When your alarm goes off in the morning, do you jump right out of bed and start your day? Chances are, if you use your phone as your alarm, you may not just shut off the alarm—you may start checking missed texts, emails or news.
If you find yourself checking your phone first thing in the morning, you aren’t alone. According to a 2016 Deloitte survey, 18% of consumers worldwide check their phones immediately upon waking up, 43% of people within five minutes and 62% within 15 minutes. But, could this habit be bad for your health?
Adeola Adelayo, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, says yes. Here are some of the negative effects of this morning routine and tips to break the habit.
How Your Phone Sabotages Your Day
Instead of endless possibilities and positivity to start your day, you start your morning with a screen dictating how your day will go. Suddenly, you go from proactive to reactive.
Got an email from your boss that came overnight asking about an overdue report? Suddenly, without knowing it, your mind is in overdrive, thinking how you’ll respond. You may spend most of your morning worrying and stressing about getting back to your boss and playing catch up the rest of the day. Scrolling through social media first thing in the morning can also send your stress levels soaring as you subconsciously start comparing yourself to others’ Instagram-filtered lives.
“Instead of giving power to yourself on how you want to start your day, you are giving that control over to your phone,” Dr. Adelayo says. “You start your day checking to see how many likes you’ve gotten on a photo or responding to a text from the night before from an irritated friend. This is bound to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in your life.”
Don’t Let Your Phone Ruin Your Day
Dr. Adelayo shares some tips to help you take back control.
1. Make Your Room Your Safe Haven
Remove your phone and all electronics from your bedroom to charge in another room. This will help you resist the temptation to scroll through emails and social media at night and first thing in the morning. Need something to wake you up? Purchase an alarm clock. Yep—they’re still available!
“This may be hard for most at first, so maybe first try charging across the room and then slowly make the transition,” Dr. Adelayo suggests.
Start your day with meditation, yoga or a healthy activity that gets your heart pumping. This can help you gain clarity and focus for the rest of the day.
3. Read or Write
Engage your mind and imagination in a good book or journal—writing down what you expect from the day or what you hope to accomplish.
4. Eat a Good Breakfast
Instead of spending 15 minutes in bed going through emails and social media, use that time to make yourself a good breakfast—something to fuel your body and mind for the day.
“And last, be patient,” Dr. Adelayo says. “Taking a break first thing in the morning from technology will help you slow down and focus on what truly matters, yourself and your family. It may not happen overnight, but you’ll slowly begin to notice positive changes.”
If you’re feeling the effects of technology on your attitude and can’t seem to break the habit, take a step toward a healthier lifestyle by contacting a mental health specialist at Banner Health. We’re here to help you feel happier and healthier from the moment you wake up to when you close your eyes at night.