It’s easy to fall into a routine of bad habits, especially in the early mornings where you’re groggy and unconcerned with anything besides where your coffee is.
Even innocent little things, like hitting your snooze button, can be negatively affecting your health. Recurring bad habits in the morning not only starts your day off poorly, but can impact your long-term wellness, too.
“In order for people to really break a bad habit, they have to first recognize the reward they’re getting from that bad habit, and then they’ve got to replace it with something more constructive,” says life and mentor coach Bruno LoGreco.
In this case, the clear carrot-on-a-stick is a healthier, better start to your day. LoGreco identifies different morning habits that plague the typical morning riser, and what to do to break them:
Hitting your snooze button.
Sure, hitting the magic button on your alarm that grants the gift of 10 extra minutes of surplus sleep feels like a lifesaver, but it can get your day off to a bad start too. You’re off to a later start, leading to potentially staying at work longer – and who wants to do that?
“By the time you get to the office, you’ve got to sit down, you’ve got to get acclimated, you’ve got to check your e-mails, you’ve got to figure out what’s going on for that day. You’re already behind the eight ball,” explained LoGreco.
Solution: Resist the urge for that extra bit of morning grace time, and remind yourself the sooner you start your day, the sooner you’ll be home with all that leisure time in the evening.
“Look at it and say: ‘I’m going to get up early today,’” said LoGreco. “I’m going to get through everything that I need to get through and that will allow me to come home early, on time, and spend more time with my family or my loved one.”
If you fall into the snooze button trap, that usually leads to bad hygiene. Running late for work or school means you might skip brushing your teeth or having a shower.
Solution: Pretty simple – make time! Practicing good hygiene is not only good for your health, but something like taking a shower for example, can also help “cleanse” your soul. LoGreco believes you can wash away bad energy from a previous day.
Waking up late – we’re looking at you again, snooze button – tends to make people skip breakfast. It’s well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s a significant negative impact when you aren’t eating early.
“The prefrontal cortex needs energy,” said LoGreco. “And when you’re sleeping all night and you haven’t had any food in your system for about 12 or 13 hours, your prefrontal cortex is depleted. So not having proper nutrition actually slows you down and drags your morning.”
Solution: Try making breakfast ready to eat the night before, so little if any prep is required. Or if you’re chronically late, make an on-the-go breakfast snack for your trip to work or when you get to the office. Either of these two solutions won’t add any extra time to your morning, and you get all the benefits of a good breakfast.
Having breakfast…but it’s energy drinks.
Tying back to breakfast, many people recognize how important it is, yet don’t have the proper meal. One example is energy drinks for breakfast.
Energy drinks don’t give you any nutritional or energy boost you think you’re getting like a real breakfast would afford you. According to LoGreco, it’s simply an artificial energy boost and these people will “come crashing down in just a few minutes.”
Solution: Forget the energy drinks (at any time of the day, really), and sub in a healthy smoothie. It’s a solid source of natural energy, and is something you can prepare the night before or enjoy on-the-go, as suggested in the previous tip.