What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
If you’re like 80% of smart phone users, it’s probably picking up your phone and checking your email and social media- before you even get out of bed!
Last month, I went on the trip of a life time as my husband and I traveled through Europe to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. It was amazing! But I noticed when we returned home to San Diego that I had completely fallen off of my morning routine and had started the dreaded habit of picking up my phone and scrolling as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning.
I noticed that I was staying in bed longer, not feeling very motivated, and not getting as much done in my home, business, and life.
I was not being mindful.
I know I’m not alone. I asked my private Facebook community, Everyday Mindfulness, if they had the same struggle and the response was a resounding yes! You can check out the Drop the Phone mini challenge in the group for great ideas and support.
So just what are the negative effects of this habit?
Checking your phone first thing starts your day off with a thought of “I’m behind and my feet haven’t even touched the floor!”
That thought creates a feeling of anxiety, urgency, and even feeling un-motivated because there’s no way to catch up now. This feeling can even raise your blood pressure and cortisol levels.
It sets you up to play the comparison game right off the bat with social media, ads and being marketed to, and leaves you feeling the dreaded FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. This creates feelings of scarcity and not feeling “good enough”.
It starts your day off in reaction mode instead of mindfully choosing the tone of your day and setting an intention for what you want to experience.
It distracts you from your goals and purpose and sends you down rabbit holes and chasing “shiny object syndrome” that don’t move you forward.
It puts you on auto pilot mode instead of mindful awareness, disconnecting you from yourself and others.
How can we break this habit? It is possible!
By using mindfulness and self compassion.
You may need to charge your phone away from your bed or like me, put a little post it note on the screen when I go to bed so even if I forget and automatically pick it up first thing, I’ll see the note and put down the phone!
Putting your phone on airplane mode is an option so you aren’t barraged with notifications when you turn off your alarm. Turning off notifications all together is also something you may consider.
Maybe you need to buy an inexpensive, cute, vintage looking alarm clock if you rely on your phone as an alarm in the morning. I’m planning on doing this!
Get an accountability buddy and encourage each other! A friend and I do this and my Everyday Mindfulness Facebook group has lots of nice folks with the same goal!
Breaking old habits is only the beginning.
Now you get to start new habits that will support your goals! It’s important to fill the time you would normally spend on your phone with new habits that will motivate you to keep going and feel empowered.
Here are a few new habits I have cultivated and encourage my clients to practice:
6 Ways to Start Your Day with a
Mindful Morning Routine
(without your phone!)
for more Peace and Productivity
Express gratitude. This can be listing what you are grateful for in your mind before you even open your eyes or a formal prayer. Practicing gratitude as the very first thing you do every day will infuse your day (and life!) with joy!
Meditation and mindfulness. I teach my clients how to practice mindfulness formally through meditation as well as informally with mindful awareness. Doing some breathing exercises while you’re still lying in bed, sitting on the edge of your bed and feeling your feet on the floor, and listening to the morning sounds around you are all mindfulness practices. Having a consistent formal sitting meditation practice will start your day with intention and a calm peace that will carry through the rest of the day.
Water. We wake up dehydrated. Having a cup of water first thing in the morning has many health benefits such as improving your metabolism and digestion and can wake up your brain and help you feel more alert. I like to drink plain warm water before I have my herbal tea.
Move your body. Stretching, yoga, walking, Qi Gong all get your blood and energy moving in a gentle way. You don’t need to do a hard work out right away, just ease into some fluid mindful movements and notice how you feel before and after.
Journal. Taking just a few minutes to do a brain dump in a journal is so beneficial and clears the mind clutter as you start your day. I like to add in power statements of what I want to accomplish and create a vision of how I will experience the day.
Read something that uplifts and inspires you. This can be a few pages from a good book, scripture time, or even just a really great, inspiring quote! Fill your mind with goodness.
It’s so important to start your day mindfully, tuning in to what you need in mind and body, especially if you are a caregiver of any kind.
Take the time for yourself, even just a few minutes, and choose one of the suggestions I offered. You will have a sense of arriving each day as you wake up with mindfulness and self compassion. Every new day is a fresh slate of possibility. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and feel peaceful, grounded, and empowered.
How are you going to start your day mindfully? Share your ideas in the comments!
Join me in my private community of Facebook, Everyday Mindfulness-Support for Caregiving Women to get more support and encouragement to start your day mindfully!