NO SNOOZING, NO SOCIAL MEDIA! A NEW MORNING ROUTINE THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE… A LITTLE BIT.
NO SNOOZING, NO SOCIAL MEDIA. A NEW MORNING ROUTINE THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE… A LITTLE BIt.
Not that I’m being dramatic or anything, but it really has.
Firstly, a full disclaimer: I absolutely do not look like this in a morning. I don’t even have the time to sit in my living room for ten minutes, never mind make myself a cup of tea and have teddy snuggles before work. However, what I do have, is a new morning routine that works for me and has made me feel so much better and more positive. It’s one that I’ve only discovered over the last few months or so, but one that I’d thought I’d share with you.
Over the years, there seems to have been this idea of what the ‘perfect’ morning routine would look like, and it involves meditation, sunrise yoga, a healthy, home-made breakfast with a super-food smoothie to go along with it. And while that certainly sounds like a dream, my GOD who has the time for that?! My colleagues are lucky if I manage to spend an extra five minutes putting some concealer on in a morning, because I’m normally up-and-out within approximately 15 minutes (this girl likes as much sleep as she can get).
Despite this, I’m a firm believer that the way you start your day can really set the tone for the rest of your day, and how you wake up can determine how positive and productive your day will become. Over the last 9 months, my mindset and outlook on life has completely changed and as part of this little journey of mine, I’ve realised how important those first few minutes of the day really are.
And so, here are a few rules that I follow each morning at approximately 6am that sets me off on the right foot.
Rule number 1, is no snoozing. I used to be a chronic snoozer, setting myself seven or eight alarms, 5 - 10 minutes apart every morning before I could even bring myself to think about getting out from under the duvet and dragging my sleepy butt to the bathroom. However, after watching this video about what happens to your body when you hit the snooze button, it was all the motivation I needed to start keeping my phone at the other side of the bedroom, so that I have to get out of bed straight away.
Essentially, your body sleeps in ‘sleep cycles’, and a couple of hours before you wake up, your body starts preparing itself to wake up. For some people, your brain can actually take a couple of hours to prepare itself to wake up, and if you wake up a little bit before your alarm, it can be a sign that you’re actually getting enough sleep!
However, if you wake up, and then go back to sleep for 10 - 15 minutes, your body is going back into a sleep cycle - and the beginning of a sleep cycle at that, which is the worst point at which to wake up. So, when your snooze alarm goes off, your brain becomes a bit confused as it’s not had it’s ‘preparation time’ to wake back up again, meaning that you end up feeling more tired than if you’d just gotten up straight away.
I’ve been doing the ‘no snooze rule’ for a few months now, and the difference is definitely noticeable. I feel more alert in the morning, I feel less in a daze for the first hour, and I certainly feel less tired. If you have trouble waking up, try leaving your phone, or your alarm, far enough way that it forces you out of bed to switch it off for a week and see what a difference it makes!
NO SOCIAL MEDIA.
Rule number 2, is no social media until I at least get to the office, which is normally about 2 hours after my alarm goes off. And even at that, I tend to only jump on Instagram to pop a post up for myself or for one of the business accounts that I run, and then I’ll quickly swipe off until mid-morning.
I set myself this rule as I came to realise just what affect social media was having on my mental health. I think we are all much more aware now that it is ever so easy to fall into the comparison trap with social media, particularly Instagram, which can bring about a lot of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Most of us have also seemingly established that what we see on Instagram is more often than not, simply highlight reels of our lives rather than real reflections.
However, having this knowledge doesn’t stop some of the negative thoughts and messages that enter your subconsciousness after a seemingly mindless scroll. And who has room for any negativity in their life before 9am?! I certainly don’t. Which is why I have now banned myself from looking at any social app whilst lying in bed, and that applies in the evenings too! This allows me to have a much clearer head, it allows me to focus a little more on work and what I’m doing, and makes room for more of all of the positive thoughts instead. Ignorance is bliss!
Practising pOSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS & GRATITUDE.
Not only do I have a 7 minute walk to my car every morning (don’t ask..), I then have a pretty lengthy 75 - 90 minute commute, which gives me plenty of time to practise using positive affirmations and gratitude! If you have read The Secret, you’ll be aware of the power of being thankful for all of the good things in your life. The idea being that the more thankful you are of what you already have, the more of those things you will attract. I normally use my 7 minute walk to put some music on, and really think about what I’m thankful for, and it’s amazing how practising gratitude regularly can really lift your mood.
Once I’m in my car, I’ll start to think about the day ahead and think about what I want my day to look like. Positive affirmations don’t always have to be deep, but they can relate to your every-day. I like to affirm to myself that I am good at what I do, that I will have a wonderful day, that I believe in and have confidence in myself, and that I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s all about switching yourself onto a ‘positive frequency’, and how we, as humans, use a ‘Think - Feel - Act’ model in everything we do.
Our actions are formed by how we feel, and our feelings are formed by how we think.
So, it turns out that the quote I’ve had in my bedroom for years, ‘change your thoughts and you’ll change your world’, actually has some science behind it!
All three of these small changes have led to me feeling much happier, less tired, more positive and more confident in myself by the time I get to work. And so, I’d like you to set yourself a little challenge, if you’re feeling up for it. Why not try one, or all three, of the above next week and see how you feel? I’d love to hear if it makes a difference to you, too!