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The power of a slow morning to start your working day

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Anna Brech
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Want to prepare for a hectic day ahead? Forget the morning rush and take time doing nothing instead

Google the words “morning routine” and you’ll find an Everest of advice on how to tackle what most people regard as the most productive time of day.

Whether it’s the pre-work jogging brigade or arriving at the office early to get ahead, the tick-list of what “effective” people do before 9am is exhausting just to think about. 

Rather than lounge around in your PJs, there’s a real pressure to “make the most” of this pre-work period in revving up for the challenges ahead. 

But what if you simply took it easy, or did nothing at all, instead?

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal this week, that is exactly what a growing number of high-flying New Yorkers are now aiming for, in embracing the so-called “slow morning”. 

The slow morning is “a counter movement” and antidote to our frenetic everyday lives, says the WSJ. 

Instead of compulsively checking your phone - as 80% of us do before even brushing our teeth - slow mornings involve waking early and gradually warming up to the day with zero outside distraction.

This might involve meditation, going for a walk or simply spend half an hour doing nothing at all. 

Instead of the up-and-at-’em mentality we’re all conditioned to leap upon, like some kind of lean greyhound, the slow morning means really taking your time to avoid that exact sense of rush. 

In doing so, you invariably end up less stressed and anxious; and you can boost creativity, too. 

“Business leaders need to take time to forget about time, and that helps them to be creative when they arrive at work,” Geir Berthelsen, founder of the World Institute of Slowness, tells the paper. 

Meditation and mindfulness: A few deep breaths can help to soothe stress

Of course, to reap the benefit of a slow morning, you need extra time - and that means getting up early. But even if you don’t see yourself as a morning person at all, you can train yourself in the habit.

Writer Caroline Allen tells Stylist she cured her night-time anxiety by making a conscious effort to rise every day at 5am, for a dedicated few hours of “quiet time”.

“Now, I’ve developed a little space that I like to go to in my lounge,” Allen says. “My dog often comes down with me and I have a big throw on the sofa that I put around the two of us. It’s such a peaceful time of day. In the summer, I like to go in the garden and watch the sun come up.

“It [getting up so early] is unpleasant to start with and there is no getting around that discomfort, but if you’re willing to push through the temporary pain, you’ll be amazed at just how good it can feel in the long run.”

Since your phone can distract you just by being in the same room, another good technique to cut through the noise and start slowly is to avoid checking it before 9am (or whenever you start work). 

That way, the outside world doesn’t impede on your own sense of space. 

Images: Getty, Unsplash

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.