“The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn.” — William C. Hannan.
If you wake up and spend the early hours of the day soaking in the positives, you can guarantee that you will have a good day ahead of you. Even if you face any obstacle in your path, you are more likely to overcome the difficulties with much ease.
If I have to draw a comparison, I will call the mornings as the start of a race. If you get good momentum in the beginning, you can easily sail through the race and reach the finish point successfully.
However, on the other hand, if the start is rough, it will take you more work to catch up with the early loss.
Sometimes we take on habits that hamper the mornings. The benefits that we can soak in are lost. Thus, it becomes necessary to know what to do, and what not to do.
While knowing the necessary steps to do in the morning is important, however knowing the traps you need to avoid are equally important.
There are 6 things that you should NOT do before the clock reaches 9 AM.
1. Hitting the snooze button.
The very first worst thing you can do in the morning is to hit the snooze button.
All of us are guilty of this. Every day I used to press the snooze button multiple times before I would get out of bed. I would rarely wake up with the first ring of my alarm tone.
However, it has been found that hitting the snooze button is actually bad for your sleeping pattern. The science behind this is that when you are about to wake up in the morning, your body is nearing the completion of your REM cycle.
If you wake up with your alarm, your REM cycle would successfully finish and you will feel much refreshed.
However, if you click on that tempting snooze button to get a few extra minutes of shut-eye, you will go back into the REM cycle. Therefore, when you wake up this time you would be in the middle of the REM cycle, instead of the end.
As a result, you are more likely to feel sluggish and unfocused the entire day.
2. Not moving your body.
It is very comfortable to wake up and stay in your bed for hours, not moving your body.
However, not doing early morning stretching could do more harm, than good. There is a higher chance of you injuring yourself, as well as lesser flexibility in your joints and body if you skip on the morning stretching.
According to a review, “twenty-seven reports published since 1962 indicated that stretching increased trunk flexibility as well as flexibility about the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle joints.”
In addition to this, stretching in the mornings is associated with better mental health and a lowered level of stress.
Relaxing your muscles has a direct effect on relaxing your mind.
3. Not taking time for yourself.
With the hectic schedule, it has become difficult to even give time to your own thoughts.
If you are not going to be with your own thoughts, particularly in the morning time, you are losing out on several benefits for your health and productivity.
The best way to achieve this is by doing morning journaling.
According to this website, morning journaling is “a stream-of-consciousness journaling habit done first thing every morning on a daily basis. The idea is to wake up, open your morning journal, and write three pages of longhand of any thoughts that come out of your head.”
You can start your day by writing in your journal about the things that are coming to your mind. Use your pen as your outlet and let the thoughts and the emotions flow out on the paper.
As you write, do not censor your thoughts.
Other than this, you can also try gratitude journaling where you spend 10 minutes in the morning by reflecting on 3 things you’re grateful for. It is associated with lower stress, anxiety, and better focus.
4. Eating morning cereal as breakfast.
The number of people I know who consume refined carbs in their breakfast is shocking.
Most people do not even know that the breakfast cereal is high in sugar and often has sugar listed as the second or third ingredient.
This means that they have a high amount of added sugar to sweeten the taste, and adding zero benefits to health.
According to Healthline, if you are going to start your mornings with a breakfast cereal that is high in sugar, it will cause a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
When the levels would come down in a couple of hours, they would result in a craving for another high-carb food item.
Thus, it is the best decision to skip these sugary meals and making healthier options for breakfast.
5. Avoiding the windows.
In India, people avoid the sun like the plague.
The simple reason is that they do not want to tan and lose their fair skin. With the colonial hangover still going on, Indians prefer to look fair and “lovely”.
However, avoiding the sun could do harm to your health.
Since we spend hours working in our offices during the day time, it becomes essential to catch up on the morning light, even if it's for 10 minutes.
Catching morning sunlight is associated with an increase in Vitamin D, Immunity, healthy bones, speeding up metabolism, better sleep at nighttime, easing mild depression, and boosting mood.
The best way to do this by sitting near your window as you sip in some morning tea and journal in your notebook. Not only would help you get the other benefits but would also save time for you.
6. Reading work emails in bed.
Checking your work emails in the morning is a habit that you need to let go of.
The mornings are supposed to the time when you have just woken up refreshed, and ready to face the world. Therefore, checking out the stressful emails could set a precedent for a stressful day.
In an article, Jen Glantz, an author, and the CEO of Bridesmaid for Hire, a boutique services company says that limiting the times she would check her work mails actually “ greatly improved her productivity, reduced stress levels, and allowed her to reclaim her schedule.”
Along with this, work-life balance is an essential thing to maintain for a healthy life and health.
Therefore, you need to keep your mornings as relaxing, and avoiding demanding tasks.
Just like a good night routine, a calming morning routine is equally important.
By adding in some soothing things to do in the early hours of the day, you could set the tone of your entire day. Your day can turn into a better, positive version of itself.
“How you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” — Lemony Snicket