Most days feel a little more rise and grind then rise and shine. Most mornings are roll out of bed, brush your teeth and stumble to the coffee maker situations. So instead of doing what you always do, consider incorporating a focus on your mental health from the moment you wake up. Shocking thought right? Stick with us here, but a mindful morning routine not only prepares your body for the day ahead, but also sets a positive mental and emotional tone. Here's an example that you can use as a template, but feel free to play around with it and make it your own:
Wake up early: This doesn’t have to be before the sun rises, just earlier than the rest of your household . Rising before the rush gives you time for a peaceful start. This quiet period can help you feel settled instead of rushed or stressed and offers an opportunity for reflection.
Avoid technology: This is a hard one, we are on this site early and who doesn’t love to check their email and social media first thing in the morning? However, starting your day with scrolling on your phone can make you feel overwhelmed. Give your mind space before diving into the work day.
Hydrate: Drink water first, not coffee, this is as big a reminder to us as it is to you. Drinking water helps flush out toxins, aiding digestion and overall, being super amazing for your physical health.
Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness can reduce anxiety and stress. Even a short meditation session can help ground your thoughts and set a calm tone for the day.
Journaling: Expressing your thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic. It helps us release pent up emotions, understand what we are feeling and helps us set intentions for the day. Not a fan of journaling, write your thoughts out on the site!
Gratitude practice: Counting your blessings and focusing on the positive aspects of life can boost your mood, improve resilience, and promote a more optimistic outlook. Easier said than done for sure, but you can start small, “ok, that coffee really was stellar today” or “that was so nice for that person to hold the elevator for me.”
Physical Activity: Exercise releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. Even a brief session can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus it is just darn good for you!
Healthy Breakfast: Nutrient-rich foods can positively influence brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins play crucial roles in emotional regulation and cognitive function. Scramble some eggs and veggies or make yourself a smoothie. Plan ahead, meal prep, this is doable.
Deep Breathing: Deep breathing can activate the body's relaxation response and did you know that a lot of phones have a breathing coach program in their health app? Pretty cool right? Take a look, on an android it can be found under measuring your stress. If it isn’t preloaded on your phone, search “Breathe”-it's free! The app takes you through a series of breathing exercises, there is both an audio and visual guide throughout.
Reading: Dive into inspirational or self-help literature. Engaging with uplifting content can provide a positive perspective and motivate personal growth.
Plan the day with self-compassion: While setting tasks, remember to be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your limits and ensure you're not setting unrealistic expectations, which can lead to unnecessary stress.
Engage in a creative outlet: Whether it's drawing, playing an instrument, or crafting, cooking or baking engaging in a creative activity can be meditative and boost mental well-being.
Connect with nature: If possible, spend some time outdoors. The natural environment has been shown to reduce mental fatigue, stress, and promote relaxation.
Set boundaries: As you prepare for the day, remind yourself of the importance of setting healthy boundaries. This could mean setting specific times for breaks or deciding to limit interactions with certain stress-inducing individuals.
Affirmations: Positive self-talk can reframe your mindset. Start the day by repeating affirmations that resonate with you. Examples include: "I am enough," "I am resilient," or "I can handle whatever comes my way."
Remember, when devising a morning routine that prioritizes mental health, the goal is to create a supportive environment where you feel nurtured, understood, and prepared, both mentally and emotionally, for the day ahead.
Food for Thought:
What is the one amazing thing you do in the morning to aid your mental health?
What is the one thing you know you need to purge from your routine?
What is one thing you wish to add?