10 Common Things You Need to Avoid Doing in the Morning – And What Habits to Do Instead

How you wake up in the morning can influence you throughout the rest of your day. While morning routines can help point you toward the right habits, there are a lot of common things we need to avoid doing in the morning. 

Morning habits matter – source

Check out this guide on common morning habits ruining our day and watch how your mornings change for the better. Learn the importance of a morning routine and cultivate good habits that boost overall health and wellness.

10 Habits to Avoid in the Morning

Here are 10 ways things to avoid doing in the morning and what to do instead! Start the day on the right side of the bed, every day.

1. Pressing Snooze

Sleep is very important and vital to life and wellness, but as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. We are meant to sleep in cycles, which last about 90 minutes. Throughout the night, we go through 3 to 5 cycles, depending on how long we sleep. 

Hitting the snooze button may seem like a good idea if you didn’t complete a cycle but it actually has negative effects on the body and mind. When you snooze it can lead to more grogginess, disorientation, and exhaustion because the brain tries to lull you into a deep, new sleep cycle when you try to fall asleep again in the morning.

What to do instead:

Just wake up at the first sound of your alarm. Try getting to bed early enough so that you complete your sleep cycles and wake up naturally.

2. Leaving the Bed Messy

Sometimes, we may wake up in a rush and leave the bed unmade and untidy, which is a double whammy for mental health. First of all, accomplishing small tasks, like making the bed, can help regulate our dopamine, a feel-good chemical. It is a small accomplishment you can feel positive about. 

Secondly, clutter and untidiness can hurt mental wellbeing. According to this study, the more messy a room, the more chaotic and unorganized the thoughts may be. This, in part, is due to overstimulation from the eyes having nowhere to rest.

What to do instead:

Make your bed! It’s a small, but immediate treat of self-satisfaction, and it gives you something nice and tidy to come back to at the end of the day.

3. Checking Your Phone

The first thing many of us, myself included, do when we first wake up is grab our phone. We scroll through social media, check our emails, answer texts, etc. Productive? Maybe, but it’s horrible for mental health.

Check our phones when we wake up can lead to pressure to start work, check notifications, and negative comparison between social media and our own lives.

What to do instead:

Try to avoid your phone for at least 15 minutes when you first wake. Instead, do some light stretching, breathe deeply, or meditate. 

4. Avoiding Light

After sleeping in the dark for so long, it might be common to keep all the windows shut and stay in darkness a bit longer. 

However, research has found that after we wake up, it can be beneficial to get some light as fast as possible. This helps regulate our circadian rhythm, the internal clock which adjusts our energy levels and sleep. Even looking at the blue sky signals to the brain that it’s daytime.

What to do instead:

Get some natural light in as soon as you wake up. This will help you feel more energized and alert, and will even help you fall asleep at the end of the day. 

5. Not Drinking Water

We wake up slightly dehydrated since our body is active while we rest, repairing and resetting the system. Plus, as stated in this article, even slight dehydration can pose a major problem for mental function and wellbeing.

What to do instead:

While drinking coffee is a form of water intake, a better way to balance the body’s hydration levels is by drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.

6. Overdoing the Caffeine

I drink coffee daily, so this is by no means an attack on caffeine. In fact, many studies have found that the right amount of caffeine has health benefits that can extend your life. However, drinking too much coffee, or not drinking it the right way, can be detrimental to health.

Coffee can be a treat, but when we overdo it on the syrup, sugar, flavored creams, and sprinkles, it becomes a recipe for a sugar crash. Plus, too much caffeine, especially if you aren’t used to it, can lead to jitters, shakiness, and tremors in the hand.

What to do instead:

Drink coffee with a splash of milk, cream, and a natural sweetener like honey or stevia extract. This removes a lot of the unnecessary fluff from coffee, keeping it healthy while still tasting good. Well, I drink mine black (with a sweet dessert!), but can appreciate lattes!

If you aren’t used to the high levels of caffeine in coffee, try reaching for black tea or even green tea, as they have caffeine at much smaller doses.

7. Not Eating if You Are Hungry

I skip breakfast sometimes, and that’s alright! It’s a gentle way to fast, which has many benefits. Plus I make sure to eat a bigger lunch and breakfast, so I still get all my nutrition in. However, if I am hungry, I eat.

You should never skip breakfast if you are hungry. Hunger is a way for the body to let you know it needs nourishment. 

What to do instead:

Make sure you eat if you are hungry! If you’re on the go, try to at least grab a high-energy protein bar, make a nutrient-dense smoothie, or meal prep a to-go breakfast the night before.

8. Brushing Teeth too Soon

In the morning, a common thing to do is to grab an orange to eat, drink some coffee, snack on a grapefruit, or maybe drink some lemon water. All lovely, healthy habits to do, but if you brush your teeth right after, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Acidic foods soften the enamel, and if you brush them right afterward, you are basically dulling the enamel rather than cleaning them.

What to do instead:

Wait for about  20 to 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth in the morning. While you wait, you can rise with some drinking water, which should start the remineralization process sooner. Remember to always use soft bristles too!

9. Not Moving

If you wake up in the morning and don’t schedule a bit of time for some movement, it can reduce physical and mental wellness. It doesn’t have to be long! Even just a 10-minute walk or some light yoga can make a world of difference.

Movement in the morning is vital. Getting blood circulation can be great for the body, but exercise can also boost endorphins, which is great for the mind.

What to do instead:

Pencil in some time in the morning for movement. Don’t want to leave the bed earlier to move? No problem! Here are some stretches you can do from the comfort of your bed.

10. Skip a Night Routine

A morning routine can start the night before. First off, a nighttime routine preps you for deep, satisfying sleep. Check out this easy guide to a simple, yet effective nighttime routine. 

What to do instead:

Get a nighttime routine that works for you! Plus, you can use part of your night to prepare for the morning. Lay out your breakfast, prepare your clothing, and get ready to have an amazing day.

The Takeaway

Morning habits can make or break your day. Some things we should avoid doing in the morning, while some things we need to do ASAP. Start your day off right by skipping these common bad habits and switching them out for better, healthier habits today!

Health starts from within, so eat well, exercise daily, and do activities that support mental health. Don’t forget about microbiota health too! Microbiota affects the entire body, from the skin to muscles, to even mental health to immune health! Get all the resources you need about microbiota health for free here!

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