Written by: Chiara Pedretti
A lot of us have gotten into the habit of checking our phones the second we wake up in the morning. I am definitely guilty of doing this. I have realized over the past couple of months how bad of a habit this is. When I wake up in the morning, I tend to immediately grab my phone and check what time it is. Next thing I know, I’ve spent over an hour aimlessly scrolling through youtube or checking my email and my to-do lists for the day. I suddenly get really stressed out that the day just started and my screen time is already over an hour. I get overwhelmed with everything I need to do during the day and instead of getting up and starting my day, I continue to aimlessly scroll through my phone. I usually wake up around 7:30am, but I don’t actually get out of bed until around 9:30am. I know that by checking my phone first thing in the morning tends to have a negative impact on my mental health for the remainder of the day. I’m aware that it creates a major distraction and makes it harder for me to focus and be productive for the remainder of the day. As a result, I have been recently trying different strategies in an attempt to not check my phone first thing in the morning.
Self-care is important for all of us to practice. A lot of the times I assume that I am practicing self-care by doing a face mask before I sleep or by watching Netflix for hours on end. Don’t get me wrong, those are still examples of self-care. However, I think that by also not checking your phone first thing in the morning would be incredibly beneficial to your mental health as well as being a good self-care practice. Instead of waking up and checking your phone, how about waking up and doing some meditation, exercise, or journaling? This way you are staring your days off with ‘me time’ without looking at a screen. As a result, it gets rid of the potential distractions and stress that ensue from checking your phone the second you wake up in the morning.
I understand that this is easier said than done. Personally, I’ve been trying a wide range of different strategies to get me into a better mental head space. And for some reason, changing my morning routine to not check my phone for the first couple hours of each day never crossed my mind until recently. One day I just woke up and got out of bed without checking my phone first and I did not thinking twice about it. I got my journal and wrote in it for about fifteen minutes, did some stretching and then went to have breakfast. My day proceeded to be amazing. I was in a good mental head space, I was not getting stressed with the little things. I felt great. Then I repeated the same thing the next morning. Wake up, journal, stretch, breakfast. I did this for the next few days. I started to realize that my mood for the remainder of the day was a lot better as I continued this morning routine of not lying in bed aimlessly checking my phone for the first few hours of the day.
I am a routine person. For me, creating a morning routine that does not include checking my phone for the first couple hours of the days has drastically helped improve my mental health. Morning routines are really important because they help set the tone for the rest of the day. These routines can be different for everyone. Maybe you go for a walk first thing in the morning. Maybe you make yourself a nice breakfast. Maybe you are similar to me and find it helpful to journal or meditate. There are a wide range of healthy habits you can incorporate into your morning routine instead of checking your phone the first thing in the morning. You will notice how big of a difference it makes. Trust me.