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  • Writer's pictureGeorgina Sturmer

How to get your day started

I was asked to think about my 'One Good Thing'. One tip or strategy that I could offer, that might be helpful for someone's day. All as part of the 'One Good Thing' series for Stylist Magazine. I went round and round in a few circles, but kept landing in the same place. Starting our day without reaching for our devices. Click here to read the full article, or read on to learn what I had to say.

Start every day with some screen-free time when you wake up in the morning.  

Even if it’s just five minutes.  

It’s a simple, powerful way to set the tone for each and every day.  It doesn’t cost us anything, and we always have at least five minutes to spare.  In the evening, make sure your devices are on 'flight mode', or better yet, keep them out of the bedroom.  When you wake up in the morning, check the time and give yourself at least five minutes before you switch your devices on for the day.  Of course, if you can allow more time then you’re likely to reap the benefits.  But by starting at the five-minute mark, it makes this an easier habit to adopt.  

What are the benefits? Once our devices are on, they are such a powerful influence and distraction on our thoughts and actions.  Before we know it, we are swept up in the anxiety and overwhelm of a flood of information and tasks.  Starting each day with some screen-free time helps us to feel as if we are in control of our time and our thoughts.  It acts as a mini-detox from the dopamine ‘hit’ that we get from being hooked to our screens all day long.  It gives us space to dream a little, to reflect a little, to wake up more more naturally.  This helps us to feel connected to ourselves and to the people who we are with.  And if we are prone to anxiety or negative thinking then it helps us to feel calm before the day begins.    

What are the pitfalls? It’s easy to make excuses to avoid trying something new.  If you recognise that you’re getting in your own way, then see if you can solve the problem.  Need your phone to tell the time or to set an alarm?  Invest in a cheap alarm clock.  Need your phone to make a note of something before you forget?  Keep a pad and pen on your bedside table.  Can’t spare five minutes?  How about setting your alarm five minutes earlier.  Or shorten another element of your morning routine to make way for something new.  

And if you’re still finding ways to avoid screen-free time, be curious about why you’re doing this.  It might be a version of self-sabotage.  Perhaps the idea of screen-free time is tapping into some underlying fears about just being with your own thoughts.  If this is the case, it’s worth exploring further.  

My own personal experience - how it works, and the benefits that I've seen

After dinner I often find myself catching up with emails and messages.  Once I’ve cleared the things that need to be dealt with, I turn my phone off and leave it in another room until the morning.  I have had to buy a cheap alarm clock to put on my bedside table.  I’ve also put a notepad and pen there just in case there’s something really important that comes to mind when I wake up.  I am certainly calmer in the morning as a result, rather than being distracted by the news and events of the day ahead.  I’m also sleeping better.  I’m an early bird, and if I wake up too early then it’s much easier to drift back to sleep if I don’t have the temptation of my phone by my bedside.  I’m also reading more as an alternative to mindlessly scrolling on my phone.  

Keen to explore more? In counselling we can take a deeper look at how you feel about yourself, and how you look after yourself. Click here to contact me, or click here to book a 30-minute introductory call.

How to get your day started

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