What's the first thing you can do in the morning when you wake up besides checking your phone?
I love this challenge. Checking my phone has become my instinctual first action of the day, and for me it often leads to doomscrolling. It's a real waste of time, and there are so many better things I could be doing. Here's a list of 10 alternatives that will hopefully help me start the day off right.
1. Count backwards from 10
To kick off any activity. I got this idea from someone on a podcast (I don't remember who), and she said it works so well for her because it presents a rupture in whatever she's doing and a commitment to do something new.
2. Begin my day with gratitude
I could try listing 5 things I'm grateful for. I typically try to practice active gratitude at night because I find it comforting before sleeping, but I don't see the harm in doing it twice per day.
3. Say a mantra 10 times
I don't have a mantra, but I do believe in the power of repetition. Actively articulating a a mantra, especially as a habit, could help me feel and act confident, competent, humble, graceful, or whatever else I'm working on at the moment.
4. Recite a prayer
I'm not really religious, but prayer can bring peace. It seems like a good way to start the day.
5. Start with intentionality: articulate a goal for the day
I like the idea of this because it commits me to doing something on my plate and making progress towards a goal.
6. Try not to think. For a bit, just observe.
Observe my surroundings, my emotions, and my state of being. Then, let these considerations guide me as I prepare to get up and actively start the day.
I don't remember if stretching is typically prescribed before or after workouts, but I love stretching in the morning. It makes me feel awake and alive. If I do it in the morning, I'll also have the benefit of actually getting it done vs. postponing and infinitely procrastinating it.
8. Pick a loved one to call during the day
And promise myself to actually call them (and leave a message if they're not around).
9. Read a chapter/short passage from a book
Ideally not a novel. I've been trying to get more into philosophy lately and finally downloaded Meditations on my Kindle, so maybe I can start with that.
10. Write an idea list
I have to do this every day anyway, so why not begin my day with it and get it out of the way. On the other hand, perhaps I don't do my most profound thinking first thing in the morning.