Morning routine rundown

August 12, 2023
Hey there, Insiders! Be careful of what you eat while traveling. A United passenger was almost put on the no-fly list after eating a first-class meal in economy plus. Yikes.


Before flying off into the weekend, what’s your morning routine? That’s the focus of today’s big story.


What’s on deck:

But first: Ugh, mornings.
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Morning routines

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Coffee. Cold plunges. Exercise. Food.

Morning routines — and people’s fascination with them — have been around for decades.

“It feels very proactive and productive,” said Insider health editor Mia de Graaf of a morning routine. “And in a hustle culture, a morning routine feels like something that you have control over.”

Morning routines look different for everyone and typically vary based on income level. But psychologists say a strong one may help people improve productivity while lowering stress and anxiety.

From magazine articles and books to YouTube videos and TikToks, people love sharing and recommending different aspects of their routines. But not everything is scientifically backed. And what works for one person might not work for another.

In an era of unlimited information, here are two major red flags to watch out for:

  • Touting a product you have to pay for. The morning routines some influencers promote include vitamins or supplements they might have a financial interest in. “Just keep in mind there’s huge business in this,” de Graaf said.
  • Suggestions that are out of the ordinary or seem stressful. Extreme recommendations — such as eating a lot or very little food — could also be a warning sign.
Plus, if someone claims science or research backs something, Google it to check out the actual studies behind it. If a study wasn’t done on humans, those results should be taken with a grain of salt.

A lot of research has gone into morning routines. But de Graaf warns that they’re very difficult to study, since people’s lives outside their mornings have so many uncontrollable factors. Plus, studying someone’s mornings would require watching them (ideally in a controlled setting).

That’s one of multiple reasons why we don’t have a definitive best, science-backed morning routine, she said.

“The main thing is starting the day with a sense of purpose,” de Graaf said, regardless of what that looks like for you. “If you feel a sense of purpose and you feel motivated, that is a really important marker for health.”

Of course, there’s one recommendation we can make for your morning routine: Reading Insider Today.


3 things in travel

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
  1. Expedited security program Clear is under scrutiny. Multiple incidents have made lawmakers question the program. In one case, someone reportedly used a ticket they found in the trash to quickly get through security despite not being a part of the program.
  2. Why Las Vegas is a fantastic solo travel destination. Over the past 15 years, this travel journalist has visited many times alone. It’s one of her favorite solo travel destinations due to its walkability, people-watching, and other factors.
  3. The worst aspects of owning the Rivian truck. It’s tech YouTuber Zack Nelson’s favorite vehicle. But from plants growing in its undercarriage to water in the doors, Nelson revealed the aspects that he “hates” about the truck.
3 things in health
  1. The new COVID-19 variant “Eris” is now the dominant US strain. The strain is named after the Greek goddess of strife. Its symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  2. A woman died after drinking too much water too quickly. She died from water toxicity after drinking four bottles of water during a 20-minute boat ride. Now, her family is raising awareness about the rare condition.
  3. Extreme heat can worsen the side effects of multiple medications. Health experts warned that physicians and patients should be aware of the impact that heat has on certain medications. That includes lithium and antidepressants.
3 things in life
RgStudio/Getty Images
  1. Bar tab etiquette debate. An American complained that Gen Zers close out their tabs after every round, sparking an etiquette debate. Some agreed, but others said this is pretty normal outside the US.
  2. Behind the rise of GU — Uniqlo’s sister company. The fast-fashion company (pronounced as just the letters) targets a younger audience with stylish, affordable clothing. It sells high-quality, logo-free basics as well as trendier pieces like cargo pants.
  3. Enneagrams are the new horoscopes. It’s the latest buzzy personality quiz, giving people an archetype number from one to nine. Categorizations are assigned based on people’s fears and desires.

Graduation, wasps, & more

  • Niger’s closed airspace added up to two hours to flights. Carriers like British Airways and Air France were particularly impacted.
  • “I packed the wrong travel pillow for a long-haul flight.” It was a waste of money and luggage space.
  • New study: Lifting weights could reduce wrinkles. The study found that lifting weights twice a week made women’s skin cells more youthful.
  • An allergic reaction from a wasp sting forced this woman to spend the next three years indoors. A rare allergic disorder made leaving the house too dangerous.
  • Why you shouldn’t include your graduation year on your résumé. This goes for early career job seekers as well as more established professionals.
  • Barbie maker Mattel now wants to make an Uno movie happen. But few people will likely watch it, even if Margot Robbie stars in it.
  • Staying in a 660-square-foot industrial Airbnb inside a warehouse. The Houston rental — for $70 a night — boasted a cool vibe, funky floor, and industrial ceiling.
  • A woman was falsely accused of assaulting a TikToker in a NYC bar bathroom. Esther Cho cleared her name. Then, vigilante efforts turned on her accuser.

American-themed bar

Talia Lakritz/Insider
Photos of an American-themed bar in Iceland. An American visited the bar, which was decked out with Uncle Sam and neon signs.
P.S. We’re working behind the scenes to revamp Insider Today. Got some thoughts you want to share? Fill out our quick, five-question survey.
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Categories: Lifestyle, News Updates

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