When we wake up in the morning, most of us focus on getting ready and getting out the door as quickly as possible. With this all this haste, we might not be taking our time to start our morning off on the right foot and probably have some bad morning habits we should ditch. We focus so much energy on bigger goals, like sleeping well the night before, getting to work on time, and finding a moment to go to the gym, but how you start your day can impact how you feel for hours to come. Starting your morning off in a frazzle can have a negative impact on the rest of your afternoon and evening.
"Morning healthy habits set a positive physical and emotional tone for the day," says Joel B. Ingersoll, Ph.D., CMC over email. "By engaging in activities connected to your physical, psychological, and spiritual health in the morning you are more alert, energized, and ready to fulfill your daily goals."
Beginning your morning with healthy habits doesn't necessarily mean you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and complete a full on workout before headed to the office, but the little things do matter. For a more upbeat and productive day, consider ditching these seven morning habits that are bad for your wellbeing.
1. Hitting The Snooze Button
"When you hit snooze, you disrupt your sleep cycles and you end up sleepier than if you had gotten up in the first place," says neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez over email. "You also scramble your internal circadian clock, which tells you when to sleep and when to wake. This makes it even harder to get up when your alarm rings."
2. Skipping Breakfast
Multiple studies show that eating breakfast helps improve your focus and energy levels, keeps you full and prevents you from overeating later, and lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to multiple studies. "You don’t need to make an entire spread for yourself with eggs, toast and fruit, but you should be starting your morning with something healthy for you," says Hafeez. "If you’re in a rush, grab a pack of trail mix or a yogurt to stow away in your purse until you get to where you need to be."
3. Getting Ready With The Blinds Closed
"To help you start your day with a positive mood and to set your internal clock (so that you can wind down later at night), you need sunlight," says Hafeez. Research not only shows that light can affect your sleep and wake cycles, but a study from the journal PLOS One found that exposure to morning light is linked lower body mass index. "The more light the better, so open the shades all the way as soon as you get out of bed."
4. Relying On Coffee
Although coffee does have its positive health benefits, relying on the drink every single morning can wreak havoc on your overall energy levels. "Coffee is great, and there is not problem with drinking your cup of joe, but if you are that tired in the morning, you should either aim to get more sleep at night, exercise in the morning to wake up, or try having a healthy breakfast," says Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, Co-Author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?.
5. Making Last Minute Decisions
Pick your outfit the night before, have your lunch packed away, and keep your keys waiting by the front door. "Get rid of any small decisions that will tax your decision-making power early on in the day, like deciding what to wear or what to have for breakfast," says Melody J. Wilding, LMSW over email. "It's why the world's most successful people wear the same 'uniform' every day."
6. Checking Your Phone Right Away
"Phones have now become an essential part of our lives, and usually the first thing we do once our eyes open is to check our calls and messages," says Hafeez. "Psychologists do not recommend this behavior, since they believe that it makes people unhappy and lowers their productivity throughout the day. Take some time for yourself in the morning, before you check your phone. You can read a book, go for a walk or do some meditation."
7. Anticipating The Worst
It's time to stop dreading your workday. "Few things are more stressful than rushing out the door each morning when your mind is filled with a negative attitude, pessimistic thoughts, and complaining," says Ingersoll. "Define your morning with enjoyable activities and inspirational reading for a positive start."
No one's perfect, but the more you can get rid of these habits that could potentially hinder your day, the more motivated you will feel.
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