How to Adopt a Morning Routine That Promotes Mental Health
Consistently performing healthy morning behaviors day in and day out may be crucial not only to a calmer morning, but also to an improved mental outlook throughout your day. Establishing routines filled with healthy habits is an excellent way to move through your day, expending less mental energy and willpower in the process. People tend to rely more heavily on well-established practices when they are under stress, which suggests that having healthy routines might help people maintain emotional, mental, and physical health during stressful times.
Consider how much time you have in the morning
When you’re trying to build your morning routine, you’ll likely want to consider how much time you have. If you only have 15 minutes or so to spare each morning, you can still use that time to promote favorable mental health.
If your time is limited in the morning, identify your challenges or stressors. Then, consider how forming a healthy habit could help you mitigate those things. Think about ways to move through your morning without cramming a variety of tasks and activities into a small window of time. For instance, if you don’t always have time for breakfast, consider preparing it ahead of time so you’ll grab a healthy and nutritious option as you’re heading out the door. People who have a longer time to dedicate to a morning routine might take a different route, such as choosing a physical activity, meditating, or preparing healthy meals.
Things you can incorporate into your routine to promote mental health
Morning routines will vary depending on individual needs. To find what works for you, explore what elements you can incorporate into your morning to enhance your wellness throughout the day.
- Be prepared
A successful morning routine is often solid because of the bedtime routine that came before. Prepare what you’ll need the night before, and make sure your bag, keys, and other essentials are in a place you can easily find them.
- Let the light in
Bright light exposure first thing in the morning contributes to wakefulness. Turning on a lamp, your bedroom lights, use a lightbox, or buy an alarm clock that simulates the dawn.
- Make your bed
This only takes a few minutes, and the habit of making one’s bed is positively correlated with better sleep, a happier mood, and potentially higher self-esteem, as well.
- Stay hydrated
Dehydration can bring on headaches and negatively impact cognitive function. Rehydrate first thing in the morning and continue to drink sufficient water throughout the day.
- Get adequate nutrition
Eating something nutritious within an hour or so of rising to bring your blood sugar level up and prevent irritability, preferably something with complex carbs, fat, and protein
- Write down what you’re grateful for
Gratitude can increase happiness, improve relationships, and enhance an individual’s sense of well-being. Start your day off with a mindset of gratitude by writing down three things for which you are appreciative, and hold them in your mind as you begin your day.
A morning routine can help to set you up for better mental health throughout the day. If you find you’re struggling with mental health issues that interfere with your lifestyle and daily activities, contact a licensed and compassionate mental health professional to schedule a session for counseling in Palatine, IL.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into counseling and morning routines that promote mental health.