We all have our morning habits and rituals that we rely upon to set us on the right path for the day. Many people dread waking up and spend a considerable amount of mental and emotional energy to get going.
But have you ever considered your morning habits?
Truthfully, I think we’re doing it wrong.
Today we are going to look at some of our most typical morning mistakes and some alternatives to try and develop healthier habits to improve our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Hitting the Snooze Button
The dreaded sound of the morning alarm from our smartphones invokes an almost instantaneous Pavlovian reaction that plays out in two parts:
– The snooze-button reflex
– The mental justification (“Just five more minutes!”)
Repeat as necessary until you’re almost too late to properly prepare for whatever it is you need to do that day. Rushing through your shower, skipping breakfast, and not realizing your socks aren’t coordinated is no way to start the day, trust me.
Just get up.
Move your phone, alarm clock, dog – whatever it is that gets you up in the morning away from your bed. Make yourself get out of bed and walk to whatever that thing is to turn it off.
Great! Now that you’re already out of bed, we can move on to the next step.
Reading News and Social Media
Some of us cope with the daily trauma of leaving our comfortable beds by distracting our brains with the agitating and completely unproductive stimuli of scrolling through news feeds.
Don’t do this. Just don’t.
Your morning should be about reflection and slowly easing into your day in the most positive way possible. When was the last time you found anything positive coming from your news alerts? Probably never. When was the last time you read a comment about a political issue and came away from that experience feeling anything other than irritation?
If you are a morning reader, skip the newspaper and block news websites from your phone. Instead, read positive affirmations and stories that are uplifting to help you start the day.
You can read more about how news and social media affect us by reading our blog article: “Modernity: Why Modern Society is the Source of Mental Illness.”
Are you a complainer in the morning? Do you like to make sure that EVERYONE knows how poorly you slept the night before? If you do, you’re setting the wrong tone for yourself and everyone around you.
If you are looking for sympathy and validation based on something negative, you are essentially telling your brain that the day is already shot before you have the chance to start it.
Misery does not love company, misery loves loneliness – and nobody wants to hear about your sleep problems (not even you)!
Instead, start your day by recognizing all the things that you’re grateful for. Gratitude is a powerfully positive influence to start your day on the right foot. There’s ALWAYS something for which you can be grateful. Sometimes we have to look hard to find it – but we have to start somewhere.
Eating Foods That are Sugary and High in Caffeine
When the effects of sugar and caffeine are combined, the short-term energy boost you think you are receiving results in an unpleasant crash within hours – usually around lunchtime. We receive sudden and almost irresistible urges for more carbohydrates, sugars, and unhealthy foods that make us feel satisfied for short periods until our next crash.
It’s not easy to get around this when most of our breakfast foods consist of sugar, carbohydrates, baked goods, and coffee.
Try to have protein-rich foods in the morning like eggs, cheese, and milk to keep your energy up and your cravings at bay. Learn more about curbing cravings and developing better impulse control in our article “Dopamine Fasting: Proven Techniques to Master Your Impulses.”
The Effects of Caffeine in the Body. (2020). Retrieved November 17, 2020, from http://svmsl.chem.cmu.edu/vmsl/caffeine/caffeine_effects.htm
The Harmful Effects of Sugar and Choosing Healthy Alternatives. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2020, from https://www.naturalnews.com/022692.html
Inspired by an article published in Medium.com