You've reached the snooze button on your alarm clock (or phone) to get more shut-eye. Sound familiar? Some mornings, it feels nice to stay in bed a little longer. But as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, setting ourselves up in the morning can determine how the rest of our day can turn out. In his book, Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide To Daily Happiness (2018), Jordan Gross talks about the importance of how we should utilize our mornings to set ourselves up for success. The acronym, COMFY, is what the author uses to structure his morning routines.
COMFY stands for:
On another related note, Gross recommends people try the “No Snooze Challenge.” So you wake up and stay awake after the alarm clock goes off. For every minute you sleep in, limit yourself to one minute doing something you enjoy. Whether that is watching your favorite TV show, or scrolling through your social media accounts, it's an excellent incentive to get out of bed right away. In this post, I will go over the five-point approach in Getting COMFY that Gross practices during the morning. The five points (COMFY) include the following:
1.) Finding a Calming activity
2.) Being Open to yourself and others
3.) Starting your morning with Movement
4.) Feeling Funny– Start your day with smiling and laughing
5.) Being You by pursuing your passion
Getting COMFY: Find A Calming Activity
Some days, we wake up, realizing we have long days ahead. You may feel anxious and can dread these days. They can be big days that include a job interview or a presentation at work. To avoid stress, Gross suggests doing something calm to kick off your morning. This approach is critical to start your morning on the right path.
One typical example the author discusses is meditation. Gross finds that even as little as five minutes each day can make a big difference in the outlook of your day. You don't need to be an expert in meditating- start learning how to do the basics and go from there. Other calming activities include light stretching and yoga as part of your morning routine.
Be Open To Yourself & Others
Honestly expressing your feelings and thoughts can be difficult, but essential to building lasting relationships. It's a great way to open up about yourself and letting others know you're not holding back anything they need to be aware of. Doing something, such as reaching out to an old friend through email, can be meaningful. The author himself sent a thank-you email to a former teacher who failed him while in school. He didn't specify the situation (whether they had a good relationship or not). Still, he was willing to reach out in a positive-light manner. His teacher did respond to the email and mentioned her message being appreciative and supportive of him reaching out. In a way, it brought positivity to the author even though he didn't have a good relationship with his teacher.
Start Mornings With Movement
As a lot of people do to kick off their morning, exercising is one of the best ways to start your day. Some people think they have to do intense workouts (such as running), but it can even be light activities as well. Such events can be yoga (low-impact level) or going out for a brief walk. Anything that will get your body moving counts; for example, I'll walk up and down the stairs in my apartment building to get my blood flow going. I usually workout later in the later, so taking the stairs is one of the first things I do after waking up in the morning.
Not only can you engage in light to intense exercises, but there are other small things you do as well. Listening to an audiobook or podcast or reading are suitable activities to stimulate the brain. Many people will listen to podcasts or audiobooks while they workout if they want to do more than one action at a time. Doing anything active in the morning can help get your day moving in the right direction.
Feel Funny– Start your day with a smile and laugh
One critical aspect Gross discusses is feeling funny or have a sense of humor. Even looking ahead at a busy day, being able to smile and laugh can be a great way to cope with stress. It also helps keep the negativity out of your mind. Gross talks about a volunteer experience he had as a care partner at a place treating Alzheimer patients. One time, a patient had mistaken him for somebody else. Instead of feeling awkward, the author ended having a moment of laughter, and it brought some relief in a way rather than feeling bad about himself.
Another suggestion Gross talks about is creating your own “Positive News Network.” So instead of watching traditional news channels (i.e., NBC, CNN) where the news is mostly negative, tune into positive news stories or satire. The best examples include the Onion and Faith In Humanity, where most of the negativity is tuned out. This approach is the opposite of what people will do- why not start your day feeling positive and willing to laugh at something funny? It sounds better than getting sucked into negative news and feeling anxious.
Being You– Pursue Your Passions
We've heard a lot of times about how we should pursue our passion. But to make our mornings meaningful, pursuing your passion involves two components:
1. “Feeling Young”- getting in touch with activities that make you excited and full of enthusiasm
2. “Thinking Old”- forgetting about youthful notions (“being cool or “fitting in”), these phrases prevent you from pursuing your self –interests
One example Gross talks about in his book include his former neighbor. His neighbor was an avid jogger, who dedicated two hours in the morning to running because it was his passion. One year, his neighbor injured himself, and it prevented him from running for a while. His neighbor wasn't thrilled because it messed up his daily routine.
Additionally, Gross uses his self-interests as approaches to “adding value to others.” Some of the author's passions include starting a charity for a cause he cares deeply about. He cares more about value over the financial rewards. In other words, he's willing to provide things that people will enjoy and get much value out of while expecting nothing in return.
Getting COMFY: Wrap-Up
In summary, some of the best ways to kickstart your morning include meditation, practicing mindfulness, exercising, laughing, and pursuing your passions. Mornings don't have to be a dreadful day in and out. If you change your habits into basic tasks, you can change the way you structure your morning routine. Changing your daily habits will make you feel more energetic, and your days will be less stressful.
One piece of advice Gross suggests is doing the “Lose Your Phone” Challenge. This challenge is about forcing yourself to accomplish all your goals without using your phone during a specific timeframe. So you are to make a list of what you want to get done while hiding your phone somewhere else. Until you have everything cross off your to-do list, you're not allowed to pick up your phone. By making this approach, you might get a lot more done without the presence of your phone nearby. Try it out; you never know how much you can accomplish.
What are your thoughts on the COMFY method? Will you take on the “Lose Your Phone” challenge?
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Check out Gross's book below.