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7 Unhealthy Morning Habits You Need to Quit Immediately in 2021

Have you ever woken up feeling like the morning just creeped up on you out of nowhere?

For a lot of us, our rise-and-shine routines in 2020 went awry. If you nodded your head to a yes; Hey, we get it! After all, we lived through a pandemic too.

But look! 2021 is finally here.

Which means hello New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the perfect time to make new self-promises and an “unhealthy habits to quit” list. How you start your morning has a massive impact on your health and productivity. So today, we’re talking about unhealthy morning habits that might keep you from seizing your 2021.

Let’s get started.

7 Unhealthy Morning Habits to Ditch

1. Hitting Snooze

“Just 5 more minutes!” whispers the voice in your head.

Next thing you know, you overslept and woke up to a rushed morning. All because, last night, you were up late and accidentally (oh dear!) watched an extra episode of your favorite Netflix show!

Listen, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

But we all know that those five additional minutes of morning shut-eye don’t really compensate for your lost sleep.

Hitting snooze on your alarm gives us a false feeling of rest. What’s worse, our brain gets mixed messages that make us feel sluggish and fatigued throughout the day. Also, snoozing is a sign that your body isn’t getting enough rest!

Recurring regenerative sleep forms the bedrock for health and healing. And yet, proper sleep and wake-up routine are often ignored.

The bottom line is: Never. Hit. Snooze.

Instead: Take the initiative to establish a wind-down routine that’ll help you sleep better, so you can wake up better. As cliché as it sounds, early to bed, early to rise is a pretty good New Year’s resolution to have.

Need a new sleep routine as you move into 2021? Check out: 5 Tips to Wind Down Before Bed for Your Best Sleep Yet

2. Reaching for Your Phone

If you earned a dollar for every time “Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning!” was said on social media, you’d be a millionaire already!

Despite the persistent messages we get around this issue, people still let their phones hijack their morning, according to an IDC research study.

Checking your email and social media platforms as soon as you wake up is both an unhealthy morning habit and an unproductive one as well. There is no shortage of anxiety triggering information floating around the internet.

While updating yourself with world affairs might seem like a real-world adulting thing to do, it really just is a stressful start to the day.

Instead: Consume news in an allotted time slot. But only after you stretch and have practiced a few minutes of mindfulness each morning.

Is your screen time way too high? Make sure to read: How to Stop “Doomscrolling” in 3 Effective Ways

3. Skipping Breakfast

A study recently showed that more than 50% of Americans skip breakfast. This sets up your body to run on low reserve. In the long run, it can seriously mess up your metabolism and hormonal regulation.

Instead: Meal prepping ahead saves you those oh-so-precious morning minutes. You don’t have to dig through your refrigerator and skip breakfast because you were running late.

The sooner you start doing this, the happier you and your health will be!

Start the New Year off with some easy, delicious breakfast recipes: Roasted Potato Breakfast Skillet & Loaded Breakfast Burritos

4. Leaving the Bed Unmade

Maybe you’re silently thinking: “But I don’t want to make my bed!”

Let’s be honest here, shall we? For some of us, the struggle is real.

Just rolling out of bed, getting on with your hustle can be immensely tempting, right? Especially because it’s the same bed, you’ll return to in less than 24 hours. Seems like too much work, though.

So, why even bother?

Instead: Determine what’s so difficult about making your bed. Start doing it three times a week at first. Pay attention to how a clean bed makes you feel, and reward yourself for letting go of this unhealthy morning habit.

Remember, it’s about instilling discipline and order into your morning, which carries over into the rest of your day.

5. Starting Work at a Cluttered Desk

Coffee mug with stains sitting on a needs-to-be-organized stash of papers, post-it stickies overload, and a water bottle with a missing lid..… You get the picture, don’t you?

With “work from bed in your pajamas” exponentially increasing during the pandemic, it’s easy to have our work desk situation look a bit out of control. The energy of a messy work desk can very quickly spill over to your mental space, making you feel confused, anxious, and overwhelmed.

Instead: The night before, take 10 minutes after your workday and get Marie Kondo-ing! A clean and fresh workspace will allow you to step into your workday feeling like a total boss the next morning.

Working from home is not going away anytime soon. Make sure to read: 5 Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout When Working From Home

6. Not Getting Enough Sun

Did you know that nearly 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D? Low sunlight exposure, sunscreens, winter months, poor nutrition are all contributing factors.

But sunlight provides us much more than vitamin D alone.

Early morning sun rays signal to our body that it’s time to wakey-wakey! This triggers the release of cortisol (our rise-and-shine hormone). Our circadian rhythm, mental health, and immune system directly correlate with how much sunlight exposure we’re receiving.

It’s easy for us to wake up and jump into our morning rut without giving sunlight much thought.

Instead: Have a sunlight and Fitbit steps challenge with your friends. Before you know it, you’ll be reaping the benefits of sun-soaking.

Learn more about how to add more vitamin D into your life: All You Need to Know About Vitamin D

7. Not Hydrating

“Water is the driving force of all nature” – Leonardo Da Vinci

So, it kind of makes sense to chug down water (better even if it’s warm) first thing in the morning.

When you’re fast asleep, your cells are in full hustle mode! They’re detoxing, repairing, and regenerating. That’s a lot of work. The least you can do is provide your body with fresh hydration. Skipping water in the morning is a massive no-no.

But far worse is directly reaching for your coffee mug or soda!

Instead: Use apps and water bottles to help track your water consumption. Try making flavored water with a lemon wedge, mint leaves, or berries and elevate your hydration experience to quit this unhealthy morning habit.

Try these out: How to Make 4 Refreshing Water Blends

Own Your Morning in 2021

2021 should be about making your life healthier, happier, and as efficient as possible without feeling like you’ve got to do an impossible 180-degree shift. Start small. Often, seemingly small but mighty steps are what work in the long run. It really comes down to keeping up one small promise each day.

Which of your unhealthy morning habits will you quit in 2021? What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share with us!

Related article: 5 Comfort Foods That Will Help You Handle Flu Season

Anu Sataluri

Anu Sataluri

Anu (short for Anupama) is a clinical researcher by profession. She worked in the healthcare industry for over 7 years, and was responsible for workflow management of clinical trials. During this period, she witnessed several hundred patients walk away in disappointment with "no cure" due to the "symptom-based" approach of Western... Read More

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