A Change to my Morning

I am terrible at waking up. 

I am the type of person that sets at least five alarms because I tend to turn them off while I’m still asleep.

Lately, my habitual alarm turning off has gotten worse. I’ve gotten into the habit of fully unlocking my phone, turning off the alarms and setting a later one… yeah it’s pretty bad.  

I am also the type of person that scrolls through Instagram half-asleep and ends up getting a phone to the face because I’ve fallen back asleep. Or my morning snoozing can easily turn into an extra 30 minutes aimlessly scrolling through Instagram stories. I know I’m not the only one who does this…

But you see, my problem with waking up has been going on for a long time.

My mom used to come into my room when I was younger and try everything possible to wake me up. She would first start gently and nudge me to wake up. Then it would progressively get more and more intense as she would open the blinds and take the covers off of me to force me to get up… yep, I was that kid. 

Lately I’ve been recognizing just how unproductive my wake-up pattern is and how it can actually harm my mood for the rest of the day. 

Although I am grateful for the ways social media connects us, starting the day with it causes a cycle of envy, comparison, and ungratefulness in me. It also prompts me to feel like I need to repeatedly check back in throughout the day as well. 

The thing we start our morning with will be our deepest desire for the rest of the day. 

This week I tried something new with my mornings. And I can honestly say that it has transformed my mindset for each day. 

But I’m not going to lie, it was HARD at first. I felt like I was retraining my brain.

Let me explain this morning routine change: 

The first thing I did when my alarm went off was I got up. It took some mental talking to myself, but I would get up immediately. I would then walk across my room and grab my journal. With tired eyes, I would just start writing. I wrote down whatever first came to my mind. 

After one paragraph of word-dump, I started listing the things I was grateful for. More specifically, things that I knew I was going to face that day or things that I had faced the day prior. 

This simple habit forced me to set my intention for the day. It gave me something to aim at with positivity and gratitude.

I also noticed that when I was going throughout my day, I was searching for the positive things that I was thankful for so that I could write them down the next day. It switched my intention from negativity to actively looking for the good. 

My journal also has a Bible verse at the end of each page. And when I was done writing, I simply recited the verse over and over in my mind. This meditation over scripture was a way for me to feel a new sense of peace. It reminded me that God is with me through the entirety of the day, no matter what I was going to face. 

When I was finished with this new morning ritual, I did something radical…. I GOT UP! 

I can’t count how many mornings I have spent in my adult life rushed and worried  simply because I had spent too much time lounging in my bed. 

Rather than rushing through the rest of my morning, I actually had time to sip my coffee and enjoy it. I had time to listen to one of my favorite podcasts while I got ready. And I felt an excitement for the day, rather than dread. 

In just a simple week, this new morning routine has changed a lot for me. I’ve noticed how much less I reach for my phone. I’ve been reaching for books or my journal more often simply because I want to. Not out of obligation, but because I have changed my intention of the day to be content.  

If you are in a season of anxiety, sadness, loss of hope, or worry, maybe it’s time to look at your morning/daily habits. Are they habits that are filling you up? Are they causing you to look at what you don’t have rather than what you do? Our morning routines are the very first things our tired minds wake up to. What would change if the first thing we focused on was goodness and gratitude?

When we switch our mindset to focus on the beauty that is all around us, we begin to search for it throughout the rest of the day. 

Let’s begin by starting our mornings off right. I encourage you to try a new morning routine just for ONE week. Commit to one week of new mornings. Maybe for you, the first thing you want to do is grab your Bible, or go for a run, or sit outside as you observe the world around you. 

Try it for ONE week. 

You might be surprised what you find. You might begin to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. 

Reach out to me! I would love to hear what you are doing differently in the morning to help set your intention for the day. It’s hard to change a habit on your own. Let’s do this together!

Elyssa Schultheiss