I implemented a simple new habit in September that has changed the course of my days…
For the first hour of my day, I don’t go online.
This may not sound revolutionary, but think about how fast you go on your phone or tablet after your alarm goes off to check the news or your work emails or flip through Instagram.
Doing this may seem harmless, but entering into the online world as soon as you wake up is the energetic equivalent of stumbling sleepy, naked, and dazed from dreams out into a busy city street or into the middle of your workplace. It makes you too vulnerable to the world and no good will come of this habit.
If you’re not fully awake and centered before going out into the online world, your energy can get hijacked first thing by disturbing news, overwhelming work emails, or social media “comparititis”.
Now you might say, “Well, that happens anytime of the day for me!”, but the first hour of waking is an especially vulnerable and precious time. It’s when we establish the energy for a brand new day of our life. And these brand new days woven together is what inevitably creates the energy of our life.
Instead of your system immediately going into overdrive because of an assault of stimulus and online demands, wouldn’t it be amazing to form a habit that helps you feel present and relaxed in your body as you begin your new day?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had some space to choose the energy of your day instead of going immediately into reaction mode? It’s the difference between steering your boat towards a destination and being capsized and thrown around by the waves of life.
For me, it’s been a pretty potent shift.
I was surprisingly hard at first not to automatically grab my phone and check what emails had come in for me overnight or check out the latest breaking news (I hadn’t even realized what a habit it had become!) I began to understand just how much my anxiety levels had been spiking when I went out into the big bad online world without feeling clear and grounded first. It kind of gave me a feeling of being unsafe that lingered a little throughout the day.
What do I do instead now when I wake up?
Before I even get out of bed, I take the time to really connect to my fur kids who are always excited that I’m awake. I often do a little mental list of things I’m appreciative of/grateful for. I have a morning practice that involves stretching, automatic writing, intention-setting, meditation and some other goodies. But you don’t have to get that fancy…
Instead of getting sucked into your phone for 10 minutes, you could just put on some soothing music and move a little more slowly and deliberately with the time and energy you saved by not going online. Or you could make a list of 10 things you’re appreciative of from the day past and the day ahead. You could sip tea and look out the window, do some stretches and deep breathing, connect a little more deeply to your loved ones, or read a chapter of a book you find inspiring.
Btw, if you feel you must check email for any urgent scheduling or logistic issues (and always question yourself if it’s really necessary to do this), make a pledge that you will scan your email for that and mentally blur out the rest. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will you tell yourself…’oh, I’ll just click on this one Facebook notification.’ “This one” will inevitably pull you down the cyber-rabbit hole.
So, how about you just try it as an experiment for a week, to see what it feels like for you? And when you do, come back to this email, hit REPLY, and tell me about it.
Here’s to being kinder and smarter in the way you begin your precious day, Dearest!
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