At the beginning of the year, I decided to try a new habit: morning pages. I’d read a lot on the internet about the benefits of this practice, and wanted to give it a shot. Read on for my take on how morning pages are working for me.
Some background on morning pages: it seems like everyone has already written a blog post on what they are, and if you found your way here, you’ve probably already researched the concept a bit and are looking for some ways people have made it work for them. If you’re still confused, check out this article or this one for some more details.
I was most attracted to the idea of clearing my mind. Right now, I don’t have a specific goal to be more creative or generate ideas; rather, I want to stop complaining out loud so much, be a little more “in my head” than external processing, and allow for more quiet time at home. I thought perhaps morning pages would be a great way to help train my brain to do this more.
I’ve been doing morning pages for about a month now. It took me a few weeks to actually sit down and do it. When I finally did, the first week, I was ALL ABOUT IT. I am pretty good with sticking with habits (check out my series on the Four Tendencies and habit tracking to learn more about that!) so although part of it was certainly that it felt good to stick with it – especially since I’ve never been at all interested in keeping a diary or journaling – there was also something else. I was almost on a high from writing every day! I didn’t worry about what I was writing; I let myself be judge-y or complain-y or petty; I did my best to fill up the pages.
The next few weeks weren’t as good, though. I found myself a little underwhelmed, mainly recounting what I was doing that day or being really negative about something. I didn’t feel like it was cathartic beyond having the nice moment of waking up and having quiet moments sipping coffee.
That helped me realize that I have really enjoyed the habit part of it: sitting down in the morning at my tiny New York City-sized dining room table (which I don’t really use otherwise), sipping hot coffee, and having a quiet ritual that isn’t related to a screen right when I wake up.
I wrote about this on my Instagram and a follower, @lalunechacha, mentioned that morning pages feel more like a problem-solving tool through writing. That clicked for me! It has been really useful to think through why I am feeling a certain way, but when I don’t need to do that, it hasn’t felt particularly beneficial. La Lune suggested meditating which I have been trying to get back into.
Next steps? Right now I am alternating between meditating (using Headspace app, which I am considering trying a monthly subscription for) and morning pages. If I feel excited about writing morning pages, I go for it. If I feel like my mind is really scattered I will meditate instead. If I am thinking about something I want to figure out or work through, I’ll write that morning to try to allow myself to go deeper into it.
Have you used morning pages? What did you think? How is it working for you?