You will hear many experts and successful people say they cannot stress enough how important their morning routine and waking up early is to their success. But does it really matter if you just roll out of bed, scramble as fast as you can to find something to wear in an unorganized pile of unfolded laundry, make a coffee to go, feed the dog, and run out the door?
How Routines Boost Mental Health
The morning is when we set the tone for the rest of our day. It is important to work to develop a really strong morning routine that sets you on the right path. You’ll be more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day if you start the day with a workout, meditation, or self-care other positive behavior. Not only does this put you in a better mood, it also helps your body endure being able to sit for up to eight hours without getting restless. If you wait till the end of the day, chances are you’re going to be very tense!
In the morning, the body gets a natural cortisol and energy spike. It is a great time to knock difficult tasks out. Many people tend to postpone the most difficult tasks till later in the day when they are already less energetic. It may be a good time to work out, prepare healthy meals, go outside for a walk or get anything else done that you may find difficult to find time to do. Waiting until later means there’s a good chance these priority tasks will not be completed.
The morning is a great time for some “you” time. You can take advantage of your high energy to give yourself some attention before you go into a day they may be hectic and out of your control. Parents can get up before their child for some much needed alone time to dedicate to their own interests. Doing this first thing is amazing for your sense of self-efficacy and fulfillment. This in turn improves our relationships with others and attitude throughout the day.
The other great thing about a morning routine is that it is a routine. It is a habit that you will get used to and do effortlessly. Our bodies love routines. The circadian rhythm can sync to it. So, make sure you are consistent and waking up at the same time every day. This helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, hormones, and mood.
Making a strong and consistent morning routine your everyday habit is also great for your decision-making capacities. If you have a different morning every day, you are using up your limited decision-making capacities to decide what to do every day. If it is the same, you don’t have to think about it. This is why some people like to wear a uniform to work even if they don’t have to, it is one less thing to have to decide on, so you can focus your energy on more important decisions. It can help to lay out your clothes for the next day the night before.
How can you make your morning routine less of a race to the door and more of a you time ritual? Is there something you always want to do but never actually do? Challenge yourself to answer these questions and create a morning routine that works for you.
“The Miracle Morning“ by Hal Elrod
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister