For a Better Morning, Do This One Thing.

For a Better Morning, Do This One Thing.

For a Better Morning, Do This One Thing.

A little thing I’ve been trying out over the past week:

Right when I wake up in the morning, I get out of bed and set a timer for thirty minutes. And for those thirty minutes, I am not allowed to look at my phone. My friend Emily mentioned this at dinner last week, saying “you’re most vulnerable first thing in the morning.” This isn’t anything new. But it’s new for COVID and quarantine where all good habits and boundaries seem to have gone out the window.

I have to tell you… it’s really nice! Something I didn’t anticipate is that it actually makes me look forward to waking up as I’m not just hopping into work right away like I have been this year…. digging into my emails or DMs right away. I sit down, I enjoy the quiet of my apartment, write in my journal (here are some great journaling prompts), I stretch, make my coffee, then maybe put on some good music… And I love it. Besides setting the tone for the day, it feels good doing something for me and just being, as opposed to immediately being inundated with all. of. the. things.

Do you do this? Would love to hear your morning rituals!

photo by Allie Provost.

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Comments

  1. Shana says 11.4.20

    Such a good reminder – I need to try this starting tomorrow! It would set a completely different tone for my morning if I didn’t check my work email first or see the looooong amount of notifications on my work phone first thing in the am. Thank you!

  2. I’m glad you’re taking some time for yourself in the morning, Grace! I need to learn from you – I’m always in a rush (and always late haha)! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
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  3. Emma says 11.4.20

    I love this! I check my phone first thing to get rid of all my notifications but then I will only text for the first couple hours I’m awake. Then I put my dishes away, make my bed, pour some coffee in my thermos and take a long walk. By the time I’m back, I’m ready to work and in a great space for whatever comes up. Having this extra time in the morning has been such a game changer and I find my mood and ability to get things done has increased so much, rather than waking up later and diving right into the day.

  4. Phyllis says 11.4.20

    I definitely don’t have any morning rituals I like right now! I usually just roll out of bed and get right on the computer to log in for work. However, after getting logged on and doing preliminary work done, I get dressed (a ritual I’ve had since about May or June and makes me feel much more ready for the day!), get a coffee, and check my email. I definitely need less screen time in the morning though!

  5. Samantha says 11.4.20

    I love that idea!
    I’ve been trying to drink hot lemon water first thing while reading a couple pages of a good book. I don’t always have time to read in the evening so this way I still get some much needed me time.

  6. Caroline says 11.4.20

    This is great and timely! I’ve been waking up ahead of my alarm this week due to the time change and also starting to use my Casper light again. This inspires me to try to leave my phone downstairs and forgo the alarm all together, in favor of just the Casper lamp (a la Olivia Muenter).

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.20

      That is so aspirational!! I have been thinking about the Casper lamp, it sounds so nice… but I have to sleep with a sleep mask so don’t think it would work for me.

  7. Erin says 11.4.20

    The timer thing is a great idea! I always wake up before my husband and daughter and read as much as I can of whatever book I’m in the middle of, and it usually ends up being 30 minutes – an hour. It’s nice to start the day feeling 100% like myself. I should employ the timer to make sure I don’t get distracted by my phone during this sacred time!

  8. Rebecca says 11.4.20

    I will try this. My first thing to do upon waking is writing a daily affirmation or words of encouragement on my front yard chalkboard.

  9. Leeza says 11.4.20

    When I wake up these days, I put on the twenty-ish minute What A Day! podcast to let Akilah and Gideon ease me into the news so I don’t start the day scrolling. I let the dog out into the yard and give him and the cats breakfast, then I pour myself a big glass of room temp water with apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice to sip while I ice roll my face. (Not sure if the concoction or ice rolling do anything but it’s a phone-free little ritual just for me!) Then it’s on to washing up and skincare, and putting on exercise gear to assure that I’m all set for my lunchtime workout. Then I make my bed, pour a glass of cold brew, and I’m ready for the day to begin! I’ve always been very routine oriented, and sticking to these rituals seven days a week regardless of what time I get up has such a profound impact on my mental health.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.20

      I looooove Akilah! She’s the best. Your morning ritual sounds so nice! (And you made me want to ice roll!)

  10. Kelsey says 11.4.20

    Hi there! I love love love my morning routine. I am a morning person through and through, but only if I do this same routine which is frustrating but at least my body is consistent. I wake up, sit in front of my happy light (Portland reader here- need that sunshine somewhere), take my vitamins, drink a huge glass of water and usually check my phone (not great but I’m not perfect lol). Then I go to the gym and work out for an hour. Come home, make breakfast, shower and do my skincare routine and ease in to my day reading all the great newsletters I subscribe to. Sometimes if I have some extra time before a busy starts I’ll try to read 20-30 pages of the book I’m reading as well.

    • Becca says 11.4.20

      I’m a morning gal too, right across the river from you in Vancouver. I too find that getting some light even if it’s not sunny out makes a big difference. I like getting outside even in the rain like taking a nice morning run or getting to the gym like you.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.20

      I love that! Could I ask what light you use? I have been thinking of getting one as winter quarantine is going to be rough. Your routine sounds perfect. 🙂

  11. CD says 11.4.20

    I have been wanting to set a solid morning routine of self-care time before I start work. It has been hard because I am a night owl, so when I get up late, I feel like I have to jump right into work to “catch up” and squeeze in time for me when I can throughout the day (yoga, meditation, eating, reading). But often, that time for me never happens regularly because I am so wiped after work or rushed during WFH.

    However… today I work up super early because of lady cramps (or election stress? both?). And though I am exhausted now, I was able to have a solid hour of making a cup of tea, reading a bit of my book, spending some quality time with my dog, and having a good breakfast before I even started work. It was lovely and a good reminder why I need to put time for myself first. My instinct is to always put time for me last and it’s not serving me or my health.

  12. CD says 11.4.20

    I have been wanting to set a solid morning routine of self-care time before I start work. It has been hard because I am a night owl, so when I get up late, I feel like I have to jump right into work to “catch up” and squeeze in time for me when I can throughout the day (yoga, meditation, eating, reading). I know I feel better when I take that time for myself first, but it’s a battle against my sleeping patter. And often, that time for me never happens regularly because I am so wiped after work or rushed during WFH.

    However… today I work up super early because of lady cramps (or election stress? both?). And though I am exhausted now, I was able to have a solid hour of making a cup of tea, reading a bit of my book, spending some quality time with my dog, and having a good breakfast before I even started work. It was lovely and a good reminder why I need to put time for myself first. My instinct is to always put time for me last and it’s not serving me or my health.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.20

      I am the same! Definitely more of a night owl!!!! Setting a little routine in place definitely helps and makes me hate waking up a little less!!!!

  13. Bridg says 11.4.20

    Yes!! I do this too, except I crawl back into bed with my coffee for those 30 minutes 🙂 no phone except for if I’m playing a meditation app! Even though I wake up earlier and lose a little sleep, it’s so worth it because I start my day centered and calm.

  14. Theodora says 11.5.20

    One of the Peloton instructors (Cody maybe?) said he does that, too! I try but it’s embarrassingly hard. Maybe I will give it another try once we know election results 🙂 But my latest and greatest morning habit is to meditate on the beach with my dog for five minutes every day. I sometimes tell myself I don’t have time, but once I open my eyes, I feel like I’ve slowed down time a little bit and realize I actually do have a little more time than I think I do.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.20

      Yeah, it is hard right now. It killed me to not check my phone the second I woke up. But man, meditating on the beach sounds heavenly!