Morning Habits that Hurt You
Better Ways to Start Your Day
The way you start your morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Want to have a better one? Skip these tempting traps when you wake up.
Don’t use the snooze button. If you hit it, your body relaxes and you attempt to fall back asleep. Unfortunately just as you’re beginning to drift off, the alarm sounds again. Often you’re even more tired than the first time you pressed snooze because your sleep cycle has been interrupted. You also have less time to get ready, starting your day off feeling rushed. Turn on a light or open curtains to let light in, then get out of bed and move your body.
Quit watching negative news. I’m an information junkie and one of the first things I used to do every morning was turn on a news program. Over the course of the next hour my emotions would bounce from alarm, to anger, to disbelief and back again. I was watching multiple talking heads engage in impromptu debates about the scandals of the day, without actually getting much in-depth information.
Getting news like that was similar to eating a diet of potato chips. Not really good for you but with just enough flavor to keep you coming back for more. What it did for my emotional state of mind was bad. When I went off to work it made me agitated and upset. The solution was to change where (and how) I get my news.
I subscribe to newspapers and magazines that deliver clear and concise stories. Instead of spending an hour watching a dozen people argue their opinion, I can read a concise wrap-up of the event in less than five minutes. I also subscribe to industry specific newsletters for stories that are more uplifting or that provide insights I can use to do my job better.
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Don’t read your email when you first get up. The first hour or so of your day should be dedicated to you and your needs, not responding to requests from everyone else. That means you should focus on getting a good breakfast, exercising and preparing for the day. Avoid opening your work email until you get to work and are getting paid to deal with it.
Quit checking social media first thing in the morning. It’s way too easy to get sucked into all the things your friends have been doing while you were offline. Remember that those apps and sites are designed to lure you in and keep you engaged. The longer you stay on their site, the more ads they can feed to your screen. Save it as a way to reward yourself after you’ve completed your tasks for the day. But even then, set a timer so you don’t spend any more time than you planned in advance.
Stop eating sugar for breakfast. Sugar filled cereals covered with sugar filled milk, followed by a sugar filled glass of juice is a really bad way to start the day. A single cup of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal has 18 grams of sugar. A cup of 2% milk on top adds another 12 grams of sugar. A twelve-ounce glass of orange juice packs on 31 more grams of sugar. Just those three items will hit you with 61 grams of sugar. The average person should limit their sugar intake to between 40 and 60 grams of sugar over the entire day, not packed into the very first meal.
Better breakfast choices include oatmeal topped with fresh fruit. Mix together a whole egg, some egg whites and vegetables into an omelet. Spread cream cheese on a whole-wheat bagel and top it with salmon. Spend an extra ten minutes to make a protein packed breakfast. It’ll give you energy to start your morning and help prevent cravings that lead to poor choices later in the day.
Try these changes and have your best morning ever.
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