Bittersweet Mornings

Photos by Ugo Gattoni

As I was listening to one of the Man Repeller’s ‘Monocycle’ podcasts on vulnerability I realized how very applicable her advice is to everyday life. I guess that was her aim so I could also just tell you to go off and listen to the podcast yourself (you should!). But by doing so there would be no point in me writing this blogpost, which is just sad seeing as I really want to.

The Man Repeller on vulnerability

Even though we might not always be in control of what happens to us or to the world, we can control the way things make us feel.

At this point you may be wondering; what does this have to do with bittersweet mornings? Hear me out!

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Today I woke up and did what I do everyday upon rising: I checked my phone. Time and time again, my sleepy brain seems to forget how greatly doing so can impact my mood, confidence levels, and ultimately the course of my entire day.

As a result, the sweet warm feeling of lying in the comfort of my own bed is short-lived. How could it not be? As soon as I check my phone,  I seem to be confronted with the fact that nearly everyone I know (ok, maybe not everyone) has started their day, and that there is really no time to waste.

As a kid- before being so dependent on my phone- I would take the time to enjoy every morning. I would try to remember my dreams and see for how long I could stay in bed until someone pulled the covers off me. After that I would only interact with family members-people I trusted and loved- for at least an hour.

What’s the problem?

Checking your phone in the morning does not necessarily mean you are immediately talking to anyone. And yet, whenever you read or look at a post or news article you take in and reflect upon what someone is communicating to you. In a way therefore you are interacting with people you may not personally know from the minute you wake up. Whether that person is a journalist reporting on recent bombings or a blogger posting a seemingly motivational piece of text under their Instagram photo, everyone is trying to tell or show you something you might not want to think about as soon as you wake up.

It seems that we no longer acknowledge the importance of taking some time to ourselves before being thrown in to the hostile and and intimidating world we live in every morning. Writing this, I wonder whether or not I am exaggerating things slightly but I guess that’s open to interpretation. All I know is that, before looking at my phone, I feel completely at peace with what is; I am not at all frustrated about not being able to change the way things are.

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*pop*

My peaceful bubble often bursts as soon as I read a headline along the lines of: “256 killed after failed Turkey coup” or even “World stocks tumble as Britain votes for EU exit”. Of course, such headlines give me chills at 4pm, too. But at that point I am much less likely to let them bring down my entire day.

At a much less significant scale, I may also open Instagram or Facebook and instantly be confronted with posts or photos reminding me of the person I am not. Now, if I come across such photos or posts later in the day, I feel less vulnerable and more in control of how these things affect me. I don’t tend to let them get to me, as I have the mental ‘capacity’ of putting their importance in to perspective and comparing it to the (enjoyable) things that occupy me everyday.

Wait an hour or two

I guess what this all boils down to is that our sleepy heads have a hard time feeling in control of the ways news articles and social media posts make us feel. Sleeping brings us back to a primal state where we feel more at peace, child-like, and vulnerable than we do during the day. When we’re confronted too quickly with things that are happening outside of this peaceful state, it becomes much harder to put things into perspective.

Be kind to yourself, leave your phone to the side for an hour or two, and start the day on a good note; at least until you’re fully awake.

What else could you do instead of checking your phone?

  • Go for a short walk
  • Stretch
  • Read a few pages in a good book
  • Journal or write down your dream
  • Have breakfast with a friend, roommate, or family member
  • Spiritual practice (positive affirmations or meditation)

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