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Are These Common Mistakes Ruining Your Morning Routine? Part 2

In part one of this blog post, we began to discuss the importance of routines and the likelihood that individuals will begin to reimplement structures that worked for them prior to the pandemic. However, now that we’ve had the time to step away from these routines, we have the ability to make some changes and shift them so we’re able to gain the best potential benefits. While feeling the desire to boost productivity and implement more of a structure is great, it’s how it’s done that’s important. Part 2 of this blog post will go over additional mistakes many people make when attempting to implement a morning routine, and suggestions for what to do instead.

Mistake 4: avoiding morning hydration 

Growing up I was consistently told how important it was to have breakfast. To this day there’s conflicting research around whether breakfast is as important as people have said. Personally, I find when I eat first thing in the morning, I’m sluggish and tired. Taking the time to explore whether eating breakfast, and at what time, works for you thorough trial and error can be very effective. While I’m not going to sit here and preach the importance of breakfast when I don’t even eat it myself, I will preach the importance of morning hydration. Research has shown a strong connection between our ability to concentrate and be productive with our hydration levels. “Studies have shown that even mild dehydration, as little as a 1% dip in hydration status, can impair mood, memory, concentration and executive function.” When we sleep, our body naturally dehydrates. Making sure to drink water in the morning is very important in making sure your brain is on and ready for the day.

Mistake 5: attempting to multitask 

Today’s society has glorified overworking and tackling countless things at the same time. While this is an expectation many of us struggle with, multitasking actually reduces productivity by up to 40% and can have significant long-term impacts on the brain. While multitasking may be glorified by society, in reality, it’s incredibly unhealthy. Instead, try monotasking or focusing on one task at a time. Scheduling out blocks of time for specific tasks can be incredibly helpful and containing. When we have a million things to do and attempt to do them all at once we tend to feel scatterbrained and out of control. Creating a structure that allows us to focus on one thing at a time can make all the difference in how we experience each day. 

Mistake 6: making up for yesterday’s procrastination

Prior to the pandemic, when we actually had somewhere to go in the morning, many of us would meal prep or put our stuff together the night before. While this may seem like a small thing, prepping the night before makes a huge difference for the following day. Prepping for the following day after a long day at work can sound like a terrible idea. However, it’s been shown it can make a big difference in productivity and could end up leading to more downtime. While meal-prepping doesn’t make as much sense now as it used to, writing out a to do list for the following day and looking over the next day’s schedule can be incredibly helpful. Having an idea of what the next day holds allows the following morning to be much calmer and less frantic. Prepping for the next day also includes getting enough sleep. Sleep deserves a blog unto itself, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Mistake 7: doing too much 

For many of us, when the alarm goes off that signals the beginning of running around doing a million things at once (see mistake 5). For those with kids that makes the morning even more stressful. Trying to do too much at one time can backfire leaving us feeling drained and exhausted before the day has even begun. It’s important to begin the day slowly with a sense of calm. This may mean setting our alarms a bit earlier so we can get up before our kids or partner or to give us more time before work begins. Some peaceful ways to begin your morning could be walking your dog, journaling, meditating, reading or sitting with a cup of coffee. Having some quiet grounding minutes in the morning will set you up to better handle the chaos of the day.

All of the mistakes and suggestions discussed in part 1 and 2 of these blog posts will allow you to get the most out of your morning. However, if everything is attempted to be implemented at once, this will likely backfire as it’s incredibly difficult to make a large number of consistent changes at the same time. I encourage you to go slowly, implementing one thing at a time, building off of what you already do. Be kind to yourselves.

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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