advice when this happens: Sit up. Just, sit up. Not turn and bury your face into your pillow, or hit "Snooze" again to later regret breaking your own promises. When morning comes, and your alarm is blaring a song you're going to hate for the rest of your life, just sit up. That one small step. Then see what happens.

Now to this artwork on my wall...

When I first moved into my apartment, one of my qualms was dealing with all the empty wall space. I'm very picky with decor; I didn't want anything too distracting, nor did I want vacant spaces. So when Photowall Sweden reached out to offer one of their products as a gift, it was heaven-sent! (This one's called Serene Seaside.)

Photowall is a Swedish wall art company with a massive catalogue of artworks, paintings, and photographs. Their products are manufactured in Sweden — known for their tasteful interiors, of course — and are shipped worldwide.

It took me no more than a week to receive my order (which means a great deal when you live in the bottom tip of Australia.) The quality was genuinely impressive, and the assembling so easy and straightforward, I had made it halfway before realising the instruction manual that came with the package.

Today, you, dear readers, can enjoy an exclusive 25% OFF on any Photowall product! You can get a taste of their range, which includes everything from wallpapersmurals, to framed or canvas prints (like mine!)

So if you want to spruce up your living space (which you probably do, with all this time we're spending indoors), use the discount code joanneamarisa25 to redeem your 25% discount. This code is valid until June 30th 2020, and can be applied from anywhere you are in the world.

This post features gifted items from Photowall

As always, I hope you're all staying safe and continuing to take care of yourself.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you also get overly excited about new decor?

Talk to you soon.