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How You Spend Your Mornings Determines The Quality Of Your Day

Much has been written — here on Medium especially — about morning routines. I’m throwing my take and experience in the mix because I truly believe in the power of early mornings. I’m not here to give anyone a winning formula or shame anyone who sleeps in on a Saturday. I’d simply like to share my experience and story in hopes it helps another.

I suppose I have an unfair advantage because I’ve essentially always been a morning person. From the time I was a young tyke, I’ve always enjoyed my mornings. I’ve always seen the benefit to rising before everyone else. Although back then, it was to play Nintendo or watch Saved By The Bell before being hauled off to school.

Then a few years later, it was to smoke pot in my bedroom before my Dad woke up. As if the fact he was sleeping while I smoked would somehow stop the entire house from smelling like a Bob Marley concert. Sorry Pop.

These days, I spend my mornings doing things I not only enjoy but that also add value to my life. Activities I know make me a better version of myself that help me progress to where I want to be in life. I read, I run and I write.

Sure it’s tempting to close my eyes and roll back over when my overactive mind wakes me up at 4 or 5 AM, or to reach for my phone and mindlessly scroll through social media as I lay in bed. But I don’t. I force myself out of bed, turn the coffee on and get to rocking and rolling.

By the way, a fantastic life hack for anyone like myself who still uses an old school coffee pot; set your coffee pot up the night before, so all you have to do when you wake up is turn it on. You’ll thank yourself for having done so.

How you spend your morning sets the tone for your entire day. What you do or don’t eat in the morning plays a major role in how you feel for the rest of the day. What we put in our bodies is what we get out of them.

What we feed our mind is also what we get out of them. If you spend your first waking moments reading status updates from the crazy girl you grew up with who’s always complaining about her dysfunctional love life, you’re off to a bad start. Filling our minds with negativity and nonsense first thing in the morning can’t be good for you subconsciously. Or even consciously, actually.

This was something I really struggled with. I had developed a really bad habit of reaching for my phone first thing in the morning and clicking the Facebook or Instagram icon without even realizing it. I’d spend twenty minutes to a half hour filling my mind up with complete and utter garbage, from bed.

How I helped break this habit was by moving my social media apps off of my phones home screen and replacing them with my reading, writing and running apps. This way, if I do happen to reach for my phone first thing in the morning, I’ve been reminded of what it’s time to get up and do rather than why I stopped being actual friends with so many of my Facebook friends.

Though I genuinely enjoy running, there’s plenty of mornings when it’s the last thing I want to go do. Especially in the winter. I don’t always look forward to running miles in single digit temperatures. But I always feel better after I do. Studies have shown how beneficial just getting your body up and moving and your blood flowing can be for the mind. Running, or even just going for a twenty minute walk in nature also helps reduce anxiety and has been reported to be an effective means against depression. It’s far more difficult for depression and anxiety to hit a moving target as opposed to one who is curled up in bed. So get up, get moving and get your blood flowing. It’s a new day.

Plain and simply put, I do my best writing in the morning. Not only is my brain at it’s best shortly after waking but there’s also far less for me to be distracted or interrupted by at 6 AM than there is at noon. It is currently 8:00 AM on the dot and I have written almost a thousand words for the day. If I were to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day, I’d at least be able to take comfort in that. But my day has just begun, I’m off to a great start.

After I finished writing the paragraph above, I went for a four mile run in the park as the snow flurried down on me gently. It’s just apart of my process. After I finish writing this and hit publish, I’ll shower and read for an hour. I tend to lean towards something positive to read in the morning. Again, it’s a tone setter for the rest of my day. How I start my day has a major impact on how the rest of it goes. I try not to dive into reading articles and whatnot until after I’ve read at least a chapter or two of a book with some substance. However, in the interest of full disclosure — this tends to be the part of my day where I start to let distractions get the best of me. Probably because I do a majority of my reading on my Google books and Amazon Kindle apps on my phone. Once I pick my phone up, it’s all down hill from there.

Be mindful of how you start your day and spend your mornings. Eat something at least semi decent. Skipping breakfast is a genuinely bad idea. Eating bullshit first thing in the morning is better than eating nothing but the better you eat, the better you feel. The choice is yours, I’m no life coach.

Find a form of exercise that works for you, even if it is just a short walk. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits this has on both your mind and body. Read something of value, instead of your friends Facebook updates. Journal instead of leaving mindless comments on their posts. You’d be surprised by how much clarity comes from writing down your thoughts everyday.

A good life comes from good days and good days start with good mornings, so make the most of yours. Drain the negativity and nonsense out of them and get out there and punch today in the fucking mouth.

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Brian Brewington

Brian Brewington

Writing About the Human Condition, via My Thoughts, Observations, Experiences, and Opinions — Founder of Journal of Journeys and BRB INC ©