You wake up finally, after the third snooze. You’re still tired, but what else is new? Grabbing your phone, you scroll through social media and it’s other people’s vacation pics as far as the eye can see. You toss back the covers, trip on yesterday’s clothing, and stumble into the shower. Jeeze, this morning would be easier if you had remembered that you’re out of coffee. If this sounds familiar to you, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that your morning behaviors are sabotaging your ability to have a healthy, productive day. The good news is, there’s lots of room for improvement!
You Snooze, You Lose
It seems like such a relief. All we have to do to slip back into bliss is hit that snooze button for an extra five minutes of rest, right? Wrong. According to sleep experts, snoozing may actually inhibit the body’s ability to dip into restorative REM sleep and may make you more tired along the day. Additionally, using the snooze option sends the message that you have failed to be able to get up at the appointed time. You’ve started your day with a clear message of powerlessness and defeat.
But, First Coffee…
Anxiety likes chaos. In fact, it increases in a chaotic environment. Clothing on the floor, an unmade bed, and an empty pantry can all contribute to the feeling that things are out of control. Starting your day with five minutes of organization can nip most of this in the bud. Make your bed, put your clothing away, write a quick shopping list to pick up essentials on the way to or from work. And always, always give yourself the gift of a few minutes for coffee (or anything else!).
Gratitude: the Anti-Scroll
If the goal is to begin the day feeling positive about yourself and life in general, the last thing you want to do is scroll through social media. The tendency to compare ourselves to others and judge yourself based on Likes or comments is overwhelming. The fix for this? Gratitude. Instead of looking “out” for validation, try looking within. Spend just a few moments thinking about five things that you’re grateful for. You don’t even need to write them down! Just the act of considering things that make you feel a sense of gratitude is enough to create a positive mood.
Be Like Oprah, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs…
OK, maybe not Steve Jobs It is true that many successful people have cultivated morning routines that they repeat day in and day out in order to feel their best. It might be twenty minutes of meditation like Oprah or eating breakfast with the family like Richard Branson, but each person needs those precious rituals to thrive. Like Steve Jobs’ unsuccessful attempt to eliminate bathing, your routine might need some tweaking at the beginning. Once you find what works, stick with it! Just don’t forget the soap!
Seligman, M., Steen, T., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions.American Psychologist,60(5), 410-421.doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.60.5.410 Bourg Carter, S. (2012). Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies Foley, B. (2017). 10 Things You Can Do This Morning To Heal Your Anxiety. Retrieved from https://medium.com/personal-growth/10-things-you-can-do-this-morning-to-heal-your-anxiety-d1e320aef4b1