7 Daily Morning Habits That Are Damaging Your Health

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 / Unsplash

Are you on autopilot? Stuck in repetitive habits? Life can be stressful and exhausting, especially if you're in a hamster wheel. Being on the wheel nowadays involves having the same conversations with people, scrolling through social media non-stop, and never seeing any growth in your life. But always remember, you get to choose when you get off. You can stay on the wheel, or you can create better options for yourself. Below are 12 daily habits that are damaging your health while you run on the wheel.

Daily Morning Habits That Are Damaging Your Health

It's a new day! What will you do with it? The first hour of your day can be powerful in setting the tone for the rest of the day. It's time to take more control over how your day plays out. Explore the morning habits that may be damaging your health and learn how to reshape your energy, transitioning from your own space into the outside world.

1. Checking In With Other People Before You Check-In With Yourself

What's the first thing you do once the alarm goes off? Do you snooze? Moan about having to get up? You want to sleep longer, right? How about you enjoy eternal sleep?

After I wake up, I walk around my home. I open the curtain a bit to let in sunlight, crack open the windows to let in the fresh air, rinse my face with my DIY face cleanser, and then brush my teeth. Those 5-7 minutes allow me to self-reflect on how I feel mentally and spiritually while the movements enable me to reflect on how I physically feel. Are my legs too sore to run today? Do I feel a cold coming that I need to treat right now? Is my spirit beat down? But no matter what, I always decide on who I am for that dya.

Check-in with yourself before you check-in on:

  • the party you missed last night
  • what the political party you despise is howing
  • the war in [enter any country]
  • how many likes your post from last night has

Prioritizing yourself in the morning sets the tone for who and what you value throughout the day and throughout your life. These morning micro-habits will help start the transition and conditioning process to place more value on yourself and your needs. Who's more important than you?

2. Skipping Out On Breakfast

Cars aren't meant to run on "E", and neither are you. "Breakfast" comes from "breaking the fast." While you're asleep, your technically fasting as your body runs at lower efficiency and optimizes performance for only what's important. Your body is working hard while you sleep, so onc eyou wake up, replenish with nutrients, just as you would after a devoted fast.

Skipping out on Breakfast can lead to:

  • lethargy
  • migraines
  • an upset stomach
  • confusion
  • and irritability

And when it comes to physical health, skipping Breakfast can lead to:

  • higher heart disease risk, including weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol
  • increased stress hormone production (Cortisol is highest in the morning. Breakfast helps bring the levels down to reduce jitters and anxiety)
  • a decrease in blood sugar (less glucose makes you hungry, irritable, and fatigued (You ride clean but your gas tank is on E!) which then leads to making unhealthy food choices when you officially start your day (think donuts, bagels, and cream cheese at the office)

When you don't eat for long periods, your body goes into storage mode because it assumes food is scarce (natural defense mechanism that dates backs to when humans were hunter-gatherers). This causes your body to turn to the glucose stored in your muscles for energy (which takes away from muscle mass, which then decreases your ability to burn fat).

I get it. There's no time for Breakfast. But there is. You can wake up 5 minutes earlier and make energy-focused oatmeal. Or how about Greek Yogurt with sliced banana, blueberries, and honey drizzled on top?

Find a smart solution that works for you. Whenever it comes to health and nutrition, there's always contradictory research. So choose healthy habits that are exclusive to your body and your needs. Understanding how nutrition and food work, along with how they make you feel, takes time.

I used to eat boiled eggs every day for nearly two years out of poverty and ease. But one day something clicked and I realized I could make oatmeal into my own. I've been eating it every morning for about six years. Unless you're on a specific diet or fasting, there's no reason to skip out on Breakfast.

3. Drinking Coffee Before Eating

I love a rich dark roast. I drink coffee from the pot, no add-ons needed. I need the flavor of the roast to linger on my taste buds after each sip.

