When it comes to successful morning how-to’s, we’ve got more than enough inspiration coming at us from all angles: Miranda Kerr completes a chakra meditation session, Jennifer Aniston cooks a bowl of organic egg-white oatmeal and Gwyneth Paltrow whips up a $200 smoothie made from moon dust and unicorn tears — naturally.
Confession: we’re totally stressed out just reading that. Some days we can barely get ourselves out the door actually wearing pants, much less check off an entire to-do list before 8 a.m.
Rather than bombard ourselves with overwhelming tasks every morning or the night before, we thought it might be beneficial to focus on a few things we can actually cut out of our morning routine — just think of it simply as what not to do.
So when your alarm clock goes off Monday morning, don’t stress! Simply stay away from these five morning no-no’s and give your morning regimen a total overhaul.
They don’t check their emails and social media accounts
If the first thing you do when you open your eyes is roll over and check your dozens of unread emails or look for “likes” on your latest Instagram post, you could be starting your day off on an unnecessarily stressful foot. A study on the subject by the Future Work Center found those people who checked their email frequently throughout the entire day reported higher stress levels. So do your brain a favor and reserve your wake-up period for calming, stress-free activities like a deep stretch, meditation or some sort of exercise.
They don’t hit the snooze button
Hitting the snooze button can be tempting, especially when you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before. But a study out of Harvard suggests that hitting 'snooze' on your day ultimately changes your sleep pattern and completely throws off your body’s natural circadian rhythm. To combat the urge to press snooze, many successful Womanistas schedule a morning workout with a friend or sign up for an A.M. exercise class to hold themselves accountable for getting up and out the door.
They don’t wait to plan their outfits
How many times have you paced around in your closet trying on outfit after outfit, ultimately ending up with a big mess and an even bigger time zap? Successful women do all of their wardrobe prepping the night before, because the fewer decisions they have to make in the morning the better. Moreover, planning in advance helps you figure out what needs steaming, ironing or mending so you won’t be rushing around the house in the morning searching for a needle and thread to stitch that mysterious hole in your favorite top. Bonus tip: pack your gym bag the night before too for even less stress.
They don’t overlook their loved ones
When you’re not checking your phone or planning your outfit, you have a little more time in the mornings to do things that truly matter: like squeezing in quality time with your children or significant other, even if it’s only a few minutes. One study found spending more time with your spouse is linked to an overall greater life satisfaction, so starting the day off by having a cup of coffee and breakfast with him or walking the dog with your little one is a great way to prepare for whatever the day brings.
They don’t eat high glycemic index foods for breakfast
First, the glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels, or blood sugar levels. Foods high on the GI index release glucose rapidly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels and resulting in energy zapping crashes. Rather than mindlessly reaching for that bagel and cream cheese while running out the door, successful women gravitate towards high-protein foods to get their day started healthily. Opt for choices like hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt with nuts, unflavored oatmeal with almond butter or a low-sugar protein smoothie.