Making the Most Out of Your Morning: Establishing Morning Habits en Route to Medical School

It’s a Monday morning. You’re abruptly interrupted by the dreading sound of your alarm for the fourth time that hour. The word “Snooze” keeps trying to persuade you but noticing that you only have an hour before your lecture, you panic. Scrambling to get ready, you dash out of the house forgetting breakfast and your binders behind. You certainly don’t have time to go back, otherwise, you would be late. Taking a seat in frustration, you have nothing to follow along with. You’re going to need to catch up on the hour’s worth of content tonight but you have extracurriculars planned in the evening. Feelings of anger, regret, and rage appear throughout the day. Nothing is going well, it’s a total disaster and on top of that, it’s a Monday! 

If this scenario sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. While the term “morning” is an ear-sore for many students, it is one of the most important times of the day. However, many associate their morning with three simple tasks: waking-up, getting dressed, and breakfast. Although, that may not want to be the routine you should have if you are a student en route to medical school. Creating a routine with a sufficient amount of time to do tasks allows you to kick off the day with productivity. Here are some reasons why morning routines are beneficial. 

  1. Prevents Morning Stress

The feeling of being rushed in the morning leads to distractedness later as the day goes on. Establishing effective morning habits will enable you to plan out your schedule in an easy manner. This could be waking up a few hours before your first class to review notes, checking your emails, or going through easy tasks that need to be done. Checking off these minimal duties will allow your morning to start with productivity and get your brain active. 

  1. Emotions

Being physically happy can influence how we feel emotionally. When a routine of stress and anxiety is brought upon every morning of your day, one would certainly feel in a state of hopelessness as if you cannot catch up to the rest of your scheduled tasks. Having a morning routine will start you off feeling good about yourself. This will certainly bring upon resilience to obstacles needed to be faced for the rest of the day. Checking off completed tasks certainly brings a sense of pride and accomplishment. 

  1. More time for yourself

If you are anything like me, even checking off the tiniest tasks would make me feel very accomplished. Moreover, it gets tasks out of the way making me feel more motivated and productive. Completing these minimal tasks frees up time for other work needed to be done and leaving room for some morning “me” time. This includes meditation, reading, self-care, and/or extracurriculars.

There are different ways you may want to schedule your morning routine. First and foremost, you want to set a specific time to sleep and wake-up. To ensure that you get plenty of rest, set at least eight hours. You want to plan a reasonable time. Don’t plan to wake up at 4 am if you know you’re just going to sleep in an extra 30 minutes, but you should also try to challenge yourself. Some people have been waking up at 4 am and still find it hard to resist the temptation of clicking snooze. You are your worst enemy, be resilient and remind yourself of what you can accomplish. Use this time to get a headstart in the day’s lecture or review notes, you might even want to squeeze in some MCAT studying! 

Secondly, you should prepare the night before. Laying out the clothes you want to wear the next day, prepping your lunch or preparing your bag will open up more time for other tasks that can be done.  

Last but not least, you need to move your body! Don’t sit in bed browsing TikTok after the hardship of waking up. We should always consider waking up our muscles before diving straight into the day. Moving your body puts you out of that sleepy mindset allowing you to be more productive.  

The way we start our day has a tremendous effect on our emotions, productivity, and how the rest of the day goes. Starting the day while the sky’s still dark is a big accomplishment but what is important is what you choose to do in that time frame. A morning routine is all about giving yourself the time of peace, confidence, and positivity. Even setting aside an hour or two in the morning to run through your schedule or execute minimal tasks is a perfect start and preparation for future medical school students. We must make the most of our morning every day, but how you plan the afternoon is very important as well. Here’s another article on “How to Incorporate an Active Social Life into a Student’s busy schedule”.  

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