It’s too early in the morning. You don’t want to want to move a limb, let alone try to get up and get started for the day ahead. You feel drained. You are all cozied up and warm in your blanket. The thoughts about all that you have to achieve in your day ahead make you feel overwhelmed. And you hit the snooze button one more time.
Oh oh! But now you have overslept and will be late for the day. It is time to get up and rush for the day.
Mornings are pretty hard, right?
They are even harder when you wake up feeling exhausted and tired before the day has even started. And no matter how much you think they are, the endless cups of coffee you keep gulping down throughout your day are not the antidote to your morning stress or lazy days.
Then what is it?
What is it that you can do differently that can light up your mornings and boost your productivity?
A good morning mental health routine.
Yes, a well-defined morning routine is what you need to boost your energy and start your days the perfect way!
Now, you might wonder what makes for the best morning routine for mental health. Well, it depends person-to-person. That said, do not worry. We are here to help you build one for yourself. With the most essential habits and ideas, these activities will help you build the best morning mental health routine for yourself.
But wait, why do you need a good morning mental health routine?
A solid morning mental health routine is the backbone of your self-care plans. It is one of the essential things you can do for your mental health. Especially in the testing and tumultuous times that we live in, having a morning mental health routine can bring a noticeable difference to your well-being.
A healthy, focused, and well-defined morning mental health routine can set the tone for the rest of the day. And it is not just for the pat on your back that you earn for following a set routine like an adult. A morning routine for mental health gives you much more than that.
When you cement certain good habits for yourself at the start of the day, it helps you prioritize your mental and physical needs throughout the course of the day. Everything you do, from the moment you get up, dips into the willpower reserves of your brain. Now, the brain is a magnificent organ. But it has its limits, pal. And according to research by the American Psychiatry Association, your willpower is a limited resource. And it eventually dries down, which makes it even harder to get back on track. This is particularly the reason why you love to skip your cycling, which you otherwise love, after a hard day at work.
Now, of course, these decisions and incidents that deplete our willpower reserves are plenty. And that is precisely where a good morning mental health routine comes into play. So when you have a set and well-defined morning routine, these habits become second nature to you. This cuts down the decisions that you have to make, like what to eat or the constant arguing that occurs within yourself about hitting the snooze button once again.
Now that you hopefully understand the importance of it, let us help your build the best morning mental health routine for yourself.
What habits make for the best routine For Mental Health?
1. Get enough sleep.
The first thing on the list of habits that make for the best morning mental health routine is to get enough sleep. Believe it or not, quality sleep is one of the most important foundations of good mental health. As per research by Andrea N Goldstein-Piekarski, sleep and mental health are directly correlated. If you don’t get enough good quality sleep, it makes it even more challenging to get up in the morning, let alone follow a morning routine for good mental health. Similarly, your routine might not even have the desired impact because less sleep means you will end up being more anxious throughout the day.
So the best morning routine for mental health actually starts the night before it.
2. Rise and shine with the sun (yep, even on weekends).
We know what you could be thinking.
Sleeping in feels so good and comfy; how can it be bad for your mental health?
Well, it all comes down to aligning your body with the rhythm of nature and supporting your hormone cycle. Old Indian and Chinese traditions have advocated the importance of sleeping a few hours after sunset and waking up just as the birds start to chirp, signaling the start of the day. Additionally, this gives you more hours of sleep during autumn and winter, when every living component of nature rests in order to conserve and protect its energy.
Brains evolved on a planet that rotated around the sun. During evolution, the human brain used light and dark patterns to align specific biological and behavioral functions with it. This alignment is called the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is crucial for our mental health.
However, once electricity started powering our homes, the balance between our body’s and nature’s rhythm fell apart and never tuned well. With that being said, the importance of following this rhythm in reducing everyday stress has not diminished one bit. The reason behind this connection lies within the relationship between the circadian rhythm and the human hormone cycle.
Hormones are chemical messengers of the body. They help our body function smoothly. Ideally, the hormone cycle is decided by the muscles in the brain, which are tuned according to our circadian rhythm. So when this rhythm is off, your hormone flow becomes unstable, and your body stops functioning as efficiently as it should.
However, when you have a morning mental health routine where you start to wake up and sleep with the sun, your sleep cycle is tuned with nature. After a few days, your body will naturally get tired and wake up around the same schedule. This way, you will be more motivated to start your day and further follow the morning mental health routine.
3. Make your own bed.
Another important part of a good morning mental health routine is making your own bed.
Now, making your bed might sound like a chore. But it is also a deceptively small and easy way to make yourself feel good right at the start of the day. First, it makes your space less clumsy and cluttered. Secondly, it encourages sleep hygiene because who doesn’t want to snuggle in a freshly made bed at the end of a hard day? Finally, along with all this, making your own bed has some psychological benefits too.
When you make your bed every morning, you get the feeling of accomplishing the first real task of the day. It fills you with a sense of achievement and gives you the energy and power to get started on the next task at hand. Moreover, on the days when you feel drained and exhausted, making your bed can work like that tiny reminder that you can do everything else just like you did this.
4. Create a fixed “getting ready” order.
Remember the decision fatigue we were talking about at the beginning and how it drains your energy reserves? It is fully applicable in case of getting ready in the morning. Now, we all have a set of things that we need to do to prepare ourselves for the day – brushing our teeth, getting dressed, etc.
Chances are you don’t have these things in order yet. There are days when you jump out of the shower to get dressed while you lounge in your towel for a good few minutes scrolling through your social media feeds on others.
But, do you know that you can save yourself from this daily chaos and constant questions of ‘what next’ by simply putting things in order?
Solidifying a step-by-step order of your getting ready process makes for the most initial parts of a morning routine for mental health. These micro-decisions you automate today will make a difference eventually. Therefore the more you can put on auto-pilot mode, the better.
5. Avoid using technology as the first thing you do in the morning.
This is one of the essential parts of this list of habits that will make for the best morning mental health routine.
Most of us have our phones by the bedside, and the first thing we do is open the phone and check our social media feeds or emails.
But mornings are a time to relax and prepare for the day ahead. So, the emails and social media mentions can wait for some time. This will not only keep you calmer but also stop you from derailing your whole morning mental health routine. After all, who hasn’t lost themselves in a Twitter thread before even getting out of the day?
6. Do something to move and stretch your body.
We won’t tell you to hit the gym and meet some crazy numbers to create the best morning mental health routine. However, if that’s what you want to do, it’s a great choice.
In another case, anything that helps you stretch and move your body a bit – yoga, walking, cycling – is a great habit to have in the morning. It will help you stay active and give your body much-needed movement after a night of good sleep.
7. Do something creative or fun.
The word routine tends to have boring and negative connotations attached to it. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. You can start your day by writing a few pages in your journal, painting, gardening, dancing around, or whatever fun or creative activity you can think of.
The idea is to give yourself something to look forward to each morning. This way, your alarm clock does not signify the start of a boring workday every morning. It starts to represent an hour of peaceful, fun-filled activities that make you feel good about yourself.
Now that you have made it this far and understood the importance and essential elements of a good morning mental health routine, we hope you will be able to create the best one for yourself. However, we would like to tell you that this will take a lot of work. So start slow, and don’t be hard on yourself. There will be days when you will fall behind, but we have complete faith that you will eventually get there.
Now that you know about the best morning mental health routine, let’s help you find some motivation to build one. Discover the best morning motivational quotes to add the perfect dash of motivation to your mornings here.
To continue learning about mental health daily, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.
Don’t forget to check out premium products on the ultimate mental health care shop!