Ever had those mornings where you just can’t seem to shake off the sleepiness? Even after guzzling down your coffee, you’re still dragging yourself around?
You’re not alone in this.
A lot of us are stuck in this cycle of feeling tired all the time, despite getting a good night’s sleep. But here’s a little secret – the solution to feeling more awake isn’t in another cup of coffee, but in what you do (or rather, don’t do) in the first hour after waking up.
So get comfortable and let’s run through these 10 things you should stop doing first thing in the morning if you want to feel more energized.
Who knows? You might just learn something new!
1) Hitting the snooze button
We’ve all been there. The alarm goes off, it’s still dark outside, and all you want is just a few more minutes of sleep. So, you hit the snooze button. Once, twice, maybe even three times.
But here’s the thing – those extra minutes of sleep aren’t actually helping you. In fact, they might be making you feel even more tired.
When you hit snooze and drift back off to sleep, you’re starting a new sleep cycle that you won’t have time to finish. This can result in something called sleep inertia – a groggy, disorientated feeling that can last for hours.
So, as tempting as it might be, try to resist hitting that snooze button. Get up as soon as your alarm goes off. It might be difficult at first, but over time, your body will adjust to the new routine and you’ll start feeling more alert and energized in the mornings.
2) Checking your phone
It’s oh-so-tempting to reach for your phone first thing in the morning. Whether it’s to scroll through social media, check emails, or read the news – we’re all guilty of it.
But starting your day with screen time can increase stress and anxiety levels, and let’s face it, it’s not the most calming way to start your day. Not to mention, the blue light emitted by your phone can interfere with your circadian rhythm, making you feel more tired than you actually are.
Instead of reaching for your phone, consider starting your day with a calming activity like meditation or stretching. It will help set a more positive and relaxed tone for the day ahead. If you absolutely need to check something, try waiting at least an hour after waking up before you do. Your eyes (and mind) will thank you!
3) Skipping breakfast
Now, I’m guilty of this one. There was a time when I would rush out the door without having breakfast, convincing myself that I didn’t have time or just wasn’t hungry. But boy, was that a mistake.
Skipping breakfast can lead to low energy levels and decreased concentration throughout the day. It’s like trying to start your car with no fuel – it’s just not going to work well.
I realized the difference once I started making time for a nutritious breakfast every morning. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Even a simple bowl of oatmeal or a smoothie can do wonders.
Ever since I made this change, I’ve noticed that I feel more focused and less sluggish during the day. It was a small change to my morning routine, but it made a huge difference in how I feel. So take it from me – don’t skip that morning meal!
4) Drinking coffee immediately
Now, this might come as a surprise to many of us who rely on that morning cup of joe to kickstart the day. But drinking coffee immediately after waking up is not the best idea.
Here’s an interesting fact: According to various studies, your body naturally produces higher amounts of a hormone called cortisol in the first hour after you wake up. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone,” but it also helps to wake you up and keep you alert.
When you drink coffee during this peak cortisol production time, your body may start producing less cortisol, relying instead on the caffeine. This can mess with your body’s internal clock and lead to increased tolerance for caffeine, meaning you’ll need more and more to feel awake.
So, try waiting an hour or two after waking up before having your first cup of coffee. You might find that you feel even more awake and alert!
5) Neglecting hydration
This one is close to my heart because it’s so easy to overlook, yet so important.
Think about it – after a good night’s sleep, your body has spent several hours without any hydration. Starting your day with a glass of water can kickstart your metabolism and help flush out toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized.
For a long time, I overlooked the importance of hydrating first thing in the morning. It seemed too simple to make a difference. But once I started, I noticed a significant difference in my energy levels and overall wellbeing.
6) Skipping physical activity
I’ll admit, I was never a morning workout person. The idea of breaking a sweat before even having breakfast seemed a bit extreme. But once I tried it, I was hooked.
Incorporating physical activity into your morning routine can do wonders for your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout – even a quick 10-minute stretch or a walk around the block can get your blood flowing and wake up your muscles.
I started with just a few minutes of yoga each morning, and it made a world of difference. I felt more alert, more energized, and in a better mood to start my day. Plus, getting your workout done in the morning means you don’t have to worry about fitting it in later in the day.
7) Ignoring your mental health
Alright, let’s get real for a moment.
Morning routines aren’t just about what you do with your body, but also about what you do with your mind. And the truth is, a lot of us are ignoring our mental health in the mornings.
We wake up and immediately start thinking about all the tasks we have to do, all the problems we have to solve, and all the stresses that await us in the day ahead. It’s no wonder we feel drained before we’ve even gotten out of bed.
It’s time to break this cycle. It’s time to start taking care of our mental health as soon as we wake up.
For me, this meant starting a morning gratitude practice. Just a few minutes each morning to think about what I’m grateful for. It helped me start my day with a positive mindset, instead of a stressed one.
Try adding some sort of mental health practice to your morning routine. It could be meditation, journaling, or even just sitting quietly with a cup of tea. It’s about starting your day with peace, not chaos. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.
8) Jumping straight into work
Now, for all of you early birds who like to dive straight into work as soon as you wake up, you might want to reconsider.
Interesting fact: Research has shown that our brains are not fully awake for up to two hours after we get up. That’s right, two hours! During this time, our brains are still in a state of ‘wakeful rest’, which means we’re not operating at our cognitive best.
So, if you’re jumping straight into work without giving your brain some time to wake up, you’re likely not performing at your best. Plus, it can also lead to burnout and increased stress levels.
Instead, try to start your day with some relaxing activities that you enjoy – read a book, listen to music, or even go for a walk. Taking this time for yourself before diving into work can help improve your mood and productivity throughout the day.
9) Not planning your day
This one hit home for me. I used to start my day without any particular plan, just tackling tasks as they came up. But let me tell you, it was chaos.
Not having a plan meant that I was constantly reacting, constantly feeling like I was playing catch up. It was exhausting and stressful, and it often left me feeling overwhelmed.
Then, I started planning my day each morning. Nothing too detailed, just a simple list of the main tasks I wanted to complete that day. And wow, what a difference it made.
Planning my day in the morning helped me feel more in control and less stressed. Plus, it allowed me to prioritize my tasks and ensure that I was focusing on the most important things.
10) Setting unrealistic expectations
Let’s be brutally honest here. One of the most draining things we can do in the morning is set ourselves up for failure with a mile-long to-do list and sky-high expectations.
We wake up, and before our feet even hit the floor, we’re mentally running through a list of tasks that would be impossible to complete even if we had 48 hours in a day. We set these unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and then feel exhausted and defeated when we don’t meet them.
It’s time to stop this cycle.
Start your day by setting realistic and achievable goals. Allow yourself the satisfaction of accomplishing what you set out to do.
Sometimes, the simplest changes can have the biggest impact. Stepping back and consciously choosing how you spend your first hour can unlock a hidden wellspring of energy. So, experiment, explore, and find what truly fuels your mornings. Because a rested, energized you is always within reach.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.