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OPINION: Why I prioritize slow mornings and why you should too

Ducks at Simmons Park enjoying their slow morning. ORACLE PHOTO/ABIGAIL NICHOLS

It’s 7 a.m. My alarm brings me out of the depths of sleep that I wish to go back into. 

I shut up the “apex” alarm sound from my iPhone. 

The duties of the day occur to me: my classes from 11 to 1:45 p.m., discussion post due at 11:59 p.m., club meeting at 5 p.m. and a 2,000 word essay I need to work on (it’s due on Wednesday). 

Stress and anxiety hit me hard and I’ve only been awake for five seconds. 

And oh yeah, I need to pay my rent today.

My life feels like an endless to-do list, especially as a college student supporting herself. But, one way I conquer the overwhelming list is by drinking a hot cup of coffee in silence for 30 minutes.

Related: Need a place to hammock? Here are some campus options.

Morning coffee is more than just a drink to help wake me up – it’s a symbol of commitment to enjoying a moment and digesting the new busy day awaiting, and everyone needs to do it too.

As the mental to-do list buzzes in my head, I get out of bed, take my time boiling water and get my french press ready. The slow methodical process of making coffee is a way of telling my body that the day is starting, the blank canvas is ready to be painted.

I grab my finished cup of coffee and sit on my balcony as the world comes alive. 

The sun is rising. 

The birds are singing. 

The to-do list fades away as I take in the peaceful scene of God’s creation.

The whole world is as groggy as I am, and we all wake up together. 

All I worry about is finishing my coffee before it gets cold. There’s plenty of time to stress about those assignments and rent that needs to be paid. For now, I enjoy the serenity. 

I sit in the stillness for at least 30 minutes, not too long to take up productive time for the to-do list and not too short to be unrestful. 

I don’t touch my phone, afraid to shatter the fragile moment of peace.

Instead, I just enjoy the silence of the morning before being engulfed by the noisiness of life.

Spending time alone in the morning allows me to gain agency over my own life away from other people’s opinions. 

The social media trap of endless news, opinions, posts, drama, likes and comments poisons the peaceful morning. I barely have my day planned out, why do I need to worry about what other people are doing? 

Taking in all the information leads to immense anxiety right when waking up. The mind is empty and immediately filling it with the stimulating social media only causes stress. 

My slow mornings are a natural provision, a necessity more than a luxury.

Taking slow mornings also allows me time to plan out my day. By planning out the things that are in my control and organizing the things that aren’t in my control, my day is much more conquerable.

So much stress and anxiety is relieved merely by taking time to write a to-do list. 

When life gets overwhelming with classes, career choices and bills to be paid, it’s hard to not feel burnt out. I get so focused on the next task and the next one and then the one after that. 

It feels like a never ending cycle of busyness.

But, life doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. 

It’s a small, but mighty thing to implement a slow morning into your routine.

Don’t just settle for oversleeping and grabbing a drive through coffee on the way to class, wake up 30 minutes earlier to have a slow morning and a homemade coffee.

Editor’s note: This is the fourth article in a “Here’s why” series on things opinion editor Abigail Nichols has done that she believes readers should do too.