If you often feel overwhelmed as soon as you start your day, these 9 habits may be why

There’s a big difference between starting your day feeling refreshed and feeling instantly overwhelmed.

The culprit? It could be some of your daily habits.

You see, certain routines might seem harmless, but they could be the reason why your day starts on a stressful note.

In this article, we’ll explore nine habits that could be causing your early morning overwhelm. I’ll share insights into why these routines are detrimental and how you can switch them up for a more peaceful start to your day.

So if you’re constantly feeling like you’re playing catch-up as soon as you wake up, keep reading – we might just discover the root of the problem.

1) Skipping breakfast

Ever heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, it turns out that old adage might hold some truth.

Imagine running your car without fuel. Not practical, right? The same applies to your body. When you skip breakfast, you’re basically asking your body to function without the necessary energy it needs to kick-start the day.

This could result in feelings of fatigue, irritability, and yes, even overwhelming. Especially when you have a packed day ahead of you.

The simple act of eating breakfast can give you the energy you need to handle your daily tasks and reduce the chances of feeling overwhelmed right at the start of your day.

But remember, not just any breakfast will do. Aim for a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats to ensure your energy levels are sustained throughout the morning.

2) Checking emails first thing

I remember a time when my morning routine was dictated by my inbox.

As soon as I woke up, I’d reach for my phone and start scrolling through my emails. Before I even had a chance to properly wake up, I was already processing work requests, replying to clients, and planning my to-do list for the day.

It didn’t take long for me to realize this habit was setting the tone for a stressful day. I’d start feeling overwhelmed before I even got out of bed.

So, I made a conscious decision to change this routine. Instead of diving straight into work mode, I now spend the first hour of my morning without checking any emails or messages.

The result? A more relaxed start to the day and a noticeable decrease in that sense of early morning overwhelm.

Try switching things up a bit. Give yourself some ‘offline’ time to wake up and get ready for your day before you dive into your inbox. Trust me, those emails can wait an hour or two!

3) Neglecting exercise

When we think of stress or feeling overwhelmed, we often think of psychological factors. But did you know that physical activity plays a significant role in our mental wellbeing too?

Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters. Not only does this help to increase your energy levels, but it also helps in reducing stress and anxiety.

If you’ve been skipping your morning workout in favor of extra sleep or getting straight to work, you could be denying yourself these beneficial effects.

Incorporating some form of exercise into your morning routine, even if it’s just a quick 10-minute walk around the block, can help you start your day on a positive note, and potentially reduce those feelings of overwhelm.

4) Overloading your to-do list

There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from ticking off tasks from a to-do list. However, having an overloaded task list can often do more harm than good.

When you see a long list of tasks waiting for you first thing in the morning, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s like staring at a mountain you’re supposed to climb with no clear path in sight.

The key here is balance. By all means, plan your day and keep a to-do list, but make it manageable. Prioritize your tasks and be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day.

Remember, it’s better to have a shorter list of tasks that you can complete, rather than an endless list that leaves you feeling defeated before you even start. 

If you often feel overwhelmed as soon as you start your day these habits may be why 2 If you often feel overwhelmed as soon as you start your day, these 9 habits may be why

5) Not getting enough sleep

Feeling groggy and lethargic first thing in the morning could be a sign that you’re not getting enough rest. Insufficient sleep not only leaves you feeling physically tired but can also contribute to feelings of stress and overwhelm.

When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies and minds don’t get the chance to fully recharge. This can leave us struggling to cope with the demands of the following day, setting the stage for a morning filled with overwhelm.

Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help combat these feelings.

Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

6) Neglecting self-care

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own. But remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Self-care is not just about spa days or indulgent treats. It’s about taking time to nurture your mind, body, and soul. This could be as simple as enjoying your morning coffee in silence, taking a relaxing bath, or spending a few minutes meditating before starting your day.

Neglecting self-care can leave you feeling drained, both physically and emotionally, leading to feelings of overwhelm.

Take a deep breath. Give yourself permission to slow down and take care of yourself. Because you are important, and you deserve to start your day feeling calm and centered, not overwhelmed.

7) Trying to do everything at once

I used to believe that multitasking was my superpower. Juggling multiple tasks at the same time made me feel efficient and productive. But over time, I noticed that instead of feeling accomplished, I often ended up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

I learned the hard way that our brains are not designed for multitasking. When we try to do too many things at once, we’re not giving our full attention to any one task. This can lead to mistakes, lower quality work, and a constant feeling of being rushed.

Now, I practice what’s called ‘single-tasking’. I dedicate my focus to one task at a time, and only move on to the next when I’m finished. This has not only improved the quality of my work but also reduced the feelings of overwhelm that used to plague my mornings.

8) Starting the day without a plan

Imagine setting out on a road trip without a map or GPS. You’re likely to end up feeling lost and stressed. The same goes for starting your day without a clear plan.

When you don’t have a clear idea of what you need to do for the day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty. This lack of direction can lead to procrastination, inefficiency, and stress.

Before you end each day, take a few minutes to plan out your next day. List out your tasks, schedule your time, and set your priorities. This way, when you wake up in the morning, you know exactly what you need to do and can hit the ground running.

Having a clear plan for your day can help you avoid unnecessary stress and ensure a smoother, more productive start to your day.

9) Ignoring your emotions

Your emotions are a powerful guide, signaling when something in your life needs attention. If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed in the morning, it could be a sign that something deeper is going on.

Ignoring or suppressing these feelings won’t make them go away. In fact, it might even amplify them.

Acknowledge your feelings of overwhelm. Ask yourself what’s causing them. Is it a particular task? A looming deadline? A difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding?

By identifying and addressing the root cause, you can take steps to resolve it – reducing your feelings of overwhelm and paving the way for more peaceful mornings.

Final reflection: It’s all about balance

The crux of the matter is, finding harmony in our daily routines is pivotal to managing our sense of overwhelm.

Each person’s morning routine will look different, and that’s okay. What’s important is that it works for you and sets a positive tone for your day.

Whether it’s skipping breakfast, checking emails first thing, or neglecting self-care, these habits might seem insignificant but can significantly impact how we start our day.

Recognizing and adjusting these habits is the first step towards reducing morning overwhelm. But remember, changes don’t happen overnight. It takes time and consistent effort to form new habits.

So, be patient with yourself. Take one step at a time. And most importantly, listen to what your body and mind are telling you.

After all, these feelings of overwhelm are not just inconveniences – they are signals from your body, guiding you towards a better balance in life.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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