By CAROLYN STEBER via Bustle Online Media
Everyone has a morning routine to some degree. Some of us pepper in a few healthy habits, and some of us blindly tumble out the door. Whichever route is your MO, you may be wondering if your morning routine sabotages your day.
To figure it out, go ahead and take a look at how your go-to habits make you feel. Do you slap your snooze and oversleep? Or do you pop out of bed and partake in some yoga? Depending on which route you choose, I bet you notice a difference in the day that follows.
If you slap your snooze, for example, I bet the rest of your day always feels rushed and frantic. And if you do something nice for yourself — like that aforementioned yoga — then it's my guess your day ends up being a bit more organized.
That's because, like it or not, your morning routine really can make or break your day. This is obviously true for the glaring problems (like that snooze alarm). But it's also true for things you don't necessarily view as bad. Read on for some morning mistakes you might be making, and how they can sabotage 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 MO, 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. While totally normal, it's not 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 New
It seems pretty innocent to flip on the TV when you first wake up. And yet, bombarding yourself with one bad piece of news after the next sets a negative 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," says nutrition consultant Stacy Goldberg, MPH, RN, BSN, in an email to Bustle. If you can't be bothered with a whole meal, she tells me to at least 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 turn 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. Clearly, that's not good. "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 stomach ache 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," says self-help guru Rhiannon Rees, via email. 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, says in an email to Bustle, "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.
It seems so simple, and yet what you do in the morning really can have quite the impact on your day. If you think some of your habits are sabotaging your life, then switch things up. Your mornings — and you days — will start running smoother in no time.