On the Value of Breakfast

I have three meals almost every day. While lunch and dinner give me study breaks and are always welcome, breakfast is by far the best meal. I rarely, if ever, skip breakfast, and tend to make it the best tasting meal of my day, but many people I know tend to skip out on this morning meal. Even if you can’t eat in the morning, or don’t want to get up earlier in order to make time for food, I think it’s worth the extra effort to carve out some time for some form of breakfast every day. My argument has nothing to do with the supposed health benefits of breakfast, which are scientifically inconclusive anyway. My argument has a lot more to do with the mental benefit of breakfast, and the way it completely restructures your day and has the ability to make it great from the moment you roll out of bed. 

From a young age, I’ve had the ability to get out of bed within 30 seconds of my alarm going off. I rarely spend mornings under the covers as the warm sun streams through my blinds, instead getting out bed fairly quickly and heading towards a table with a chair and some breakfast foods. What gets me out of bed is not the pressing responsibilities of the day, or any sort of general eagerness to leave the warmth of my covers, but rather the knowledge that once I’m up, I can make my breakfast. Knowing that I’m about to cook or microwave something tasty tends to get me into a jovial mood, and sets the right starting track for that day.

In order to have the tasty breakfast, you may need to sacrifice some sleep. Usually, about a half hour allotment covers a full breakfast, but it can be a huge sacrifice of sleep if you’re already cutting it close from night to night. But the extra time that you allot to eating breakfast is not just eating time — it is also time to mentally prepare yourself for the day, to get ready for the responsibilities of the day, and to be mentally at peace with whatever is on the schedule.

Breakfast provides a window, right at the beginning of the day, to sit by yourself and do something solely for you. It’s a structured time in the day in which you can do whatever you most love doing but don’t have time to do during the busy day. Sometimes, breakfast means eating and watching SNL clips. Sometimes, breakfast means eating and staring out the window at the birds in the trees. No matter what it entails, breakfast provides time to fuel up for the day and treat yourself to one calming activity you love, which can transform your mindset for the rest of the day.

The food you eat in the morning is also completely up to you. There are no laws or regulations on when you can eat your favorite meal, and by putting it first in the day, you’re caring for yourself first thing. Breakfast has always given me the chance to eat the type of food I love most, which is dessert. Sometimes my breakfast is warm oatmeal with chocolate chips, and sometimes it’s just some cereal with milk. Regardless of what the meal actually ends up being, it tends to be the tastiest of the day because it’s exactly what I want, with the peace and quiet around me that I need.

I know eating breakfast is not for everyone. Some people can’t stomach food in the hours right after they wake up, which can make breakfast harder to do. On days I can’t stomach food, I still make time for breakfast and drink some tea or coffee instead. Even if you’re not eating, it’s vital to carve out time in your day to sit by yourself and get ready for the day ahead. If you skip on this time, it can be a lot harder to start your day on the right foot and maintain some kind of positivity throughout the day, especially as the winter months creep in.

Self care is hard. Putting yourself first and making sure you are ok before devoting all your time to loved ones is next to impossible. So with that in mind, it’s important to make time for self care, even if it just means a half hour in the morning. Breakfast time is vital for everyone because it gives you time to take care of yourself and your needs, both mental and physical. It is the perfect way to start your day on a positive note, and to make time for yourself before you make time for others. Making breakfast a part of your daily routine allows you to care for yourself, which though difficult, is a vital responsibility.

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