How to Develop a Morning Routine During School
As the mornings start to get chillier and the seasons begin to change, there is nothing better than hitting snooze on that alarm button a few more times. However, if you are a student trying to prioritize health and productivity, developing a consistent morning routine can be a great way to set yourself up for success throughout the day.
For many of us, school comes with late nights, being constantly tired, and consistently worrying about the next assignment or exam. Finding time in the morning to do MORE seems like the last thing you may want to do, but it may actually help increase your energy, decrease your stress, and help you get more work done.
Here are 5 tips to help you become a morning person during school
1. STOP using your phone as an alarm clock!
There are two reasons this is the first tip. First, setting your phone as an alarm clock makes it easier to start scrolling on social media before you even get out of bed in the morning. This can lead to a lot of wasted time in the morning, and can even lead to anxiety before the day has officially started! The other reason is that setting your phone as an alarm means hitting snooze is a tap away. If becoming a morning person is your goal, using a real alarm clock that is placed away from your nightstand can help get you started for the day.
2. Sync your Circadian Rhythm with 5 minutes of sunlight.
Circadian rhythms are “…the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes,” which affects most living things. This tip may seem silly at first, but researchers are learning more and more about the power of the circadian rhythm. Each of our cells operates on a tiny, 24-hour clock with the rest of our body. When we are exposed to the sun’s rays for 5-7 minutes in the morning, our brain sends signals to the rest of our body that it is time to wake up and start our day. This leads to decreased cortisol (stress hormone), increased energy, and it makes it easier to fall asleep at night. The best way to sync your circadian rhythm is to go on a morning walk around the block, but if this doesn’t work for you, simply opening a window and facing the sun while doing some stretching is great too!
3. Lay out your clothes and pack your bag the night before.
If you’re trying to have a productive morning, it can help to pack for school and lay out clothes the night before. By having everything ready to go, it takes the effort out of deciding what to wear and locating all your books, keys, and snacks before heading out the door for the day. If you want to start an exercise routine in the morning, this is a great technique to feel motivated to get moving! I find that packing my lunch and having my backpack ready saves me 15 minutes of stress and allows me to take my time in the morning.
4. Drink water and find your morning ritual.
After sleeping all night, our bodies wake up in a state of mild dehydration. It is important to drink a large glass of water (any temperature is good) before eating or drinking coffee in the morning. Finding a morning ritual that makes you excited to wake up in the morning is key to becoming a morning person. Some people like to make coffee using their favorite creamer, a cup of tea, or even adding lemon to their water. Finding something to sip on during the early hours of the day can help you slow down and enjoy the alone time.
5. Eat a breakfast with the “Hunger Crushing Combo.”
For as cliché as it sounds, making a healthy breakfast can be vital to a successful day. Most importantly, breakfast should include three components of the “hunger crushing combo:” fiber, protein, and fat. Including these three components to any meal helps stabilize your blood sugar, balance out hormones, and provide stable energy throughout your morning. A few examples of a balanced breakfast are: Whole grain toast with avocado and eggs, Greek yogurt with blueberries and nuts, and oatmeal with peanut-butter and chia seeds. If you like having cereal for breakfast, try adding protein powder to your milk and including fruit and nuts with your cereal to boost the nutrition. If you love bagels or breakfast pastries, just enjoy them with a source of fruit and protein.
With just a few small steps and a little consistency, mornings can turn from something you dread to something you look forward to. Just remember to stay off screen, get some sun, prepare the night before, and fuel your body for the day ahead!
This blog was written by Mimi, a Student Ambassador at High Sierra AHEC.