You wake up and the first thing you do is grab and check your phone. There are a number of messages and notifications, of all kinds...you haven't even gotten out of bed and you already feel overwhelmed, and your activities and daily goals become a burden. You start answering the messages, leaving yourself aside. You keep answering, you enter Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, at the same time you get ready, have breakfast or get on with your morning routine...and so the day goes by, your mind scattered, being but not being fully present in each of the things we do. Wait! Let's back up!
You wake up and the first thing you do is breathe consciously, activating your senses. You stretch your body before getting up, open the window and see what surrounds you. You get up and start your morning routine. You write, you meditate, you do yoga, you pray, you eat breakfast, and you get ready. Finally, just then, you grab your phone and start addressing all the notifications and messages.
Wow. Two scenarios, quite different. It's unbelievable that the key moment is when the phone was checked. Something so practical but at the same time so symbolic. In these times we feel a constant demand to be connected all the time, which leads us to carry out our routines and activities automatically, being little aware of what we're doing, thus not doing them the best way we could.
Wish I could say that my morning looks like the second scenario but I'm not there yet, because there's always something that makes me check my phone sooner than I want to (maybe it's the bad habit), however, I have discovered that these five steps help me start my day under a different mood.
1. Stretching It doesn't have to be yoga. Lying down, just raise your arms (like they're being pulled) and stretch your legs. Something so simple that makes a difference, relieving all the stiffness or tension accumulated by having been immobile for 6, 8 or 10 hours (depending on how much we sleep).
2. Drink water I always like to drink water before getting up. Have you heard that little sound of the roots absorbing the water when you water a plant? Well, that's how I feel, there are times when I even feel that my eyes pop open. Drinking water before starting our day is key because we haven't been hydrated for several hours and the body needs it to activate the metabolism and perform basic functions.
3. Open the window Not just to get fresh air, but to see what surrounds you. Pull up the curtains and let in light. Seeing and feeling the light helps us to better connect with the day ahead as well as hearing the external noises...it makes us feel present.
Whatever, wherever. If it's on the cell phone, I recommend that you put it in "do not disturb". I've been writing every day for almost three weeks now and it has helped me become more present. It doesn't have to be something complicated, sometimes I write about how I slept or how I feel, or something that I'm thinking of, or about the things I have to do. It all depends on what you need that morning, you choose.
5. Make the bed This is a stolen tip from Fatima. Making the bed is one small achievement of the many we can achieve throughout the day. By making the bed we're getting ready to start the day with a new attitude. It comes to be something symbolic because it gives order and structure to our day. Besides, it helps us move and focus on what we have to do. I invite you to try these tips on your mornings. You don't have to try them all or in that order. Maybe you already have your own tips, if so, please share them! Remember that each will find what works for them , but I invite you to resist the temptation of checking your phone as soon as you wake up and make it a goal to grab it until you have completed your to-do-list. Trust me, you will feel the difference.
If you liked this writing and you think it might be helpful for someone, share it.