Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Mornings are the perfect time to charge your day, but it all depends on what you do the first few minutes upon waking. If you’re like most, you push the snooze alarm once or twice, roll over and try to grab those last few precious minutes of sleep, or you grab the phone and open up Instagram or your favorite app to see what’s going on. Notifications start pouring in, and yawn, it’s a dawn of yet another day.

I’ll admit, up to a few months ago, I was guilty of doing that as well. It is a habit, one that was cultivated over time and part of our daily routine, but now, I start my days differently. I still set an alarm, I still follow a somewhat schedule close to what I would have done if I were trotting off to the office each day, but I spend those first few moments of each day not scrolling through social media. I had to train myself to pull away from that and focus on more meaningful things. A gentle reminder, when your mind is constantly focused on what’s going on, you miss what truly is happening right in front of you. It’s subtle, but once you pull away, you will appreciate the small things so much more.

When I open my eyes at daybreak, I am often greeted or rather kissed by a little furry soul. I spend those first moments enjoying some sweet purrs and cat hugs. When my feet hit the floor, I sit, close my eyes and enjoy the peacefulness, perhaps some will call it grounding, but I meditate for just a few minutes and mindfully say “Thank you.” I begin each and every day in exactly the same way. Sometimes, I focus on what I wish to accomplish that day, but I always start it off with something positive. Some mornings are started with a “Good morning, love bug” as I prepare breakfast and have a chat with my furry one. What’s missing here, is that I haven’t touched my phone.

I turn my phone off at night, that’s right, I started in small increments, turning it off right before bed, then, turning it off a little earlier each day, until at last by 10 pm, my phone is off and stays off until I start my business day. I took it one step further and uninstalled Messenger and Facebook off my phone so that I only use it now when I am on my computer or tablet. I no longer feel the need to be connected 24-7 or to scroll through feeds when I could be doing something more productive and more positive, and helpful to my overall well being. I have an old fashioned planner and a journal and I write in it every day. I took a step backward, but I’ve never felt more relaxed and in control of what I allow into my life, what my mind processes. My anxiety level has gone down, my mind is not preoccupied with newsfeeds and breaking news, because I don’t allow that to consume me anymore. While my working life may consist of emails and deadlines, my private world is filled with going for walks, taking in some fresh air, snapping a few photos along the way, reading something useful and nourishing to my soul, and either preparing a great meal, or dining under the stars. I’ve unplugged. I made a conscious decision to do so, to be present and live, rather than be tethered to an artificial life. I now fill it with things that are tangible.

My days are more productive, I’m not distracted, and I sleep much better at night. I am fulfilled in knowing my life is more than an Instagram feed.