Daily Life

Drop This One Habit to Transform How You Feel About Mornings

Have morning anxiety? Read this.

By: Emma Lunsford

Okay, but really…what’s important about a positive morning routine? It sets the tone for your entire day. More than that, it can increase productivity and boost your mood. This is the beauty of “me” time. But hinder alert! These days, a healthy routine can feel super difficult due to one thing:

Your phone.   

Doing This Right When You Wake Up? Stop & Regain Control Over Your Morning Routine 

Smartphones…can you remember what we did without them? They’re practically glued to our hands 24/7, ringing our names every 35 seconds to check social media, world news, and emails. Which is great convenience-wise, but what about our health?

To start, a recent IDC study found that people check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking. And another study found that high mobile phone usage was directly correlated to increased depression in both men and women.

Every time you check your phone, it’s usually a raid of messages and to-do’s that promote overwhelm, stress, and anxiety. Talk about waking up on the wrong side of the bed! 

To top it off, you give yourself (and others) the wrong impression of putting everyone else’s needs before your own. Think about it– you start the day focusing on everyone else but yourself, which decreases self-awareness and hikes up distraction. It’s like allowing hundreds of people to scream their thoughts at you as you wake up… hello, grumpiness! 

Not to mention social media being a major time warp, where a quick 15 minutes easily turn into an hour of doom-scrolling. Next thing you know, you’re late for work, rushing out the door, and skipping breakfast because there’s no time — all because you checked your phone first thing.  

How to Switch Into a More Positive Morning Routine: 6 Ideas to Turn Your Day Around

What makes our phones so addicting? Dopamine.

Dopamine is a reward chemical produced after eating yummy foods, exercising, and more importantly here, socializing. Social media is basically an endless abyss of social reward, from the number of likes on your IG post to friends messaging funny face emojis. 

So to stop the phone cycle, you have to train your brain to be okay with less-stimulating but more beneficial activities. Here are a few ideas for a more positive morning routine, rather than checking your phone: 

#1 Go for a Walk

Not only does walking get your blood pumping and mindset ready to go, but it also boosts your circadian rhythm into gear with nature and sunlight. Dare we say…it’s a perfect way to start your day! 

#2 Meditate

Meditation is great for getting in touch with your spiritual side. And it doesn’t have to be hours and hours of alone time to reap the benefits. Just 10 minutes a day does wonders for clearing your mind and getting into the right headspace. Try these!

#3 Appreciation Exercise

There’s nothing like a little positivity! Instead of bombarding your mind with negative news and comparison to your friends’ highlight reels, start your morning by appreciating what is going well in your life. Whether it’s a goal you’ve reached, a super tasty meal you had, or a fun event happening later. Even the little things count! 

#4 Make a Quick Healthy Breakfast

To some, healthy means boring and difficult. But not here! You can make extra yummy breakfasts that hike up your energy, keep you full until lunch, and set you off on a healthy foot.

(never mind keeping you off your phone, too.) 

Need ideas? Here are 8 No-Cook Breakfast Ideas for All-Morning Energy!

#5 The Power of 3: Set Today’s Goals

A positive morning routine should include some sort of planning and goal-setting for the day. However, it’s easy to overload yourself. Most of us overshoot with what we think we can actually accomplish, which causes overwhelm and procrastination.  

So when you sit down to plan, only write three goals — ones that feel doable. This way, you set yourself up for success and avoid that negative, unproductive spiral.  

#6 Journal

You know how checking your phone first things ruins your ability to focus on your needs first? It’s thoughts like these that can lead to burnout, which is why journaling in the morning can be so helpful for lessening stress. It forces you to go inward and ask yourself:

“How am I really feeling? What do I need right now?”

Morning journal prompt ideas:

  • What does my soul need today?
  • What would make today great?
  • What am I most excited about in my life today?
  • What am I ready to welcome more of into the world?
  • What are 1-3 things that would bring me joy today? What are 1-3 things that would bring someone else joy today?

Easy 60-Minute Positive Morning Routine Example

So, why not replace your hour of phone time with an hour of positive activities? You can use the below example as a guide for how to time different aspects of your morning. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour long affair… even 30 minutes will do! In fact, when just starting, it’s probably best to just add one extra activity each week until you’ve reached a full routine you’re happy with. Slow and steady wins the race. No need to overload yourself! 

  • 15-minute walk
  • 25-minute healthy breakfast
  • 15-minute appreciation and journaling exercises
  • 5-minute planning the day: review goals
  • 15-minute meditation

Let Your Morning Work For You, Not Against You

Developing a positive morning routine can be as simple as replacing the time you spend on your phone with other healthy activities, or it could involve really working on your time management. In any case, the benefits of staying off your phone in the morning can ripple out to affect your entire day in a better way.  

Extra Tip: 

If you use your phone as an alarm clock, try purchasing a normal alarm clock instead and charging your phone in another room at night. This will also prevent you from scrolling in bed!