Mornings vary for all of us but I can guess confidently that you do one of the following when you awake:
- Rush out of bed with a long mental to-do list?
- Lie in bed longer than you should to mentally prepare for the day (or “rest your eyes” 😉 )?
- Check your phone first?
Give yourself more mercy in the morning. New Mornings, New Mercies.
A Better Way To Approach Your Morning
Check in with YOURSELF before you check your phone!
Cellphones are sensory overload and we have no control over what we see when we scroll social media. Imagine, waking up cheerfully, reaching for social media and seeing that someone you knew or admired has passed. It has happened to me, and likely you, more times than we can count and it really does tart the morning.
Instead, reach for yourself when you awake. Check in with how you are feeling in the moment, don’t think about all you have to do today. Use your phone for guided mediation or to read scriptures and other motivational material, NOT social media.
Allow information to come to you. It always does, no need to chase it on social media.
Instead of “Resting Your Eyes” in the morning, REST YOUR MIND.
Your morning is a perfect time to be STILL. Quiet. Patient. How can you hear if you aren’t listening?
Yes, you can close your eyes and even sleep with a racing mind,
ask me how I know. So, instead of lying in bed just to think, guide your thoughts by thinking positive things.
“I am taking a moment to rest”, “Today will be a good day, there is no reason it will not be”, “I will not worry about what I can’t control”, etc. You can rest your eyes AND your mind with this morning practice.
Prioritize your mood before your to-do list, don’t rush.
I saw a mental experiment in which a video was displayed with many kids on a court. The kids are busy and moving around and at the end, the video asks, “did you notice the Gorilla?” Sure enough, someone in a large Gorilla suit walks onto the court in the video but myself and many other missed that, because we were so focused on other things.
Mornings filled with rush have no room for mercy. It’s stress at every turn, mistakes to repair throughout the day and no time to collect your thoughts.
Awake at a time where you have enough time for yourself, and develop a routine that mitigates the need to rush in the morning. This can involve going to bed earlier to wake early, taking public transit instead of driving so you can focus on what is ahead, and a host of other possibilities.
Take Care of YOU.
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Another powerful quote from Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, because Stoicism is a way of life!
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Here are my tested, tried, and true ways to mitigate night-time anxiety. (I saved the best tip for last).