I've often despaired that every morning when I wake up, the first thing that I do is start opening apps on my phone, before I've even gotten out of bed, sometimes before I've even turned on any lights. I can't help but feel that this instant gravitation to my phone first thing in the morning is not the healthiest way to begin the day. It's easy for a few minutes of scrolling to turn into half an hour, and that's half an hour of mindlessness before I've even had breakfast.
What if, I thought, I came up with an alternative way to begin each morning, a simple series of healthy activities that would put me in the right frame of mind to have a satisfying and productive day?
I knew that each activity would have to be simple, short, and sustainable. For example, I can't commit to an hour of yoga each and every morning, though that would be great for my health and anxiety levels. What are a few small acts of self care that I could do to start each day on the right foot?
I came up with a short list of activities, and after playing around with it, editing, and augmenting, I found a series that's short enough to be sustainable, but meaningful enough to have an impact on my day. I committed to doing this for five days in a row, and documenting the results.
Here's my morning routine:
- I wake up with my first alarm, without hitting snooze. I do not open any apps, check my email, or scroll Instagram. I get right out of bed.
- I drink a full glass of room temperature water.
- I splash water on my face and brush my teeth. (On mornings when I work out or go for an early run, I do this straight after brushing my teeth.)
- I make the bed.
- I pour myself a cup of coffee.
- I sit at my desk and write my down my intentions for the day.
- I do three minutes of mindful meditation with the headspace app.
All of these steps together take about 15 minutes (not including running), after which I carry on with my morning, getting ready for the day, feeding the cats, making breakfast, etc. The difference that they make is more profound than I expected.
At the end of those 15 minutes I feel awake, refreshed, and clear about what I want to get out of my day. It makes it much easier to get on with the more mundane parts of daily life, like my morning commute and grocery shopping. It also delays my daily reach for my phone, and makes the time I do spend with my phone more focused. Reprioritizing a little bit and putting self-care habits first thing in the day shifted my perspective and helped me cut down on mindless phone and social media time.
Would you adopt a morning routine? What would you include? I'd love to hear your thoughts!