Well OK, I wear a sleep mask so it is easier not to open my eyes before I do these things. I keep the mask on because this way those three minutes become part of that wonderful in-between state of mind: awake but not exactly.
1) As soon as I turn off the alarm or wake up on my own, I lay on my back take a big breath, and follow Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing exercise: four counts breathing in, seven counts holding the breath, and eight counts breathing out, all smoothly and continuously, four times. He recommends it twice a day preferably in the morning and in the evening. Here you can see Dr. Weil’s video: https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/. (1 min.)
2) Next, I recite (in my head) a list of things that I’m grateful for. I have been doing this intuitively since I was a child because no matter how modest our life used to be, I always felt lucky and grateful for what I had. (1 min)
3) Last, I stretch. Yes, I stretch lying on the bed, arms high, with tows stretched, then heals stretched, moving my right/left hip up and down, and finally circling my ankles inward and outward. So, even if I never get to any exercise during the day, at least I did a little bit of stretching that my joints will appreciate.
With that I’m ready to put my blue silky sleep mask on my lavender silky pillow and a sliver of a smile on my face to start a new day!
There is something good about being able to stick to a daily routine of any kind. I found these three steps easy to do because they make me feel good and they make a noticeable difference in the way I start the day. You decide for yourself: try it for a week and then skip the next and voila, your own experimental study whether you should start a new routine with eyes closed.