For some people, mornings are challenging. Even the thought of doing anything other than hitting the alarm clock and getting a few more moments of sleep can be daunting. But getting out of bed and forming a routine you can stick with can help you be more productive for what’s ahead.
Morning routines and your mood
Morning routines not only help you be more productive and alert throughout the day,1 but they can boost your mood. They do this by giving you time to do more activities that help ground you and provide you with a sense of accomplishment before the day begins. Starting your day with a routine that works for you is the perfect way to ease into your day, shake off fatigue and feel happier.
Our moods and productivity
To see how much our mood affects our productivity, researchers in Ohio studied telephone customer service workers and their moods when they started work. The findings showed that the employees who came into work with negative moods produced less work throughout the day. Further studies from the University of Oxford show happy workers are 13% more productive and much less likely to need overtime compared to their unhappy coworkers.
Activities for your morning routine
Since morning routines can help put us in a happier mood, and that feeling can lead to us being more productive, maybe it’s time we rethink how we start our days? If you’re feeling like you want to change up or add to your routine, here are some helpful habits and activities to consider:
- Skip the snooze button on your alarm. Constantly snoozing your alarm can stall the start of your day and make it harder to get out of bed. When your alarm goes off, try to sit up right away. A shift in posture can be just what your body needs to start the morning.
- Keep tech out of the bedroom. Don’t charge your phone from your nightstand or leave it near your bed while sleeping. Keeping your phone nearby can influence the temptation to pick it up and start scrolling. Your phone’s blue light can also interrupt your body’s circadian rhythm (your biological clock) and make it difficult to sleep.2
- Make the bed. That’s right, something as simple as making your bed after you wake up can help you feel better. Making the bed helps reduce clutter in your space and leads to better sleep hygiene.
- Stay hydrated. When we’re sleeping, our bodies can become dehydrated. Try keeping a bottle or glass of water next to your bed to drink as soon as you wake up. Drinking water first in the morning can also flush your body of harmful bacteria and help you feel more awake in the morning.3 If you absolutely need to start your day with a cup of coffee, try to pair it with some water.
- Incorporate some activity into your morning. Not everyone likes to work out in the morning, and that’s fine. You don’t have to go for a long run or hit the gym as part of your morning routine. Instead, take a quick stroll around your neighbourhood or add a great stretch to your wake-up routine. Healthline has an article about seven easy morning stretches that can help energise you.
- Take in the quiet of the early morning. Before anyone else in your home is up, enjoy the stillness of the morning and focus on structured meditations or quiet contemplation of the day ahead. You can also use breathing exercises to help with stress and clearing your mind.
- Keep a short to-do list. After you’ve got some movement in and calmed your thoughts, move on to prioritising what’s ahead. But try not to make your list overly detailed. Longer and more elaborate lists are likely to seem more difficult to complete.4 Keep your list realistic for the day, and you’ll feel like you can comfortably finish what’s ahead.
A Foresters member benefit for your routine
At Foresters, our members can access complimentary benefits that they can use to live their best life today. Our wellness app, Foresters Go, is a great benefit that can be incorporated into your morning walk, run or yoga session. No matter how you like to get more active, Foresters Go can track your progress and give you helpful feedback. You can also join in on fun and friendly challenges with other members and earn Rewards Points redeemable for fantastic rewards like electronics, gift cards, charitable donations and more. Login to MyForesters now to learn more about Foresters Go, and see how our benefits can help shape your morning routine.