Morning Routines for Mental Health

happy coffee

Creating routines has been a long-standing recommendation from the mental health community and it all starts in the morning. By building a sunrise structure that works for your life, you are more likely to have a “good” day. Even if you only have 20 or 30 minutes before you head out to meet the day, implementing some of these into your morning routine may help. 

What Does Your Morning Look like?

Morning Rusher

No one else walks in your shoes let alone your mindstate. So let’s start with the hurried type of morning person. It goes without saying simply waking up earlier may be the best option here, but often it’s not that easy. Late nights, double shifts, crying newborns all can cut right into your precious sleep, so let’s make the most out of your 20 minutes. 

First, identify the most time-consuming part of your rushed morning. Is it, deciding what to wear? Try setting your clothes out the day before. Is there no time for breakfast? Premake healthy meals for the go and pre-set your coffee maker in the evenings. These might seem too simple but an extra 10 out of 30 minutes just might take the “rushed” feeling out of your morning. Leaving you a healthier mental state to continue the day. 

Have a Long Morning?

Some either are lucky enough or simply rise earlier to start their day and the options to customize your mornings are plentiful. Now hopefully you are not sacrificing good sleep just to feel like an adult that wakes up early but if you feel rested, get up and start the day.

Firstly, let some light in, this turns on your body’s natural response to get moving. Then, head for a cold glass of water to let your gut know you are awake as well. My next favorite thing to do is make my bed, this gives me a simple task to feel like I’ve already done something productive, that’s a mental health win! Now, it’s time to brew that coffee, tea, or whatever you please and put some breakfast in your body. Depending on your health status and goals, choose something that aligns with them. Now that you have covered all of your morning bases, explore some more of these with your morning routine time. 

Make it YOUR Morning Routine

Once you’re essentially ready to walk out the door, maybe just do so. Taking yourself for a little walk or even simply stretching in the morning is a great way to get the blood flowing. If you feel a bit foggy in the morning, I find it helpful to do some free writing in the morning. It can be focused or completely free form, either way, it has been shown to be a mental workout to fire the neurons that the pot of coffee didn’t. Check out Julia Cameron’s experience with her morning writing routine and how it helped her. Interesting stuff in there. 

Mornings with Kids

If you have children your morning can be hectic even if you do have an hour. But there are things you can do to make it a lot smoother. Planning clothes and food the night before is fantastic for you and for them. It has also been shown that the mornings are one of the best times to connect and talk with your children. If family dinner talks aren’t possible, making this up in the morning is a great opportunity to get a conversation in. 

Need Someone to Guide You?

I know, it all sounds so simple on paper and all of our lives are different and constantly changing. But trying some of these techniques to improve your mental health is worth it. Give it a solid try and maybe you can start your day off the way you’d like. Sending you off to succeed in your world and hopefully make someone else smile along the way. The Neuroscience Center is here for all of your mental health needs. So if you need help give us a call or reach out via email and we’d be happy to hear from you.  

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant

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