Everyone has a morning routine to some degree. Maybe you wake up early and partake in a few healthy habits, or maybe you just sleepily tumble out the door. Whichever route is your MO, you may be wondering if your morning routine is sabotaging your day.
To figure it out, go ahead and think about how your go-to habits make you feel. Do you slap your snooze and oversleep, then spend the morning panicking as you get ready? Or do you pop out of bed and do some yoga, then spend the day in Zenned out bliss? Depending on what you do in the a.m., it's clear that your routine can impact the day that follows.
So yes, that morning routine of yours really can make or break your day. But the thing is, even supposedly "healthy" habits can cause problems, too. This isn't the best news for those of us who love a morning smoothie, or who think popping onto Facebook is a great way to wake up. (Hint: these aren't always the best things to do first thing.)
Of course, you should always stick to the routine that makes you feel best, but it can help to know how your morning habits can sneakily come back to haunt you a few hours later. Wondering what some of them might be? Then read on for a few ways you're accidentally sabotaging your day.
1. Hating The Fact You Have To Get Up
Only a select few can happily leap out of bed to greet the day, so if that's not your jam, don't worry too much. But do make a conscious effort to start your morning with some positivity, lest you set a negative tone for the rest of the day. The best way to do this is with some gratitude. "If you can focus your thoughts on how much you have and then direct that gratitude outward, your day will be infinitely more energized, connected, and fulfilling," says life coach Lesley Yadon, MA, in an email to Bustle.
2. Hitting Snooze A Million Times
While hitting snooze feels great in the moment, it pretty much guarantees a frantic, rushed day. And if "you begin your morning in a rush, you are liable to activate the body's fight-or-flight mechanism, resulting in a potentially stressful day," says author and behaviorist Robin H-C, in an email to Bustle. This reaction is pretty hard to undo once it's set in motion, so do yourself a favor and start getting up on time.
3. Letting Your First Thoughts Of The Day Be Random
When you wake up, it's totally normal to be hit with a wave of thoughts, to-do lists, and worries. And yet, it's not exactly a good idea to let your brain run away with itself. "If you let your brain run amuck in the morning, you are wasting precious energy thinking about nothing," Yadon says. By focusing your thoughts, you'll be prioritizing what's important — and may even get more done with your day.
4. Checking The News
It seems pretty innocent to flip on the TV when you first wake up. But bombarding yourself with one bad piece of news after the next can set a depressing tone for a day. "Science shows us what we do in the first 30 minutes ... of the day has a profound impact on our thoughts and mood," says H-C. So avoid the horrors of the news, at least until later on in the day.
5. Skipping Out On Breakfast
This one never feels like a big deal — especially if you're the type who doesn't feel hungry in the morning. But taking the time to eat a little something can make all the difference in the world. "Eating a breakfast that is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats helps to stabilize your blood sugar and make you more focused and prepared for the day," nutrition consultant Stacy Goldberg, MPH, RN, BSN, tells Bustle. If you can't be bothered with a whole meal, try for something small (like a boiled egg).
6. Not Drinking Any Liquids
When you wake up, your body is pretty dehydrated from going eight hours sans water. And that's why it's not a good idea to skip the liquids in the morning, Goldberg tells me. Unless you want to be dehydrated all day, start off with a glass of water, grab a cup of coffee, or sip on some almond milk. Rehydrating will make all the difference in how you'll feel the rest of the day.
8. Partaking In Sugary Cereals
I love cereal. And donuts. And glasses of orange juice. But these things all have one thing in common — sugar. If you have too much of it in the morning (like I do), you might find yourself struggling with fuzzy thinking, or jonesing for lunch come 10 a.m. "Eating this type of breakfast puts you on the blood sugar roller coaster and you end up on it all day long," says nutrition professional Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, in an email to Bustle. Definitely not ideal.
9. Looking For Your Keys In A Panic
Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I've turned my apartment upside down looking for my keys. If you also do this on the regular, then you know the sweat-inducing panic it creates — and that's hardly a way to start the day. "Walking out the door frazzled from looking for your keys for 10 minutes can make the rest of the day fall into the same pattern," says chiropractor and speaker Dr. Rubina Tahir. Get in the habit of leaving them by the door, and you'll save yourself the drama.
10. Drinking A Super Cold Smoothie
Are you in the habit of mixing up a super cold smoothie every morning? If so, good on you for making a healthy breakfast. But did you know icy drinks can mess with your digestive tract? The body’s digestive system fairs better with warm and room temperature beverages, author and yoga instructor Lauren Imparato tells me. So if you aways get a stomachache by midmorning, this could be the culprit. Stick to warmer drinks and you'll also be giving your immune system a boost. Pretty cool, right?
11. Letting Your Worries Get The Best Of You
How often do you lie in bed and worry about the day to come? If your answer is "always," then consider that a morning mistake. "Waking up worried and creating drama first thing in the morning is a great way to sabotage your day," self-help guru Rhiannon Rees tells Bustle. Of course, it can't always be helped. But if you can do anything to decrease your anxiety in the morning, get to it. You'll notice such a change in the rest of your day.
12. Not Taking Time To Get Ready
We all occasionally have to roll out of bed and dash off to work in yesterday's makeup. But if you do this on the regular, know you're doing a huge disservice to your day. Taking the time to get ready, and really focusing on yourself, can make a big difference. As nutritionist Annie B. Kay, MS, RDN, LDN, RYT, tells me, "Spending a little time caring for yourself sets the stage for a better day filled with better choices."
13. Checking Social Media First Thing
Yes, it's incredibly tempting to open your eyes and immediately reach for your phone. But diving right into social media — or even just texts and emails — can affect your productivity for the rest of the day. If you take the time to shower or have breakfast first, you'll find yourself getting more done with your day, life coach Leah Lesesne, MA, tells me. It's all about prioritizing your morning, and thus prioritizing your day.
Do you recognize some of these bad habits? Then switch things up and start tweaking that morning routine. I promise you'll notice a dramatic difference in how you feel — and how much you get done — with the rest of your day.
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