This article is part of our celebration of Movember, moustaches, and all things men’s health and grooming. Made Man and Break Media are proud partners of The Movember Foundation. Grow a mo with mademan.com/movember.
There are some people who manage to slip effortlessly from slumber into the arms of a new day, firing on all cylinders from the start. If the headline of this article piqued your interest, it is likely that you are not one of these people. In fact, if you are still reading, it is entirely possible that you are sitting at your work desk with a death-grip on a cup of coffee, half an unshaved face and breath to match the cargo hold of The Deadliest Catch.
As always, we’re here to help. Here are 13 mistakes men make every morning, and how to correct them.
1. Wake Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed
The first mistake commonly made at the day’s beginning is starting off on the wrong foot. After an unappetizing dream, poor sleep or a stressful set of days, the mindset with which we greet the morning is absolutely essential to mental well-being. Famed author of 30 best-selling books, motivational speaker and PHD, Dr. Wayne Dyer has assembled a series of morning meditations addressing the importance of this exact moment. Starting with a prolonged “Ah” sound, Dyer says the following words to himself: “I know that I can connect my mind with the divine mind and guarantee myself peace in any moment.” We know. It’s a little, shall we say, California. Come up with your own. By speaking a morning mantra, you increase your chances of having a positive day.
Next step should be reaching for water. Do your best to drink an entire glass before addressing another task. The effect of water on your metabolism in the morning is important. It wakes up your digestive system before dehydrating it with coffee.
3. Bathroom Breakdown
Create a morning routine in the bathroom of rinsing your face with lukewarm water and a drop of soap. Even if you’re not inclined to utilize an expensive face wash, your skin craves water.
4. No Breakfast
For some of us, eating breakfast regularly can be a challenge. While our bodies might not feel hungry, skipping the first meal of the day is a detriment for those interested in maintaining a healthy metabolism. It does not need to be a hefty helping of eggs and sausage. In fact, eating a small piece of fruit, yogurt, small bowl of oatmeal or egg-white omelette is better for your body than bombarding it with heavy fats and carbohydrates generally found in typical American breakfasts. And for those of us on the run there are always easy-to-grab yogurts and bananas.
5. Lack Of Vitamins
Try a dose of Vitamin C for energy. After a few weeks of consistently reminding yourself to power up in the morning, your body will chart an apparent difference in energy abundance.
6. Caffeine Overload
While the first few hours of the day seem to challenge our eyelids’ ability to remain open, over-fueling on caffeine is one of the worst and most common mistakes made by working individuals. By artificially stimulating the senses at such a fast and intense rate, it communicates to our bodies a dependency on the substance that you won’t be able to shake for the rest of the day. Moreover, caffeine highs always result in devastating lows, causing you to crawl back to the coffee pot and repeat the cycle all over again.
7. Screen Addiction
Though we are accustomed to checking our phones when we wake up, setting our eyes against a screen first thing in the morning molds our brain’s agility for the rest of the day. Instead, look out the window, focus your eyes on the sky outside, or go outside for a minute and inhale the coming day. This way, when you are ready to reach for your smartphone, your prior personal peace will steel you for the day.
8. No Exercise
Getting physical activity in the morning is one of the most beneficial ways to begin a day. Not only does it activate your metabolism and motivate your body to digest food throughout the day, it also focuses you mentally. By overcoming the mental obstacle of forcing yourself into physical challenge, you prove to yourself your ability to conquer tasks your brain fears. More than that, the endorphins provide better positivity than any caffeine can manage.
9. You Smell
Whether or not you support the wearing of cologne, deodorant is an important pit stop (pun intended). Nothing’s worse than rushing to work, throwing yourself at your office desk and glancing down only to see a sweat ring releasing terrible fumes for onlookers in the surrounding area to suffer from. To be careful, it’s best to keep a stick tucked away in your desk drawer or glove compartment.
10. Foul Teeth
Though it sounds terribly elementary to tell an adult about the importance of teeth brushing, a recent survey revealed that the total days on average an American spends brushing their teeth is 38.5. Moreover, 50 percent of people confessed that a smile is the first noticed facial feature, which should motivate you to keep yours from yellowing.
Stretching every morning can increase your overall flexibility. Simply stand up straight, inhale your arms up, bend over at the waist and gently reach for your toes. Though it might feel straining, do your best to breathe into the stretch rather than against it. You should feel a slight pull in your hamstrings, which can also be found by doing this stretch on the ground, legs stretched out long before you, while bending forward at the waist. To loosen hip and groin tightness, sit with the soles of your feet together and gently push your knees toward the ground.
12. No Vision
Try a mental habit known as “visualization.” This entails calming your senses and stepping into an emotional reality of your projected desires, whether it’s snagging that promotion or climbing Yosemite. This act of experiencing, in all five senses, your ultimate goal, guides your body, mind and heart toward achieving this dream. Or so says the crunchy-granola crowd. Close your eyes, visualize your intended place, feel the surroundings, smell the air there and memorize this feeling in your body. As a result, you are subconsciously connected with your greater life goal and driving force.
13. No Plan
Again, we know this is hippie-dippy, but at least give it a try. Writing a brief journal entry in the morning is known to increase likelihood of daily organization and focus. Write out a simple note of all that you’re going to accomplish by day’s end, chronologically organized by importance. Instead of thinking of this as a to-do list, consider it a done deal. By writing it out, it is going to happen. You don’t need to obsessively check off tasks accomplished, but rather calmly look the list over at sundown and see how well you did. If there’s a few points left, don’t register a feeling of disappointment in yourself. Capitalize on all that you did accomplish and transfer the remaining items to tomorrow’s early morning entry.