Creating Healthy Habits: 3 Habits That Are Ruining Your Mornings

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As we’ve discussed in our previous posts for our Creating Healthy Habits series, the first step to shaping healthy habits is identifying the unhealthy ones we’ve already formed, and then taking the steps to reframe these into healthier habits.

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So in today’s post, we’re pointing out 3 habits that are ruining your mornings and giving you ways to reshape these habits so that you can start your morning right!

1. Immediately checking your phone when you wake up.

The alarm goes off. You turn over, grab your phone, and scroll for the next half hour before realizing that if you don’t get up like, right now, you’re going to be way late to work.

But that time spent scrolling on social media could be spent doing any number of things that will leave you feeling fulfilled and ready to start your morning right, rather than stressed about all the things on your to-do list (before you’ve even begun your day!) or feeling left out by the picture of that party you missed (FOMO is a real psychological force, y’all).

And of course, there’s research to back this up: “A survey of nearly 2,000 workers in the UK, the London-based Future Work Center found that email notifications are linked to higher feelings of anxiety.”

Why start your day with comparisons to friends on Instagram and a deluge of work emails when you could use that time doing something that you enjoy? Phone addiction is no joke—symptoms of withdrawal from people who have given up their phone have actually been observed in research—and it’s totally ruining your mornings.

RESHAPE THE HABIT:

Put the phone away. If your self-discipline needs a little bit of help, turn your phone off or put it on airplane mode the night before. Better yet, put it in a different room altogether and not next to your nightstand, which makes it tempting to roll over and scroll as soon as your alarm goes off. “But I can’t turn my phone off; it’s my alarm!” you may be saying. We come bearing good news: go vintage with an actual alarm clock, or put your phone on airplane mode. Then use that extra time to do something you’d enjoy, like brewing a cup of coffee and spending a few minutes reading on your balcony!

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2. Hitting snooze.

How many of us hit snooze 6 times before we finally force ourselves out of bed, starting our day groggy and grumpy? “Just a few more minutes,” we reason with each push of that snooze button. But science shows that hitting snooze can actually make it more difficult to finally rouse yourself out of bed.

According to the sleep expert in this Business Insider article, “During sleep, our brain runs through multiple sleep cycles that each last 90 minutes and consist of five stages. So, if you fall asleep after hitting the snooze button, then you’re setting yourself up for another sleep cycle that you have no chance of finishing.” No bueno. This continual disruption of your sleep cycle makes you sleepier than if you had just gotten up when your alarm first went off.

RESHAPE THE HABIT:

Put your alarm clock out of reach. Yep, when you’re sleepy, your self-discipline isn’t exactly at its peak level, and if you’ve been habitually hitting snooze your whole life, you can’t expect yourself to suddenly have enough discipline to avoid the temptation to hit it again tomorrow morning. (You’re not weak; self-discipline is like a muscle we build—it takes time and continual effort!) So put your alarm clock across the room on your dresser; that way you have no choice but to get up to turn it off. And then since you’re already up, it’s a lot easier to stay up and begin your day.

3. Not giving yourself enough time.

We’ve all been guilty of giving ourselves way too little time to get ready and out the door in the morning. And we all know that anxious feeling of sitting in traffic, a bagel in hand, looking at the clock and realizing we’re going to be late to work. It’s an awful feeling that can completely derail your day before you’ve even begun it!

RESHAPE THE HABIT:

Time yourself. How long does it take to get ready in the morning—breakfast, shower, hair, makeup, the whole shebang? Once you’ve calculated that time, what else do you wish you could do in the morning? Work out? Read a book? Walk your pup around the block?

Build that time into your morning, and set your alarm clock accordingly (you know, the one that’s sitting on the opposite side of your bedroom), giving yourself an additional 10 minute buffer. You’ll feel so much more relaxed when you’re not running out the door with your hair still wet and your heels in your hands. And starting your day relaxed, rather than stressed as all-get-out, sets you up for a more productive and enjoyable day.

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Use that extra time in the morning to fit in a workout with Dallas Iron Fitness!

With our online fitness programming, you can work out on your own time and at your own pace. You’ll receive your monthly programming in your inbox and complete it through the Fitbot app; you’ll also have your own fitness trainer to keep you accountable and walk with you through your fitness journey!

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And if you’re local to the Dallas area, join us for our Dallas Sweat Club workout class on Saturday mornings.