Written by Alicia Cassels, MFLN Program Development Specialist and Caregiving Team Member
Have you ever experienced a morning that leaves you frazzled and stretched-thin? Perhaps the alarm failed to ring on time, or a family member required a little extra care. Perhaps you failed to leave enough time for a heavy morning commute, or you found yourself unable to take a few minutes to eat breakfast or grab a drink before making a mad dash. Did you arrive at your destination feeling unsettled or disorganized?
While no amount of planning can eliminate all morning challenges, for some, an overly-stressed morning routine is the rule, rather than the exception. Consistently hectic mornings that leave you physically and mentally depleted can negatively impact your health and mood, making it more difficult to achieve full productivity. Investing a few minutes each morning in activities that nourish your body, mind and spirit may provide benefits that last throughout the day and beyond.
How important is morning wellbeing?
According to research published in the Academy of Management Journal, employee mood at the start of the workday impacts how employees perceive work events and how they ultimately perform at work. The study found that employees arriving at work in a negative start-of-workday mood tended to perceive work events more negatively, experience more negative feelings about work, and demonstrate lower quality work performance. (Rothbard and Wilk 2011).
While cognitive benefits associated with nourishing the body have been well documented, some have identified a number of performance-related benefits associated with taking time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast. According to the Mayo Clinic:
Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast:
- Eat more vitamins and minerals.
- Control their weight. Research suggests that consuming most of your daily calories in the morning can aid weight loss.
- Control their blood sugar levels — which is important in preventing or controlling diabetes.
- Eat less fat and cholesterol.
- Perform better at work.
Invest in a morning routine that enhances wellbeing.
Planning time in the morning for self-care may represent one of the very best investments that you can make. Below are three strategies to help boost your morning routine in ten minutes or less.
(1). Eat breakfast
For many busy adults, finding the time to prepare and eat breakfast can be daunting. The 5, on the Go Hearty, Heart Healthy Breakfast Ideas publication from the Cleveland Clinic provides excellent strategies for quick and nutritious breakfasts, with items that require no more than 10 minutes to prepare.
Hydration is an extremely important component of overall health that can become overlooked when time is tight. Taking time to properly hydrate is one of the best things you can do for your body in the morning, and throughout the day. For easy hydration strategies, check out this Secrets of Self-Care Hydration Resource.
(3). Boost your mood
Let’s face it, sometimes we all just wake up on the wrong side of the bed! This nine-minute loving kindness meditation from the University of California can help establish a positive mood in the morning or any time.
Do you have effective go-to morning strategies to share? List them below!
Rothbard, Nancy P., and Steffanie L. Wilk. “Waking Up on the Right or Wrong Side of the Bed: Start-of-Workday Mood, Work Events, Employee Affect, and Performance.” Academy of Management Journal, vol. 54, no. 5, 2011, pp. 959–980., doi:10.5465/amj.2007.0056.