Morning Routine? You are awake but lying on your bed with your phone getting caught up on missed alerts, checking news and emails, and suddenly, you realize it’s getting late for a 9 am call. You must shower, wake up the kids, make breakfast, review your slides, and hop on the call.
It’s 10 pm i.e. bedtime, but the TV show you’re watching is hard to resist and you want to sneak in one more episode. After all, you’ve started to work remotely and there’s no need to go to the office anymore. Next thing you know, you binged on three more episodes and woke up groggy and irritated the next day.
Do these scenarios seem familiar? They sure do; don’t be ashamed to admit it.
In the past few months, our lives have altered significantly; no one remains untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. The lines between our personal and professional lives have blurred. Weekdays and weekends feel the same and it’s getting hard to keep track of the date and time. Some days you’re bursting with energy and want to change the world while other days, you’re in a state of torpor to wash even the one dirty plate in your sink.
This muddled lifestyle can be straightened by creating a morning routine for yourself. A morning routine is a simple set of do’s and don’ts – slight modifications to your lifestyle that can help you start the day on a pleasant note and keep you productive throughout the day. There isn’t a one-routine-fits-all approach but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Get a night of good sleep:
You’ve probably heard this a hundred times so what’s the harm in a hundred-and-oneth time? Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for the body to recuperate and rejuvenate from the day’s activities. There is an entire science behind how sleep can reduce stress, fight negative thoughts, and increase your productivity. Make sure to have a comfy mattress and pillows and stop viewing any screens (phone, laptop, or TV) about 30 minutes prior to sleep.
Eliminate the snooze zone:
While it’s important to get a good night’s sleep, it’s equally important to wake up on time. It’s very tempting to sneak in a few extra ZZZ’s by hitting the snooze button, but it can actually be counterproductive. Ever wondered why you feel foggy and unsettled after snoozing your alarm? There are various stages of sleep and the latter part of the sleep cycle, called REM sleep or dream sleep, is where the mind is in a restorative state.
When you are aroused during REM sleep, the mind has not had a chance to be completely restored, hence the grogginess and irritability. Getting a few extra minutes of sleep using the snooze button does not reproduce REM sleep. That is why it is very important to go to bed at a reasonable time so that you can get wake up at a reasonable time AND get 7-8 hours of good sleep.
Image from We’re talking about Food
Skip the morning tech fix:
In an era of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, most of us like to get our daily updates as soon as we wake up. About 75% of people browse social media and 88% browse emails on their smartphone. One of the reasons driving people to do this is FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. Nobody wants to be the last one to know what their favorite celebrity is up to or what was the latest market report from the Fed lest you be considered ignorant by your peers. Try not to give in to your phone cravings as soon as you get up.
Meditation involves clearing your mind of all thoughts or focusing your mind on a single object and becoming more mindful of your surroundings. More and more people have turned to meditation as a means of de-stressing the mind and body. It’s also become a way of connecting with one another via meditation communities and apps such as Headspace and Calm. While it may be hard to concentrate at first, start with 5-7 minutes of daily meditation and work your way up.
Image from Verywell mind
Move your body:
Although the best time for working out is subjective, there are numerous studies that show a morning workout to be more beneficial in kickstarting the day, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress, and allowing you to perform at a higher level of productivity. It doesn’t have to be to a full-fledged 1-hour gym type workout either – 20 minutes of mild aerobic activity will suffice.
You can also choose to go outdoors for a walk, bike, or run; it will provide a change of scenario from being cooped up inside and infuse a breath of fresh air. Make sure to take precautions if exercising outside such as traversing less-crowded paths and trails, practicing social distancing, carrying a mask, and washing your hands thoroughly post-workout.
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