It’s a routine you probably know all too well: Your alarm clock rings, your feet hit the floor, and just moments later, your phone is in hand. If this sounds like your typical morning, you aren’t alone. A study from the International Data Corporation, sponsored by Facebook, found that 80% of smartphone users check their devices within 15 minutes of waking up. While it’s tempting to check our phones as soon as our eyelids flutter open, starting each day with screen time doesn’t give us time or space to set intentions or reconnect with ourselves before jumping into work. 

Often, we (falsely) believe that we need to check our emails or Slack notifications as soon as the sun comes up, but research shows that taking time to disconnect from our work can boost our creativity, engagement, and overall mental health. Taking time to disconnect from social media is also important, especially now, as social media has been shown to cause anxiety in times of crisis. By holding off on checking your phone, and instead setting intentions or taking some conscious breaths, you’re setting yourself up for a more successful day. To continue your phone-free streak each morning, check out some additional ideas on how you can meaningfully start your day, sans screens. 

Take time to make and eat a healthy breakfast with your family 

If you’re hungry in the mornings, eating a healthy breakfast is a great way to get a headstart on your daily vitamin and nutrient intake and make sure you feel energized before the workday. Try eating with your family to bolster your sense of connection before everyone dives into their work or school routines. 

Go for a run, do some stretches, or try another exercise you enjoy 

Starting your day with movement can put you in a more positive mindset and even help you maintain better focus throughout the day. Lay out a yoga mat and do some light stretches, go for a jog around your neighborhood, or even try an at-home workout video. 

Dedicate a few minutes to writing down what you’re most grateful for 

Expressing gratitude can give you a more optimistic outlook and help you feel better about your life in general. Whether you keep a full-on gratitude journal or simply jot down a few silver linings on a notepad next to your bed, keeping track of the good things in your life makes your mornings more enjoyable and less stressful. 


  • Jessica Hicks

    Managing Editor at Thrive

    Jessica Hicks is a managing editor at Thrive. She graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in journalism, sociology, and anthropology, and is passionate about using storytelling to ignite positive change in the lives of others.