Do you consider yourself a morning person? Do you leap out of bed the second your alarm goes off (or even better—wake up naturally with the sun because your circadian rhythm seriously knows what’s up)? Or, do you turn into a maths geek when your alarm sounds, mentally calculating how much more time you can possibly afford to spend in bed before you risk losing your job?
Whichever one you are; we’re willing to bet that you either do or have in the past, indulged in one of the biggest evils a morning routine has ever seen—mindlessly scrolling on your phone.
Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram or the 10-person WhatsApp group discussing the weekend’s antics that has sucked you in, you probably know how easy it is to waste a solid 20 minutes of your day scrolling on your phone before you’ve even got out of bed. Here’s why you should kick this habit to the curb.
Yes, it’s a bit of a cliche, but do you realise that spending just 15 minutes less per day on your phone, forgoing your morning scroll will free up an extra 5,475 minutes, or 91 hours, per year? That’s almost four entire days you can spend doing something other than scrolling Instagram with each trip around the sun.
If you simply dedicated those 15 minutes to a healthier habit—whether that’s meditating, doing a yoga flow, or simply sitting in a room without screens and reading a book whilst sipping a cup of tea or hot lemon water. Sounds idyllic and the stuff of Instagram dreams, right? Well, it can just as easily be a reality—all it takes is resisting the urge to reach for your phone.
If you choose to spend the additional time exercising (and FYI, we applaud you), you’ll quickly realise how much more energy you have throughout the day if you get your workout in the morning. Whether it’s a walk, a HIIT session in the comfort of your lounge room or just some gentle stretching and yoga poses, you’ll quickly become addicted to the rush of endorphins you experience first thing—we promise.
Now I’m someone that constantly feels the pressure of arriving somewhere on time. I fret about traffic, whether or not I’ll find parking and whether or not I’ll be late—so I’m always more likely to be lurking in my car outside an appointment or walking around the block to kill time before I’m supposed to be somewhere.
I found, however, that by using my extra time in the mornings in order to do things that aren’t subconsciously comparing myself to someone’s picture-perfect life on social media, I felt a whole lot less rushed in the mornings. As someone who feels the need to rush so acutely, it’s one of the best things I’ve done to alleviate my anxieties.
On the subject of anxieties, we all know by now the detrimental impact that social media has on our mental health. Not only does it hinder our sense of self-esteem, our ability to form human connections, our ability to achieve quality sleep and our attention spans, it also robs us of so much time.
All of these factors combined serve to create an overarching sense of anxiety in a lot of people when they log on to social media. While we’re not saying you should ban the ‘gram altogether, giving up a small amount of your time on there—particularly first thing in the morning when you’ve not yet practised any form of gratitude for your own life—could pay dividends in improving mental health.