Here's What Happened When I Tried 5 Popular Morning Routines For A WeekBy Luisana Rodríguez
Mar. 7 2023, Published 8:00 a.m. ET
Morning routines are kind of awful.
Or perhaps what's truly awful is what we have been hearing about them: an overflow of optimism and rigorousness that, more often than not, doesn't match our reality. Mornings tend to be rushed or a preview of the day's agenda.
Yet, there's also nothing wrong with that.
Social media impact might lead us to assume that if our life doesn’t tidily fit in a well thought-out and aesthetic 30-second clip, then something must be lacking, right? As complex as we are, we tend to shape generalities into individualities. Not everything is for everyone, and hat’s exactly why I wanted to dive deep into these five popular morning routines to find out whether they're worth the hype.
1. Morning Movements
I know how much I'd prefer to stay in bed than get up and do some sort of stretching routine, but hey, we're doing it for science's sake.
The mission is simple: Move the body in order to relax sore muscles after staying in the same horizontal position for so long. I tested this by stretching in the bathroom shortly after waking up since, allegedly, regular body movement increases flexibility, enhances posture, and helps to awaken my sleepy mode in the mornings. I also went on a walk to take advantage of the vitamins coming from the sun.
I can affirm after a few days of consistently doing this, it keeps me out of bed without putting too much demand on myself or my schedule.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
According to a research. journaling can lead to healing and change "when approached in a purposeful and intentional way," and jotting down your thoughts and feelings can help you develop "insight, compassion for self, and body awareness." People have been keeping a written record of their thoughts from the beginning of time.
I remember various aspects of my life as a boyband fan, a middle schooler with a heart-bombing first crush, and a dreamy college student thanks to keeping a noted track of my experiences while growing up. However, as much as I cherish my writing time, for me, it’s not a habit to keep up with at 8 a.m. I think the reason behind this is that I don’t want to immerse myself in creative activities this early. Writing is more of an afternoon and late-night hobby than a morning one.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you ever heard the saying "you are what you think"? This statement is related to affirmations, which are positive quotes used to challenge negative beliefs. As a psychologist (and a patient), I understand the value of healthy self-talk in shifting your mindset and creating new perspectives. One way to add affirmations to my morning routine is to curate inspirational quotes to repeat out loud when having breakfast or in front of a mirror during the early day.
“If you find yourself in a 'funk' in the mornings, here's a hack to change the outlook of your day: say ‘thank you' to the trillions of cells in your body that turned up for work this morning. Pay a kind thought to your heart, lungs, kidneys, and colon for playing their role so well. Without them, there is no you! So before you connect to the outside world, the pain, and discontent of others, give yourself and all that it takes to be you, a huge thank you,” according to Carley Mellors-Blair, founder of Altered Health Solutions LTD.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
4. Breathing Exercises
I’ve used this habit before to ease anxiety symptoms and to regulate my emotions when the outside world feels like chaos; taking control of my breathing is a great way to start my day. Whether you are new to breathing exercises or have been doing them for years, there is always something to gain from taking a few deep, intentional breaths throughout the day.
We stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system when we breathe deeply, which helps us relax and lowers our heart rate and blood pressure. The only downside of adding this into a morning routine is that if you are sleep deprived from the previous day, it will most likely send you back to sleep.
Trust me, it happened to me.
My rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars.
5. Love Calls
Relationships with others are a form of intimacy that we all crave; one call a day with that loved one is a smart idea to maintain bonds over distance and to start the day with an appreciated feeling. I did this every morning by video-calling my grandparents from abroad and chatting with my best friends that are living in different cities worldwide.
“As social beings, we are wired to connect and our relationships are the essence of a happy and flourishing life,” research suggests, “the fact that we are wired as such means that our physical, emotional, and mental well-being depends on the positive interpersonal relationships in our everyday lives.”
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.