Updated: Apr 24, 2020
Is your smartphone taking over your life? Is it the last thing you look at when you go to bed and the first thing you touch in the morning? If you sheepishly answered yes, then keep reading! I know how that feels.
In this previous post, 'Am I Addicted to my phone?', I talked about how (to my dismay!) I discovered that I am addicted to my phone. I showed several different ways my phone is woven into my lifestyle—in both good ways and bad. I discussed how when I am stressed, I can literally feel a chemical change happening in my brain when I'm scrolling through interesting posts. I also admitted that my phone use was impacting my face-to-face time with my kids. I needed to fix this.
I've been implementing changes for how I use my phone.
I believe that my smartphone is an amazing piece of technology, and I don't plan to get rid of it. I am simply trying to have a healthy balance that works for me. In that earlier post, I described how I strive to remain phone-free from 3:30 pm until 7:30 pm, because that is key kid-time. This is often a crazy time in our household both physically and mentally, and the kids are tired from school. I want to be present and ready to engage with them. I share a few do-able tips and tricks that are honestly working for me, so make sure you go check them out!
After a few weeks of being pretty successful at cutting back on overall screen time (I do slip up), I can tell the good habit is starting to grow. I am feeling less dependant on my phone. and I even misplaced (gasp!) my phone a few times—something that never happened when I was checking it multiple times an hour. (Am I the only person to actually be excited to lose track of my phone?)
So, seeing as how I'm making progress in one area, it felt like it's time to start on the next phase: my need for first-thing-in-the-morning screen time.
Okay, in full transparency, I am NOT a morning person. I love my late nights, and so anything that happens before 7 am is not an optimal time for me. I remember the short-lived phase where I attempted early morning exercise. I fell asleep on the living room floor mid-stretch! I just don't wake up easily.
The negative side effects of starting your day on your phone
I have been dependant on my phone to wake me up for a long time. It is my alarm clock, yes, but I used scrolling to jump-start my mind so that I could convince myself to swing those legs out of my cozy bed. I'd open my emails, or scroll through social media, or read up on the news for five to ten minutes until the mental fog cleared and I had a goal, or an idea, or a news article to stimulate me into wakefulness.
I don't like that. I don't like that the first thing on my mind might be some dreadful headline. If my first thoughts are the tasks I need to complete, is it any wonder I start my day feeling frazzled? Even if all I read is innocent fluff on social media, is filling my mind with other people's lives the best way to start my day? The way we start our mornings can set the tone for our whole day. As a Christian mom, the vibe I want to give off is a woman who cares deeply about partnering with God in big things and small. I want to start my mornings with God.
Take back your joy in the morning!
The Psalmist seemed to love his mornings with God! Here are four uplifting verses about the joy of seeking God in the mornings:
“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” - Psalm 5:3
“But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” - Psalm 59:16
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You, I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” - Psalm 143:5-10