Thompson: For the sake of midterms, fix your morning routine

Madison Thompson

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Meditation, exercise, catching up on the news — these are just a few of the things highly successful people prioritize to incorporate in their morning routine.

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Now think about how your morning usually plays out. If you’re hitting snooze and rushing out the door with no breakfast, feeling disheveled and groggy, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

With midterms quickly approaching, a successful morning routine can be the little extra “oomph” you need to push yourself through these next few weeks. With any luck, this will come in handy during finals, or any other stressful time you’re experiencing.

Most of our routines are so entrenched in our day-to-day lives that we don’t recognize the importance they play in our physical and mental health. It’s important to establish a consistent morning routine because what you do with those first few hours sets the tone for the rest of your day. 

By minimizing the amount of decisions you have to make in the morning, you have more time to focus your energy on other decisions.

Steve Kay, a researcher at the University of Southern California, found that “standardizing the first 30-120 minutes with a routine” allows you to cultivate the best possible mindset to set the tone for the day.

The less work you have to do immediately after waking up, the better. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day.

Morning routines create momentum — momentum you can use to get yourself off the ground instead of being angry at yourself for wasting the day away. It helps to focus on something small you can accomplish with ease, like making your bed or drinking a glass of water.

If you’re rushing out the door, it’s possible you skip out on arguably the most important meal of the day — breakfast. After getting a good night’s sleep, your body needs to replenish its blood sugar to help your muscles and brain work properly

Quinoa breakfast bowl from Urban Egg. (Collegian File Photo)

Eating a nutritious breakfast also helps mitigate the possibility of indulging in high-fat, high-sugar foods later in the day. Resist pastries disguised as breakfast like croissants and doughnuts. Whole grains like oatmeal or smoothies loaded with fruits and veggies are reliable options.

Some research even recommends holding off on your morning coffee for an hour after you’re awake. After you wake up, your body begins producing cortisol, a sort of natural caffeine. If you drink your coffee right away and feel like it didn’t help, it might be because caffeine actually blunts cortisol production.

Journaling, meditating and writing down goals for the day are three things that work for me. Don’t be discouraged if you try a few things and they don’t stick right away — progress is better than perfection.

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It’s that time of the semester when things get overwhelming. Don’t hit snooze if you can help it. By minimizing the amount of decisions you have to make in the morning, you have more time to focus your energy on other decisions.

Find what works for you. No matter what’s happening in your life, having an established, healthy morning routine creates a sense of normalcy you can rely on — and helps you power through those midterms. 

Madison Thompson can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @heyymadison.