Mornings can be a dreaded thing for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting your day off on the right foot can be as simple as making a few changes to your routine, such as the ones we talk about below.
Just remember, you don’t have to do a big shift overnight! It’s okay and healthy to take time to build new habits, and find out how to make them work for you.
Don’t hit the snooze button
Look, we know the temptation exists for a reason: when you’re comfy in bed, especially when it’s cold outside, it’s easy to think that “five more minutes” can’t hurt. But the truth is snoozing your alarm disrupts your sleep cycle, and isn’t likely to make you feel more rested.
If anything, it can actually cause you to feel groggier if you end up slipping back into REM sleep, and creating the habit of snoozing your alarm means you’re more likely to end up oversleeping. When in doubt, try setting your alarm clock (or phone) out of reach so you have no choice but to get up.
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Don’t get on your phone
Perhaps you’re already familiar with the concept of a “low dopamine” morning, but if you’re not, all it means is that for the first 30 minutes to an hour after waking up, you focus on activities that won’t give you the same instant gratification.
Looking at your phone first thing has been shown to increase stress and decrease productivity–when the first hit of dopamine you get is from scrolling, that’ll likely be the only thing you want to do for the rest of the day. Instead, try creating a slow morning ritual (like journaling or meditation) to replace your phone for those first few moments.
Don’t skip breakfast
Having a nice, filling meal in the morning is the fuel you need to start your day a lot more energized. That said, it is important to note that not all breakfast foods are created equal: while a doughnut or bowl of cereal may be more convenient, sugary foods can’t keep your energy levels up for long.
Instead, opt for complex carbs, protein and healthy fats: the body takes longer to break those down, and it’ll help stop you from feeling sluggish and unproductive. If you can, try to wait until later in the morning to start drinking coffee, and opt for some water instead to help keep you hydrated.