3 Morning Habits That Ruin Your Whole Day — and 3 That Make It

Waking up at the last minute and rushing through traffic on your way to work isn’t the best way to start your day. It isn’t only stressful in that moment, but it can leave you feeling fatigued, and even immunocompromised.

The morning habits we get into set the tone for our productivity, energy, health and mood.

Identifying the parts of your routine that boost or ruin your day is one step in improving your lifestyle and contentment.

First, let’s see which habits you should ditch.

Scrolling social media on your phone in bed

Social media is designed to keep you addicted and scrolling. The addictive nature of social media can keep you in bed longer than you would be otherwise, possibly making you late or forcing you to rush.

Constant scrolling can cause fatigue and social media use can hurt your mental health. Starting your morning off looking at filtered photos and posts designed to cause FOMO (fear of missing out) can put you in a negative mindset for the day.

Rushing out the door

It’s easy to oversleep or spend too much time getting ready. When that happens, we’re left in the position to rush as we leave for work or school. Although racing out to our obligations is an easy habit to fall into, it has immediate and long-term consequences.

The brain releases a hormone called cortisol when feeling stressed — hence it often being called the stress hormone. Putting your nervous system into gear like that right after waking can lead to fatigue. It can also make it harder to concentrate, give you headaches, or make you restless throughout the day.

Not rehydrating

The hours you (hopefully) spend sleeping make up a big chunk of your day without any water intake. Even a minute level of dehydration can lead to cognitive issues like poor memory and focus.

The longer you go without hydrating, the more likely you’ll feel less energized and can even be at an increased risk of anxiety.

If you’re focusing on your weight, drinking water right away can help you as well — drinking water on an empty stomach can leave you feeling fuller for longer.

Habits that make your day

Maybe you don’t have any bad morning habits. Still, there are a few things you could likely add to your routine to make your day even better.

Getting the adrenaline pumping

A group of researchers in the United Kingdom conducted a unique study published in 2019. More than 100 participating office workers went down the 584-foot-long slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower in London that is the tallest sculpture in the U.K. The ride down lasts 40 seconds and reaches speeds up to 15 miles per hour.

Researchers found that after the adrenaline rush, workers’ average stress levels fell by 25%, productivity rose by 20%, creativity by 22% and energy by 32%.

But if you don’t have access to the U.K.’s tallest sculpture during your morning routine, an intense workout can do the trick and get adrenaline in your system.

Making your bed

As annoying as it may sound, making your bed can be a helpful habit. Researchers with Best Mattress Brand recently surveyed 1,000 adults about their bed-making habits. Nearly all (92%) surveyed bed-makers said that making their bed leads to better time management, increased productivity and improved work quality.

Researchers noted that bed-makers were more likely to maintain routines and healthy habits.

Writing a to-do list

Focusing throughout your day can be hard. A to-do list can help.

A list of your goals for the day doesn’t have to seem overwhelming. Research shows that goal setting is an effective tool for maintaining attention on a task.

Plus, crossing items off your list makes your brain feel good.

Your to-do list will be even more effective at motivating you if you break down large goals into smaller ones.

Do you have a large presentation to do for work? Don’t just write “make the presentation” on your list. Think of everything you’ll need or have to do to create that presentation, put those steps down and cross them off as you work.

Not only will writing down your goals improve your day, but following through on tasks that involve light physical activity can also improve your longevity, according to researchers from the University of California – San Diego.

This article was written by Gillian Manning, who has previously worked as assistant editor at the personal finance site Debt.com. She’s written for regional daily newspapers and trade publications — some specializing in personal finance, diversity issues, and education.

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