The past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of consistency and structure in creating a loving relationship with food and yourself. If you missed last week’s blog on creating a strong foundational routine, you can read it here.
This week we’ll be continuing our conversation on routines by discussing some of the interesting and compelling research on the amazing payoff of creating morning routines.
Turns out when your routine is disrupted and you feel “thrown off,” it’s not just something you’re imagining! This study looked at what happens to employees when their morning routine is disrupted. The researchers found that after a disruption in their routine, they reported energy depletion and decreased calmness, which both negatively impacted their engagement at work and progress on their goals. And while this study is about work productivity- and not with your relationship with food or your personal life- it’s safe to say these results could be expanded to more than just the workplace!
Countless other studies have also examined the effect of routines on your overall functioning. For children, routines are linked to higher academic success, improved social skills, better sleep habits, and resilience in times of crisis. When we incorporate mindfulness, prayer, or mediation into a morning routine, we can also expect to see the payoff in evidence-based benefits like improved focus, decreased stress, and increased sense of wellbeing.
Not only does a morning routine cue our brain up to feel ready for the day, it also brings a sense of control, mastery, and safety over your environment. Feeling steadier when the day starts can then help us to adjust to change and be more flexible with the road-bumps that come our way during the day. Not to mention, if you’re trying to get into the habit of something new, know that creating a routine will make you more likely to perform that behavior with consistency, rather than just doing it when we remember or feel like it.
Want some ideas to get you started? Here’s a few options to choose from when building your morning routine:
Especially when you’re starting out on building a morning routine, the routine doesn’t have to be complex! When we’re building new habits, keeping it simple and straightforward is likely to lead to the best outcomes. And when you complete that routine with consistency, it can have pretty profound effects on your day and overall wellbeing!
McClean, S. T., Koopman, J., Yim, J., & Klotz, A. C. (2020). Stumbling out of the gate: The energy‐based implications of morning routine disruption. Personnel Psychology.
Arlinghaus, K. R., & Johnston, C. A. (2018). The Importance of Creating Habits and Routine. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 13(2), 142–144. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827618818044
Sharma, H. (2015). Meditation: Process and effects. Ayu, 36(3), 233.
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