Science

Being part of the 5am club has improved my emotional well-being (but it’s not for everyone).

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I am part of 5am ​​club before knowing that this concept existed that is now being talked about so much by the work and grace of the leadership expert Robin Sharma –who turned his method into a book in 2018– and is practiced by, among others, Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Cook or Michelle Obama. During my student days I got up at dawn to study, almost at the same time that most of my classmates went to bed because they preferred to do it at night. Then came work and later motherhood, with the logistical and mental tetris that it implies. And in practically all these stages of my life, getting up between 5 and 6 in the morning – most of the time closer to 5 – helps me start the day off right, manage stress, take care of my health mentally and to maintain my productivity. Take advantage of that time (happily silent) in which the rest of my family sleeps to practice a barré class, take a shower slowly (but without pause) and prepare a breakfast with toast and coffee without having to resort to a quick sweet, helps me face the day in another way.

It works for me (but not for everyone)

I will not deny that when I speak of my morning customs In public most people are surprised that I set my alarm so early when my workday starts so late. But the reality is that for me it is the best time of the day to do what other people do in the afternoon. But just because it works for me and other celebrity devotees of the method doesn’t mean this trend – now viral on TikTok in part because of claims like these: Spend a productive morning with me– be beneficial to everyone. In my case, take advantage my morning energy rush It helps me meet my goals – I’m not just talking about productivity, but above all about emotional well-being because I balance my chores with the practice of self care–. But I won’t deny that at 9 pm that energy has completely faded and all I think about is getting into bed so I can be part of the club again the next day. Because no, it’s not about taking away hours of sleep, but simply distributing them in a different way to take advantage of my rhythms.

The importance of the chronotype

It is important not to get carried away by the phenomenon – getting up at 5 in the morning may not be for you – and take into account your type of chronotype. “People function in power cycles within 24 hours of the day. Throughout these cycles we have moments of maximum capacity and moments for rest. It depends on each person. This natural predisposition to energy throughout the day is called chronotype and is related to circadian rhythms.“, Explain Manuel Fernandezprofessor of Economics and Business at Open University of Catalonia. Therefore, it is important to know at what time of day our body is more predisposed to do things that we consider important – we are not just talking about work, but also doing those other things that give us mental well-being – before deciding to join the club. And that will depend on our dominant chronotype. Yes it is morning you have more energy in the mornings; Yes it is evening the energy and capacity peaks occur in the evening (and sleep time is around 3 in the morning), and if it is intermediate – 50% of the population is found there – the hours of greatest energy are usually the intermediate ones and the need to go to the gray hair occurs at 12 at night. Clearly, only people with a morning chronotype can benefit from belonging to that club. And not only because we have enough energy at that time of day to do tasks that we consider important, but because we will enjoy the (silent) pleasure of doing it first thing in the morning.

Productivity is not everything

It is true that the essence of this method is closely linked with the idea of productivitybut the reality is that the creator of the phenomenon, Robin Sharma, links it a lot with another idea that has even more value: improve mood and mental health. It is about taking advantage of those hours of silence to do things that promote our personal growth and that implies prioritizing self-care and not leaving it until the end of our to-do list (with the risk that it entails of postponing it to infinity). Of course, taking advantage of those peak energy hours allows us to stay productive, but as a self-declared member of this club, I can and do promise that in my case it is something much more linked to emotional well-being. Doing some exercise, putting on makeup with some peace (and technique) and not just with brushes, and enjoying the first coffee in the morning, is a way of prioritizing my self-care before the hectic pace of everyday life takes me away. . And also another way to be productive afterwards. In fact, the psychologist Xavier Savín insists on the importance of do not improvise self-care times –scheduling them first thing in the day is an option– and the expert in mindfulness Ursula Calvo remember the importance of these other pleasurable activities in increasing productivity because they are essential for balance and health. In addition, it is important the current reflection on the productivity myth since being productive does not mean doing more, but do less and better. And above all, understand that there is no productivity without mental health. And that also goes for this club (at least for me).

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