Your stomach is filled with acid. Human bodies have evolved to have stomach lining that can perfectly withstand gastric acid. Coffee is an acidic drink, barely, but acidic nonetheless. When you drink an acidic beverage like coffee, without having a food buffer to absorb some of the acid, you upset the balance in your stomach, and it slowly eats away at your stomach lining.

Also, consider that 92% of coffee beans have mold. So not only are you disturbing your stomach’s acidity, but you also include mold toxicity into your body.

Your gut is your first brain; the bacteria in your gut begins the transition for how your mind and body feel. Don’t disrupt the natural order of your gut microbiome. Load up on water to start your day. Then have breakfast, and once you’re settled at work or on the couch after you’ve had a hearty breakfast, embrace the smell and taste of your favorite beans.

4. Not Warming Your Body Up

Every day while I work, I randomly see our cat get up from one of his many naps. His first move is to find open space and stretch his body. Yea.

Your body needs a warm-up, especially in the winter. Thinking about cars again, in the winter, the dashboard lets you know the engine is cold. When you see the dash, you don’t put the car into drive and peel off. You let the engine run a little bit, and then you drive at a reasonable pace to get the engine going. Treat your body the same way.

Your muscles, organs, and joints need to transition into the day ahead. Don’t just throw them into the chaos of your fast-paced world. Stretch, reach, pull, tug, and bend for about 10-15 minutes in the morning to get things started.

5. Keeping Your Blinds Closed

The Sun is a blessing. When I moved to Miami in 2013, I learned to embrace what the Sun offers. From energy, reinvigoration, and a welcome to the new day, sun rays are comforting.

With my love for the Sun came an idea to let it enter my room regularly. We’re conditioned to have dark curtains to keep the Sun out at night. But after becoming more grateful for waking up each day, I decided to crack my blinds a bit before bed. This meant that when I woke up in the morning, the Sun would be shining through and welcoming me into the new day. It helped me jump out of bed and get my day going.

Now you can buy smart blinds that open at set times, or that can be opened with an app. Try it for a week. See if you feel more energized and excited to start your day.

6. Snoozing The Alarm

I get it. It’s fun to have “just one more minute.” But why? What do those extra few minutes of sleep really give you? False comfort and a slow start to the day.

Snoozing conditions you to be lazy. It tells you that you can procrastinate and put off getting up now because there’s time. Sure there’s time to an extent, but think about how much more you could do in the morning if you didn’t snooze.

Let’s say you snooze for 15 minutes usually. That’s 15 minutes of meditating you could have used to start your day. Or maybe it’s 10 minutes of meditating and 5 minutes of making a quick breakfast. Or how about 15 minutes of stretching and getting ready for the chaos of the day? Better yet, how about 15 minutes to enjoy some quiet time to yourself while you read the news or read through a book?

Get out of the mindset that there’ll be time because when later comes, you’ll also say you don’t have time. Time is your most valuable asset, and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Wake up and utilize time to live a better life, not to sleep-in some more.

7. Skipping Out On Water

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

-h. auden

Water is life. At a minimum, you should be drinking half a gallon of water a day. Every organ, muscle, and cell in your body needs it. Consider that your body is 60 percent water, your muscles are 75 percent water, and your brain is 85 percent water. And without water, nothing can function properly.

Before you have coffee or tea in the morning, get a healthy dose of water into your system. Those 7-8 hours of sleep are you fasting again, so you need to get your body prepared for the day. Drinking water first thing in the morning wakes up your digestive system, starts the hydration process (coffee causes dehydration btw), and hydrates your brain so it can function properly.

Water on its own can be challenging to keep consuming, so I use my DIY water detox, which features water and honey. You can use your favorite fruit, mint, or even cucumber slices to keep you hydrated as the day goes on.

This list is simple enough. You don't have to do everything every day, but if the majority of these become part fo your lifestyle, even if you miss one, the others will balance out.

You know the damaging habits. So what’s next?

Clifford Genece

Clifford Genece