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Are These Common Mistakes Ruining Your Morning Routine? Part 1

I’m sure I’m not alone in consistently hearing about the importance of a morning routine. Apparently, a good morning routine can change your life. Sounds pretty nice, huh? Routines in general have seemingly gone out the window during the pandemic and for good reason. However, as we approach what will eventually be our new normal, it’s expected people will start to implement old routines and patterns they partook in prior to the pandemic. While feeling the desire to boost productivity and implement more of a structure is great, it’s how it’s done that’s important. Tackling every routine people engage in is pretty impossible in general, let alone in a blog post. This specific blog post will go over mistakes many people make when attempting to implement a morning routine, and suggestions for what to do instead.

Mistake 1: waking up early

Let me clarify, if you naturally wake up early or enjoy waking up early, please continue to do so. However, if you want to cry when your alarm goes off and you have more time to sleep before starting work, that’s okay too. Society has created a false narrative that in order to be successful you have to wake up early. We’re all wired differently, and we all feel different depending what time we wake up and how much sleep we get. If you’re able to, play around with how much you sleep and what time you wake up. You may find a schedule that’s perfect for you.

Mistake 2: grabbing your phone the second you open your eyes 

For many of us, the first thing we do in the morning is grab our phones. My phone is my alarm clock so the first thing I do every day is reach for my phone. However, I keep my phone on airplane mode while I sleep. Reaching for our phones and seeing all the missed emails, calls or texts puts us into reactive mode. Reactive mode meaning we’re functioning in response to something else instead of creating a plan ourselves. This sets the tone for the day.  A more proactive start to the day could include journaling, setting intentions, making a to-do list, going through your schedule, etc. We are in control of how we spend our time and how we function throughout the day. Immediately grabbing our phones makes it feel like that control has been taken away.

Mistake 3: staying in pajamas

This mistake wasn’t something we had to worry about prior to the pandemic. We knew there would be consequences if we showed up to work in our pajamas. However, there don’t seem to be any consequences for staying in your pajamas at home. This perception is not necessarily the reality. “There’s a thing in psychology called ‘enclothed cognition’ which shows us that the brain performs differently if you’re wearing a suit, and you get better intelligence scores if you’re wearing a scientist’s lab coat – even if you’re not a scientist.” Now, I’m not telling you to put on a suit to sit at your kitchen table. We don’t have to make big adjustments so quickly. Instead, I recommend, at the very least changing into different clothes than what you slept in. Taking it a step further, changing into athleisure clothes versus simply sweatpants. We have a long way to go to get back to how we dressed prior to the pandemic but getting dressed makes a huge impact on our mental state. Getting dressed “… tells your brain something new is about to happen and helps you shift gears.”

Identifying and making changes to our routines isn’t something that can be done effectively all at once. I recommend beginning by implementing the different strategies discussed above before continuing on to part 2. 

If you’ve found yourself struggling to implement a comfortable and helpful morning routine, it may be useful to try counseling. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled counselors in Chicago today!

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