Many of us are guilty of committing to an unhealthy morning routine, whether it is leaping onto social media as soon as we wake up or indulging in an oily McMuffin for a nutritious breakfast. While these habits can seem harmless, research shows that creating and committing to a healthy morning routine can increase our chances of success.
Some of the world’s most successful people dedicate their achievements to committing to a morning routine. Here, we share some of their top tips you could consider bringing into your day.
Barack Obama Ditches the Smartphone for Exercise
Many of us charge our smartphone on our bedside tables. When we wake up, often the first thing we see is our phone and the notifications we missed during the night. A study from the International Data Collection (IDC) found that 80 per cent of smartphone owners used their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up.
According to psychiatrist Dr Nikole Benders-Hadi, using your phone in the early stages of your morning can increase feelings of stress as we become overwhelmed with information, whether news or social media. Consuming news and media in the morning has been linked to low levels of optimism and, as such, can lead to increased levels of anxiety. This is why Obama chooses to ditch his phone each morning for exercise and breakfast.
Experts believe that starting your morning on your smartphone can set you up for a vicious cycle of anxiety and sleep deprivation, all linked initially to a wave of information overload. This cycle is related to the brain’s release of dopamine when checking our phones. When experienced repeatedly, this dopamine trains the brain to crave stimulation from your smartphone in the morning.
Tip - Instead of allowing your smartphone to be your source of dopamine, you could try going for a walk or workout when you wake up, just like Obama. You could also try putting your phone on aeroplane mode the night before, which prevents notifications from bombarding you first thing in the morning and makes your phone a less attractive target for the first activity of your day.
Jeff Bezos and Gary Vaynerchuk Focus on Reconnecting
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, ensures he connects with his family each morning and evening to positively start and end the day. While entrepreneur and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk loves spending time with his kids before they go to school or scheduling a quick phone call to a loved one on the way to work.
Studies show that family time can reduce stress as it can allow oxytocin to inject into the brain, releasing feel-good hormones. Additionally, recent studies have found that when comparing people with healthy social ties and comparing people with a lack of social connections, it was the same impact on longevity seen between people who do and do not smoke. In fact, having great connections with friends and family can boost survival by 50 per cent!
Tip - Popping in time for a family breakfast or dinner could kick start your day on a positive note. If you are rushed for time, having a quick phone call or video call with loved ones could also do the trick!
Daniel Ricciardo Fuels His Body Like a Race Car
Instead of resorting to a pit-stop at the closest fast-food chain to start your day, allow a bit of extra time to nourish your body. Eating a healthy bowl of oats or yogurt with muesli can build your body’s fibre, vitamin and glucose levels essential to your body’s daily functions.
Breakfast foods can help boost folate and B vitamins for a healthy body and mind and provide you with enough energy to run effectively, which cannot usually be achieved by substituting a healthy meal for a cup of coffee.
Daniel Ricciardo opts for a breakfast high in protein and healthy fats, including avocado, bacon, eggs and veggies like spinach and capsicum.
Tip - Try making eggs and avocado on toast or a fruit and vegetable smoothie so your day can take off in the right direction.
Former US Navy Admiral Navy Seal, William H McRaven makes his bed
After 34 years in the service, the one habit that has stuck with William H McRaven is a very simple one. Make your bed first thing in the morning. This simple task can take on an important and powerful meaning.
Making your bed ensures you accomplish the first task of your day, reinforces that the little things matter and will give you a sense of pride. It has been found that this small action can trigger a chain reaction of productivity throughout your day.
William H McRaven’s famous speech has had over 13m views online. In his words, “If you can’t do the little things right, you can’t do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that’s made.” William H McRaven
Tip – Make your bed because the little things matter.
These four easy steps to becoming a morning person could change the way you look at work and time management. Striving to plan your day ahead of time, eating breakfast each morning and reconnecting with yourself and your loved ones instead of social media can increase your mood and make your days more productive.
1 Consider switching your phone on aeroplane mode before bedtime.
2 Start your day with a walk or workout to clear your mind.
3 Take time in your day to reconnect with loved ones over breakfast or a phone call to help reduce stress.
4 Fuel your body with easy and nutritious breakfasts like avocado on toast or oats, so your body receives important vitamins.
5 Make your bed for a sense of pride because the little things matter.
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