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Wellness

My Morning Routine During Online Class for Focus, Energy and Confidence

It is very easy at this time to slip into a cycle of sluggishness. When we are glued to our computers in an endless stream of zoom meetings and computer work, we can easily fall into a hole: we get tired from sitting down on our computer all day, so we sit down even more, we get bored, we use electronics for entertainment, we get behind on work, and we thus end up working on our computer more.

It can help to get into a routine that encourages some brief activity and mentalization. Here I have provided a list of things I like to do when I wake up during this technological-quarantine age so that I can make sure I am on the right foot at the start of my day— even if all I need is a laptop for Zoom.

1. Brush teeth and mouthwash, then splash face with water (4 minutes)

This one is obvious, but I like to brush my teeth and rinse with fluoride mouthwash when I wake up in the morning.

I try not to check my phone when I first wake up, so I take this time to get up with a clear headspace.

2. 4-6 minutes of activity

A little bit of exercise releases endorphins; those neurotransmitter hormones relieve pain and stress and even create euphoria. A very short burst of activity is a quick and easy way to get me awake and to boost my mood. Not only that, it sets me up to have more energy throughout the day.

That being said, I definitely skip this step when I am really feeling worn down, sleep-deprived, period pain, hungover, etc. Sometimes, I do 6 minutes of jumping jacks and squats (30 seconds alternating, 6 times). Or, I take a 10-minute jog or power walk in the sun. The point is to get a natural energy boost and a kick of endorphins to start the day.

3. Stretch (5 minutes)

Stretching after exercise, even if it is a very small amount of exercise, is important for preventing injury. I like to take this moment to notice how my body feels. If anything feels tight or strained, I can adjust my stretching accordingly. 

I sometimes like to incorporate a very short Vinyasa sequence into this part of my morning for extra focus and calmness. Although this sequence would normally last about 3-5 minutes for me in the morning, click here for a ten-minute Vinyasa flow sequence for focus and productivity. Regular stretching enables muscles to move more freely.

4. Affirm

Affirmations are an integral part of the beginning of my day. They can help to prevent a day of slugging along with a negative mood. How we speak to ourselves matters just as much as how we speak to others, and how others speak to us. If we treat ourselves with patience, acceptance, and kindness, the rest will follow.

I like to do this step with my eyes closed and sitting in a criss-cross or butterfly position on my yoga mat, with no mirrors around. Being mindful of your posture can help you connect to a “higher self.”

5. Splash face with water

Since I have sensitive skin, I only wash my face at night. After breaking a slight sweat from my morning activity, I like to rinse my face with water to prevent breakouts and to feel refreshed.

6. Drink 2 cups of water with lemon

This one is interesting. While it is not backed up by strong evidence, drinking lemon water in the morning may help with digestion. Potential pseudo-nutrition aside, making a habit out of drinking fresh lemon water in the morning is an excellent way to make sure you begin each day hydrated. A lack of adequate hydration can contribute to a lowered mood.

7. Throw back a shot of apple cider vinegar

Not only is flu season approaching, but COVID-19 isn’t going away. Drinking apple cider vinegar may improve your immune system, and you may actually acquire a taste for it. Bonus points if you can add ground turmeric, and double bonus points if you also take a multivitamin. However, apple cider vinegar must be drunk in small amounts and diluted with water, as drinking it in large amounts can long term lead to low potassium levels and slight burns of the esophagus.

8. Make breakfast.

I am always more likely to have a good day if my breakfast is delicious. I like to take the time to make my own breakfast with simple ingredients. This will usually be plain oatmeal with cinnamon and a pinch of salt, topped with fresh berries (at school I usually have to opt for frozen blueberries), peanut butter, and roasted nuts. Sometimes, I add some shredded coconut and bee pollen granules. The coconut adds extra good fat and sweetness, and the bee pollen adds a sweet floral taste along with all of the antioxidant benefits.

This breakfast is not only delicious but includes a good balance of starch, fat, and protein, in addition to a serving of fruit.

9. Get dressed.

When you have been self-quarantining for a while, it can get more and more difficult to motivate yourself to change out of your pajamas. I have found that dressing up as if I am going to class has been a great way to avoid getting into a funk when stuck inside on the computer all day.

The point is to do exactly what makes you feel happy and ready to seize the day, even if your only task is to make yourself some meals.

10. Drink warm tea and check email, agenda, and social media.

I usually prefer matcha tea, and I take this time to check my social media and respond to any important emails. I try my best not to get lost on my phone or computer and have been enjoying doing this all outside. 

Before the pandemic I almost only went outside when the situation called for it, but when something you get every day is taken away from you, you will no longer take it for granted. Getting out in the sun a little every day may improve your overall health and energy by giving you Vitamin D. It is also great for improving your mood!

Scotland Martin is a junior at Wake Forest University and is currently pursuing a major in Psychology with minors in Writing and Italian. In addition to Her Campus, Scotland is involved with Psychology Club, K-12 tutoring, research in social psychology, and the Delta Zeta Sorority. She concentrates her writing on the topics of ethical spending and psychology.
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