The #1 Worst Morning Habit to Avoid
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year for two reasons: 1) It is the day we spend with our family and loved ones to give thanks for what we have and 2) the FOOD! Ha I'm kidding about the last one... (well maybe only a little bit).
In all seriousness, this time of year always makes me reflect since November has been deemed the month of gratitude. What has been on my mind lately is how I have been starting my day. I recently realized that I have adopted a bad habit that hasn't been serving me and has even affected the rest of my day. I have become a firm believer that how you start your day can set the tone for the rest of your day. I am going to share with you my #1 worst morning habit and why it is so important to begin your day with positive healthy habits!
My #1 Worst Morning Habit:
Checking my phone
This one simple act has the greatest affect on my mindset for the entire day. I know I'm not the only one who is guilty of reaching for their phone the second their eyes pop open in the morning. Between checking emails and all the socials, I've found myself either working or wasting time scrolling first thing upon waking. It's like an information overload before I'm really even awake. Studies have shown that checking your phone first thing in the morning results in increased stress all day long.
I've started noticing how I feel after I force myself to stop scrolling and put down my phone. I feel (for lack of a better term) kind of BLEHHH. I have become keenly aware that what I consume through my phone and other screens directly affects my attitude and outlook. We know that negativity is contagious and spreads like a virus... and before we know it, it can infect our mind, mood and overall demeanor. Even though I'm generally a positive person, I have realized that I'm easily influenced by the flood of information that I'm taking in through all the screens in my life.
If you really take the time to think about it, we are reading yesterday's news. When we scroll through our social feeds, we are seeing everything that happened yesterday- whether it be in the lives of our "friends," the news, or even our own notifications. We are so afraid of missing out on something that it robs us of living in the now (which is sad if you're like me and you thrive on living in the moment and love spontaneity.) We start our day out not only in the past, but also by defining our worth based on how many likes the photo that we posted yesterday got.
It also starts your day off with negativity's BFF; comparison. We all know by now that social media is the highlight reel of people's lives. We don't truly know what's going on with our college roommate's sister's best friend's cousin that we met once a party ten years ago and became Facebook friends with. To us, we only see her traveling somewhere exotic every other month and living her best life. Then we start our own comparison game which leaves us in a state of judgement and feeling inadequate.
"She's so lucky she can travel like that, I could never get that much time off work."
"Where is she getting the money to go all of those places and do all of those things? Somebody must be footing the bill for her, she's got it so easy."
"What am I doing with my life that I can't travel like that?"
On top of starting the day out in the past, overwhelming my brain with unimportant information, and feeling like I'm already behind before I even get out of bed, I have also noticed that I'm less motivated and less productive throughout the day if I look at my phone right away in the morning.
So what I've started doing instead is; before my feet even hit the floor, I think of one thing that I'm thankful for that day. Some days it's as silly as my favorite tube of lipstick, or pumpkin spice flavored coffee. Some days it's a bigger thing like working in a career that I love, my wonderful husband or being blessed with more than I need. I've noticed when I start my day with gratitude, my whole day becomes centered around positivity and I seem to notice other things throughout the day that I find myself feeling grateful for.
Once I get out of bed, I like to do something that makes me happy and that I'm looking forward to doing. I like to think to myself: "How can I set myself up for success today and focus on moving forward?" Then I do something to fill my brain with thoughts that put me in the right mindset to accomplish that. Most days it looks like listening to a podcast, brewing a steamy cup of coffee, spending time in prayer, writing a blog post, or reading a good book. On days I'm feeling extra motivated, my husband and I will get up super early and go to the gym to get a quick workout in together- which I find is one of my favorite ways to start the day because it makes me feel like I already accomplished something by 7am... so what can't I accomplish today?!
Starting my day doing something interesting, positive, uplifting, relaxing or fun helps me to get into the right headspace to tackle the day ahead. To me, morning is a fresh start and a clean slate for a new day. I want to put my best foot forward and start my day out in the present being thankful for the opportunity to make it whatever I want it to be.
I hope this helps to inspire you to have the best day today as well as consider your own morning habits going forward. What did you do this morning to set yourself up for success today and to propel yourself forward? Do you have any great morning habits of your own? Leave me a comment below with your favorite morning routine!