Taking care of your mental health is fundamental and this means taking time for yourself. So why not start your day with what makes us happiest?
I was part of the 5 a.m. Club before I even knew of the existence of this concept invented by the world expert in leadership Robin Sharma – who made a book of his method in 2018 – and adopted by Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Cook and michelle obama. When I was a student, I used to get up before dawn to study, just when most of my classmates were going to bed. Then came work and later motherhood, with all the logistics and mental load that entails. And in virtually all of these stages of my life, getting up between 5 and 6 a.m. has helped me start the day off right, manage stress, take care of my mental health, and maintain my productivity and my focus on the long term. I usually take advantage of this moment of calm before the household wakes up to do some gym, take a long shower and prepare myself a good breakfast of toast and coffee.
It works for me (but not for everyone)
When I talk about my morning habits in public, most people are surprised that I set my alarm clock so early when my work day starts much later. But it’s the best time of day for me to do what other people do in the afternoon. Of course, just because this method, which has gone viral on TikTok, works for me doesn’t mean it works for everyone. In my case, harnessing my morning energy spike helps me achieve my goals, and I’m not just talking about productivity, but more importantly emotional well-being. I must admit that at 9 p.m., this energy has completely drained and all I can think about is going to bed to be in good shape the next day. Because no, it’s not a question of taking away hours of sleep to hurt me, but simply of distributing them differently to make the most of my biorhythms.
To each his own chronotype
It is important not to get carried away by the phenomenon, getting up at 5 a.m. may not be for you and there is nothing wrong with that, and to take your chronotype into account. “During a 24-hour day, we operate in energy cycles. Throughout these cycles we experience times of maximum capacity and times of rest. It depends on each person. This natural predisposition to energy throughout the day is called chronotype and is related to circadian rhythms,” explains Manuel Fernandezprofessor of economics and commerce at theUniversity of Oberta de Catalunya. We must therefore determine at what time of the day our body is most inclined to do things that we consider important – we are not only talking about work, but also those other activities that give us pleasure – before deciding to join the club, or not. The morning chronotype includes individuals who go to bed and get up early; the evening chronotype, or late chronotype, designates individuals who get up later – they reach their peak of energy during the evening and fall asleep on average around 3 a.m. –, and finally, the neutral chronotype is halfway and represents 50% of the population. The individuals who make up this last category are at their best in the middle of the day and feel the need to go to bed around midnight. It goes without saying that only people with a morning chronotype can belong to the Club des 5 heures du mat’.
It’s not just about productivity
It is true that the essence of this method is closely related to the idea of productivity, but the creator of the phenomenon, Robin Sharma, combines it with another idea that has even more value: improving mood and mental health. It’s about taking advantage of the morning to do things that promote our personal growth and thus put ourselves first – an act that should not appear last on our to do list. And as a self-declared member of this club, I can promise you that my emotional well-being comes before my productivity. Exercising, putting on my makeup in complete serenity rather than two brush strokes, and enjoying my first morning coffee in silence: it’s a way to recharge my batteries before the hectic pace of everyday life catches up with me. . In fact, the psychologist Xavier Savin insists on the importance of not improvising time for oneself – he advises to schedule it at the start of the day – and the expert in mindfulness Ursula Calvo reminds us of the importance of having enjoyable activities outside of work, as they are fundamental for balance and health. In addition, it is important to reflect on the current myth of productivity, because being productive does not always mean doing more, but doing less and better. Above all, it is important to understand that there is no productivity without good mental health. And that’s also the raison d’être of this club (at least for me).
Translation by Sandra Proutry-Skrzypek
Article originally published on Vogue Spain
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