How iOS 10 made my morning miserable or, how to stay sane when the world feels crazy.

Unless you’ve been living in cave in the middle of the woods, you’ll have noticed that life feels a little crazy right now. Visit your favourite news website or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll find yourself bombarded with what “he who shall not be named” has done now. Even if, like me, you’re not American, it’s impossible to escape. Here in the UK we have our own political dramas.

I don’t know about you but I find the whole thing exhausting!

With the dawn of a new month (February, already? How is that even possible?!?) and with no immediate end to the crazy in sight, my thoughts have turned to surviving or, dare I say it, thriving, during the coming days, weeks and months. And no, I’m not about to suggest you switch off or zone out. Action is needed. March. Phone your elected representative. Sign petitions. Write to your MP.

You have a voice and are called to use it speak up for the voiceless.

But while you’re doing all that, you also need to find a way to stay sane. And that’s what this post is about. It’s about changing the default settings (more on that in a sec) and making conscious choices about what you let into your day and when.

Together with an estimated 350 million other people on the planet, I have an Apple device running the latest iOS software. It has lots of fun features but the one that grabbed me by the throat and made my morning routine miserable for weeks and weeks until just this morning? The default ‘news’ items that appear when you swipe from left to right.

I’m the girl who never watches the news, arguing that if something major happens, Twitter will tell me. Until iOS 10, you might say I lived in blissful ignorance. It was wonderful, even if it did drive my fella potty! Suddenly, with the addition of the default news widget, I found myself keeping totally abreast of (the mostly miserable and frustrating) current affairs, every single day. It was horrible!

This morning I started playing with the widgets. Removing ‘News’ and ‘Stocks’ and ‘Nearby Traffic’ (My morning commute involves walking down my stairs. I’m pretty sure there’s not an app for that!) Replacing them with ‘Music’, ‘Streaks‘, ‘Babbel‘ and ‘Bible‘. Instead of reading the news while I cleaned my teeth, I listened to music. (And kept the music on while I was in the shower. How did I get to 38 without ever having listened to music in the shower?!?) Now when I swipe across, instead of being confronted with the exploits of our nations leaders, I see the Bible apps ‘verse of the day’ and a reminder that I haven’t completed my streaks yet.

This morning was the nicest start to the morning in weeks. It was delightful!

I congratulated myself on a job well done and was all set to carry on with my morning when my thoughts turned to you. Because even if it’s not the default ‘news’ widget, you probably have things that have found their way into your day that don’t fill you with delight.

Maybe you’ve slipped into the habit of checking Facebook before your feet even hit the floor or possibly email is your downfall. I know you want to feel on top of things but do you really want to start putting out fires before you’ve even had a coffee?

Whatever your ‘thing’ is, my challenge to you is this:

Remove it from your morning routine for the next seven days and pay attention to how your day feels as a result.

You can choose to let those things in later in the day if you want to. (With all that is happening in the world, I like check on the latest developments but not before about 2pm when my best, most creative work is done.) But by removing them from the very start of the day, by making a conscious choice about what you will and won’t let into your morning, you’re setting yourself up for the very best day possible.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself and then tell me how you got on. I’m game if you are! 🙂