The early start for work is difficult enough at the best of times. But with a new year - and a new lockdown - upon us, it can be easy to fall into a rut. While we may not like being told that we’ve “got out the wrong side of bed”, it is undoubtedly true that a bad start to the day can easily snowball into a bad day entirely.
And with many of us working from home, it’s worryingly easy to begin the working day bleary-eyed and unfocussed. But it doesn’t have to be this way; at Floe we’re passionate about helping people build positive habits that become part of a strong routine. Read on to find out our advice for a pre-work routine to get you through the lockdown and beyond.
The way we wake up sets the tone for the entire day, so it’s important to do it properly. This process actually starts the night before, by ensuring you get to bed at a reasonable time. The NHS advises that most adults require 6-9 hours sleep every night - you will know where exactly you fall within this range, but try to get a similar amount of sleep every night.
We advise getting out of bed at least an hour before you need to leave the house (or get to your desk if working from home). Longer may be required if you have childcare commitments or planned exercise for instance, but any less may leave you feeling rushed and short of time to acclimatise to the day. Waking up naturally is ideal but impractical for most of us - so make sure your alarm sounds at the end of a good sleep.
Floe’s tip: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and leave plenty of time to begin your morning routine.
Even once you’ve got up, showered, dressed and eaten breakfast (a vital component of any morning routine despite what some may tell you), it’s likely you still won’t feel fully awake. This is known as “sleep inertia” - the phenomenon of feeling in a sleep-like state for up to an hour after waking up. It’s part of the reason we recommend getting up at least an hour before your working day starts in earnest. But the earlier you shake the feeling the better - and you can do this by being proactive.
Even a few minutes of fresh air and natural light can help banish sleep inertia, meaning a morning walk is ideal (even if it means waking up ten minutes earlier). If the weather is bad, then do something else to stimulate your senses; read a chapter of a book, do some morning stretches or simply have a conversation with someone you live with. Try to avoid scrolling through your phone or slumping in front of the TV, as these activities won’t switch your brain into gear quickly enough.
Floe’s tip: Get outside for a few minutes if you can, and avoid screens until work starts!
For many people, the mornings can be such a struggle because of stress or anxiety about work. When this spills over into the working day itself, this can have consequences for our mental health and the quality of work we’re able to produce. One great way to alleviate this stress is to take five minutes every morning to plan out your day in blocks of time.
Breaking down work into manageable chunks makes it seem more achievable, increases your capacity to concentrate on tasks when they come around and boosts your confidence that you can have a productive day.
Floe’s tip: Create a roadmap for your day to relieve stress and find your flow.
While we all already brush our teeth before work, this isn’t quite the same as building strong oral care habits into our morning routine. Doing that involves all the cornerstones of strong oral health (i.e. brushing for two minutes,brushing with the correct technique and flossing) that we know are vital, but can slip by the wayside if our mornings are too hectic.
Brushing can all too often become an afterthought, leaving incomplete cleaning coverage, while flossing is usually forgotten entirely. The key to overcoming these bad habits is time. We advise brushing 30 minutes after eating or drinking - especially when you’ve consumed something acidic like coffee - to avoid enamel erosion. This means factoring oral health into your routine from the very start of the day, to ensure you have the 5 minutes you need to devote to your mouth every morning without fail.
This is where Floe comes in. Our subscription box is at the heart of our commitment to help people form positive, long-lasting oral health habits. Every three months, we’ll send you everything you need to build and maintain these habits:
Floe’s tip: Subscribe to Floe for a healthier smile! Never again will you run low on the vital tools you need for a healthy mouth - one of the main reasons attempts to build oral health habits fail. Claim 50% off your first box by using the code hellofloe at checkout!