Atom/ Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Atomic habits: how our morning routine shapes our day

To say I’m not a morning person is an understatement. I’ve always valued getting a bit more shut-eye over a morning routine. This meant a rushed morning, waking up with only enough time to get ready, a quick bite to eat, and a few sips of my coffee that won’t even have cooled down enough before I need to leave. I started finding myself feeling drained and burnt out, unable to focus in my dreaded 8am classes, fighting to keep my eyes open, and wanting nothing more but to sleep. I realised I needed a change and made myself a morning routine: small things that I knew I would be able to do every day. It hasn’t been long, but I can already see a difference.

Whilst it can take around 66 days to form a habit, it only takes one to break it

The biggest issue for me when I woke up was always social media. A quick response to one message slowly turned into checking social media and falling into the endless scrolling through Instagram reels – not everyone’s cup of tea, I know! What is meant to be one minute quickly turns into two, then three, and before I know it, half an hour has passed. This left me with no time to comfortably get ready and eat – instead, my mornings were always rushed and had me feeling more drained than ever. I decided to start avoiding using my phone until I was out of bed and ready for the day. This small change has become an atomic habit in my life and made such a difference to my mornings. I find myself with more time to relax as  start my day, and even finish off my coffee!

With all this newfound, luxurious time that I was revelling in, it was time for a new habit to be formed. Now, my mornings start off with yoga and a morning stretch! I decided to start following a 30-day yoga challenge for 10 minutes each morning. Not only does this mean I’m using my time more productively, but I also have a more calming start to the morning rather than a 40-minute scroll on Instagram before I rush to get ready. It’s also been great to start my mornings with something physical (although after the first week I could feel my legs aching!) and to build a habit that would not only be good for me mentally, but also physically. There, of course, have been days where I’ve wanted nothing more than to stay in the warmth of my bed and sleep, but I know that whilst it can take around 66 days to form a habit, it only takes one to break it.

It’s the small changes we make that slowly become habits

Finally, this is something obvious that we’re taught from a young age is vital to starting the day off right – breakfast! Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day, but in the hopes of getting some extra sleep I would sometimes only wake up with just enough time to get ready, leaving no time to eat. First-year me, living on campus with only a five-minute walk to classes, would often wake up 15 minutes before a class, get ready, and make it on time, sacrificing any prospect of undertaking my new-found morning ritual and having something to eat in doing so.

I don’t think I realised how much these atomic habits that had made their way into my mornings had benefited me until I stopped. I remember having a morning where I found myself distracted by my phone, leaving me no time to have the relaxing morning I had grown accustomed to. I ended up rushing my morning routine and leaving late to my class, starting my day off feeling stressed rather than experiencing the calmness I was used to. This made me realise how great these changes have been. They may be small, but it’s the small changes we make that slowly become habits, and then a part of our daily routines. I still wouldn’t say I’m a morning person, but I’m definitely enjoying them much more than before!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.