6 Ways to Wake Up That Aren’t Looking at Your Phone

Is your phone the last thing you look at before you go to sleep at night? What about first thing in the morning? Do you reach for it the minute you wake up? If you answered yes to those two questions, it could be time for a phone breakup.

Screen time with your morning coffee might seem like an innocuous way to pass the time, but it’s not. As Outside Online points out, “It’s never a bad time to evaluate your digital addiction.”

Whether you’re reading the news, scrolling through your Instagram feed or responding to work emails, it makes no difference. Checking your phone right when you wake up is not a good idea.

There Are Better Ways to Start Your Day

6 Ways to Wake Up That Aren't Looking at Your Phone

The Dalai Lama meditates for an hour every morning. When asked what he does when he has a particularly busy schedule, he famously replied, “Then I meditate for two hours.”

His point is that the busier you are, the more important the fundamentals become. In his case, that means meditating. For you, it could be exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, going for a walk or run, etc.

How do you stop checking your phone all the time? That’s a whole other discussion. For the purpose of this article, my advice is to simply stop using your phone to wake up. Get yourself an old school alarm clock.

As for your phone. Leave it in another room, somewhere out of plain sight. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll only look at it once you’ve woken up properly. Which is to say, by employing one of the methods suggested below.

Ways to Start Your Day Without Your Phone

Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. Adopting these simple, yet effective habits will pretty much guarantee you a great day. On the other hand, filling up on junk content when you wake up will bring you down like a lead balloon.

1. Meditate

Meditation is a well-known tool for relieving stress and anxiety. It’s also good for your brain. Meditation improves your memory and focus, slows brain aging and reduces self-referential thinking.

Learning to meditate takes patience. After meditating daily for 60 years, the Dalai Lama says he still finds it hard. Try anyway, even if it’s just for a few minutes to begin with. The quiet time will ground your day and leave you feeling calmer and more relaxed.

2. Exercise

The great thing about exercising in the morning is that then it’s done for the day. You won’t have this chore hanging over your head. You’ll start your day boosted by a win, which means things can only get better from there.

It also means your evening is yours to do with as you please. Whether that’s hanging out with friends, working on a passion project, cooking dinner with your kids or slothing on the couch with a juicy book.

3. Drink Tea

There’s something to be said for rituals. Indulging in a daily tea ritual can have a wonderfully calming effect on the mind and spirit. It slows you right down by bringing you into the moment.

You take note of every step, from filling the kettle and boiling it to scooping your tea leaves into the pot and pouring hot water over them. Even if you’re using a teabag, you can still slow down the process and be present.

4. Go for a Walk

Walking has many benefits. It’s a means to get somewhere, yes. But it’s also way to get outside, improve your health or lose a few pounds. For a lot of people, mindful walking calms the mind and fuels creativity.

A walk in nature is even better. You can indulge in a little forest bathing at the same time. Developed in Japan in the 1980s, the practice of shinrin-yoku—which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’—has numerous health benefits.

5. Do Your Chores

Doing your chores requires discipline. Why is that so important? Because discipline equals freedom. When you get up early and start the day right (meditate, exercise, make the bed, do the dishes, etc.), you automatically create space for the things you love later on.

Conversely, when you lie around in bed staring at your phone, you’re wasting precious time. Suddenly you’re late for work and you haven’t even showered yet, let alone tidied up, eaten a healthy breakfast or packed lunch.

6. Have Sex

Morning sex is good for you. Yip, you heard it here first. Okay, maybe you didn’t, but still. Sex has been proven to lower stress levels. Plus, it releases oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins. Ergo, you feel closer to your partner, good in general and you get to bask in a post-workout glow.

Ultimately, you could do any number of things when you wake up besides eyeballing your iPhone. The key point here is to avoid screen time first thing. The benefits of not checking your phone in the morning will astound you.

The Phone Breakup Challenge

Ways to Wake Up That Aren't Looking at Your Phone

It could be that you’re not that addicted to your phone after all. Maybe you just got into the habit of looking at it while drinking your morning coffee. However, if you think your digital addiction is out of control, try taking the 7-day phone breakup challenge.

Don’t worry, nobody is suggesting you toss your phone in a field. The breakup challenge is a way to shift the relationship you have with your device from obsessive (can’t bear to be without it) to something more balanced (leaving it at home is totally cool).

It’s one of those nothing to lose and everything to gain situations, so at least give it a try before you veto the idea outright.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Thomas M
Thomas M2 months ago

thanks for sharing

Dennis H
Dennis H2 months ago

This most valuable time is best spent remembering dreams -- which foretell disease, often, years in advance and offer many other benefits. Read books on dreams and figure out your unique use of symbols as dreams often are making points in ways that are oblique -- and don't offend the conscious mind's sensibilities, lol. And the flying dreams, etc., are so trippy. Much better than sci-fi when you are actually in that reality . . . :D

Johan Maltesson
Johan Maltesson2 months ago

I find that jumping into the shower first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up! And then some morning exercise after that. As for having the phone in another room though, that would unfortunately be difficult since I do use it as my alarm clock. Also, I do find it quite relaxing to look at some funny or interesting things on the phone over breakfast before heading out for the day.

Daniel N
Past Member 2 months ago


Jessica K
Jessica K2 months ago

I'll pass on jumping into doing laundry first thing in the morning. Though generally, my cat wants breakfast as soon as she sees me walking though the kitchen. Thanks.

hELEN h2 months ago


Mona M
Mona M2 months ago

thank you, the problem is not the phone or anything else but why people are so addicted to their dependencies that they forget to look at the Sun or the rain or to wake up in a state of Gratitude.

Shirley S
Shirley S2 months ago

Noted with a wry laugh.

Christine D
Christine D2 months ago

My phone is never in my bedroom and it's in Airplane mode overnight to minimize EMFs. I only switch it to regular mode and boot up my laptop after I do my usual morning routine. My phone and I are not joined at the hip.

Wesley Struebing
Wesley Struebing2 months ago

I guess I may be accused of being a Luddite, but - who the heck does that immediately upon getting up?!