I Mastered a Phone-Free Morning Routine—Here's How

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? A well-rounded morning routine sets the tone for the day and gets you prepped—both mentally and physically—before diving into a packed schedule filled with emails, chores, happy hours, workouts, and more. Our series Morning Person profiles those who have mastered the art of the morning routine. Tune in every Monday morning here and on our Instagram to learn exactly how the pros get it all done before the sun comes up, from their go-to breakfasts to their a.m. workouts.

I'm going to take a wild guess here and assume that most everyone reading this right now would say the first thing they do when they wake up is check their phone. I'm not judging; I've been working in wellness for years now and still can't shake the habit of grabbing for my digital device on my nightstand with my eyes half-closed each and every day.

Although I've certainly made progress. I used to be so addicted to checking my phone that I would wake up to each and every buzz and respond mid-slumber to text messages and emails, and then have no recollection the following day of what I had said. Productive, right? Thankfully, moving to a different time zone than most of my friends and family knocked some sense into me as I was tired (literally) of waking up to pings at 4 a.m. every day and finally started utilizing Do Not Disturb mode. Still, I have a ways to go.

Health coach Neeyaz Zolfaghari, however, has already mastered the art of a daily morning digital detox. Despite waking up at the wee hours of 5:30 a.m., she doesn't even turn her phone on until 3.5 hours later when it's time for her to officially begin her day. If you're looking for some more advice on how to start a phone-free morning, keep scrolling for tips.

5:30 a.m.

I have some mornings where I want to ignore my alarm and sleep a little longer but generally, I am awake between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. My phone is kept outside of my bedroom on airplane mode overnight, so I have a digital alarm clock on the opposite side of my bedroom. Having to physically get out of bed to turn the alarm off is enough effort to wake me up.

5:45 a.m.

After I have brushed my teeth and splashed cold water on my face, I step into the first part of my routine. I am currently training for my Thyroid Yoga Teaching Certification, so I begin my sadhana. In Kundalini, sadhana means daily spiritual practice. My sadhana involves a kriya, a movement and vocal practice composed of chants and poses that help bring balance and harmony into the body. The kriya that I am currently practicing is for the sixth chakra.

After I have finished and concluded my kriya, I turn to journaling. Beautiful messages come through after my kriya, so I like to myself time to write whatever I need. I then sit for a 10- to 15-minute grounding meditation, usually from Insight Timer. I then turn to gratitude writing, using The Five Minute Journal. It is my favorite gratitude journal, I recommend it to all of my clients.

Insight Timer


Insight Timer

7:00 a.m.

Once my spiritual and mental bodies has been tended to, I turn my attention to my physical body. I love working out in the mornings because it gives me the energy I need to move through my day. Every morning is different. I used to be obsessed with planning out a week in advance what workout I was going to do each day. But I realized that this wasn’t sustainable for me because my body often craves what I don’t plan for. My go-to workouts are hot yoga, interval training, Pilatesboxing, or a long walk along the beach.

8:30 a.m.

After I shower and get dressed, I head to the kitchen to make a delicious breakfast. I crave something different every day, but breakfast is usually either a vegetable-packed smoothie, avocado toast, eggs with vegetables and homemade pesto, Kite Hill yogurt with all the toppings, or oatmeal. (My trick for oatmeal: While the oatmeal is still on the stovetop, add a spoonful of nut butter, cinnamon, and frozen blueberries. Stir it while it’s hot and everything melts into the oats; it’s insanely delicious). While eating, I will either read a book, look over my to-do list for the day, or sit in my own company. Eating is an art form that I cherish and choose to experience fully.

9:00 a.m.

After breakfast, I turn my phone on and begin checking my messages and emails. I’ll then begin my day, from a place of groundedness and gratitude.