If you’ve been tracking with me this year, you know of my focus for a deeper, more undistracted year. I wrote about my goals for January, which were sort of a template for following months – then I followed up with them at the beginning of February in this post – and now it’s time to do a quick recap of how February went.
February went much slower than January, which was excellent for the health of my soul, but once again, I didn’t exactly meet all of my goals (I probably never will, but it’s about the journey, right??).
I think I have worked towards regular rest, with 7.5-8 hours of sleep being my norm now – and that has worked wonders for my mental capacity.
I tried reading a classic book to study its craft, but unfortunately the first book I picked was Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Don’t get me wrong – the craft is brilliant. But I should have known from the title that it would be – well, a little on the dark side. And February had enough challenges, mentally and emotionally, that I didn’t need more darkness added to it. So I decided to set that aside and read something a little lighter. Someday I’ll come back and finish it when I’m in a better frame of mind.
But one thing that has been doing me so much good is social media-free mornings.
One of my goals for each month was to take a week off of social media. That didn’t happen in January, and in February, it *mostly* happened (with a couple exceptions). But following that *mostly* week, I have had several mornings where I simply chose not to go on social media, and the more I do it, the more I find that it’s transforming my approach to my days.
A few years ago, I read this article on Desiring God about why you shouldn’t check your phone as soon as you wake up. I agreed wholeheartedly with the reasons, and since then I’ve integrated that into my morning routine.
First thing I do after hitting my alarm is stumbling into the shower, since that’s the only thing that can truly wake me up. After that, I do quickly check texts and emails, but this doesn’t take much time, and then I go to my breakfast and quiet time. And in the past, it was only after this that I would allow myself to check social media before doing my hair and make-up.
But even this – even though it wasn’t the first thing I did after waking up – I found to still distract my thinking in the morning.
I will admit, mornings are a little rough for me. People sometimes make fun of the fact that I give myself two hours for my morning routine, but I always tell them that I need it in order to be a nice person. I need my shower and leisurely breakfast to fully wake me up; I need alone time with Jesus to fortify my soul; and I need my hair and make-up routine to feel fully put together and ready to face the day.
But in the middle of all of this, my tired brain is fighting thought battles from the moment I wake up. And I have been learning that when I take those little social media check-ins in the morning, it’s because I’m craving attention, distraction, and affirmation. And it usually leaves me feeling unhappier or more discontent because I’m already in a battling frame of mind.
Rather, if I ignore the social media and instead fill my getting-ready routine time with worship songs and meditating on Scripture, I find true comfort and fortification for my soul. I find delight in the King of Kings and satisfaction in my Savior. I find peace and strength for the day ahead.
And by the time I come home from school, I’ve forgotten my unhealthy cravings for attention (probably because I got too much attention from children all day long!), and I can use the social media check-in as more of a break and an enjoyment of what my friends and family have posted.
There are some times when I need to take the whole week completely off social media. But there are also times when I just need to learn to use it more wisely and not let it lure me into its mindless, unhealthy traps. And part of that is saying no to it completely in the mornings and replacing it with far more important things.
And as I do, Christ is revealing Himself to me in even deeper and more beautiful ways.
And that is always one hundred percent worth it.
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash.