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Why Mornings Matter

What do your mornings look like? For many, it looks a bit like this- the alarm blares, jolting them out of sleep and directly into the whirlwind of the day ahead. With barely enough time to spare, they rush through their morning tasks, fueled by caffeine and sheer determination to make it out the door on time. In the midst of this frenzy, calm, intention, and self-care often takes a backseat, replaced by the urgency of deadlines and obligations.

This pattern of hurried mornings can have profound effects on our mental and emotional well-being. Research has shown that starting the day in a state of stress or anxiety can set a negative tone for the rest of the day, impacting our mood, productivity, and overall sense of well-being. Moreover, the relentless pace of modern life leaves little room for self-reflection and introspection, further exacerbating feelings of overwhelm and burnout.

The Case for Calm & Intentional Mornings

When I suggest to others the idea of waking up earlier I am almost immediately met with cringing, changing the subject, or reasons why they cannot. And I get it- sleep is important and it seems counterintuitive to not get as much as you can. But by beginning your morning with calm and intention you are preparing yourself to effectively handle the day. And carving out time for yourself first thing in the morning is a profound act of self-care and self-respect. But what exactly does an intentional morning look like? For starters, I am not suggesting you get up at 5am and go for a run (unless that's your thing). Instead, figure out how much time you need to do all your morning tasks without rushing then add on an extra 15 or more minutes. When you wake, spend that extra 15+ minutes doing something mindful. This might be quietly having your breakfast, stretching, journaling, going for a walk, reading, or some other self care activity. This is your time. Once you're done move on to your regular morning tasks.

As you embrace the practice of intentional mornings, you may be surprised by the ripple effect it has on other areas of your life. By starting your day with purpose and presence, you set the stage for less stress, greater productivity, creativity, and overall well-being throughout the day. Moreover, by prioritizing self-care, you cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and a stronger sense of self-esteem.

Early Risers and Cultural Bias

I want to be clear that my encouragement to get up earlier is based on self-care and as a tool for reducing stress. Our culture loves to idealize things that seem productive and this includes the notion that getting up early in the day is somehow better than sleeping late. Early risers are often portrayed as being paragons of self-discipline while those who sleep late are seen as lazy. The hours one chooses to sleep has absolutely nothing to do with one's character. A person is not better simply because they are an early riser. So with that being said, the actual time you wake up does not matter, what matters is you having enough time to care for yourself before rush into your day.


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Hi. I'm Katie

Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing teletherapy to adults in Florida. 

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