Starting to create new routines and habits can be a challenge. Breaking old patterns and incorporating a steady routine into your daily life can be the first step in your self-care and mental health journey. When starting new habits, a good first step is to begin creating a morning routine.
With a morning routine, you set yourself up for a non-stressful day. A solid start to the day is key to keeping a more positive mindset, setting yourself up for success, and improving your mental health.
With a morning routine, you prepare your body and mind for the rest of the day. Even simple tasks like showering, preparing breakfast or laying out your keys and workbag puts you in control of your day. You have everything you need to feel and be ready.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when starting your day, thinking about the commitments you have planned out for the day. However, a stable routine helps ease this anxiety.
Slowing your day down and engaging in a peaceful morning can help with anxiety and overwhelming feelings you may have before going into your day.
Some routines that can help with this are reading, journaling, meditating, and light exercise. These activities help engage your mind in the present. With reading and journaling, you focus your mind on your inner thoughts, ignoring the external factors you cannot control. Meditating and light exercise helps engage your mind with your body, finding overall inner peace and feeling stable within yourself.
The most important components of your morning should be primary routines. These activities cater to your overall health: sleep, diet, and hygiene.
For adults, the recommended amount of sleep is 8-10 hours every night. When creating your morning routine, the first step is determining a wake-up time. The time you wake up to start your day should allow you to have had 8-10 hours of sleep. This quality sleep can reduce feelings of anxiety, already putting you and your mental health in the best position to start your day.
Your diet and hydration status are also primary in starting your day. Dehydration can lead to greater struggle, enhancing depression and/or anxiety. Drinking water should be one of the first things done in the morning, refreshing your body and mind to combat low mood and feelings.
Likewise, nourishing your body is equally important. A healthy breakfast can lower levels of stress, an easy way to support your mental health from the start of your day. An example of a nourishing breakfast would include healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for a balanced start to the morning.
Personal hygiene and overall cleanliness are also significant in your morning routine. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, and showering, for instance, are all small activities to start your day with. By doing so, you refresh yourself physically. This helps you mentally by leaving worries behind and going into the day with a clean slate and a positive attitude.
Establishing this primary routine first incorporates feelings of normalcy and calmness, restoring that in your life to better prepare yourself for the day.
Once finalizing your primary routine, your morning regime should be personal, including tasks or activities that benefit you and work for your life. These are considered secondary routines, which should reflect your own priorities, whether that be exercise or leisure, for instance.
As said before, the first step to creating your routine is determining a wake-up time: What time of the morning works best for your schedule? How much time do you want for yourself before your first commitment of the day? What helps you wake up and prepare for the day, and how much time do these things normally take you?
After determining a wake-up time, the next step is to figure out what gets you excited for the new day. Exercising, for some, kickstarts their day, while others prefer a more leisurely morning to help ease them into the day.
For instance, someone may wake up at 7 a.m. and get ready to go to the gym or start a workout video in their home. Others may wake up and take their time getting ready, meditating, and finding inner peace before heading into the day. Whichever path feels right for your morning is what you should incorporate into your routine.
Remember, your routine is personal and should cater to your needs only. If you are a morning person who loves to socialize when you wake up, find others who can support your morning model. On the other hand, if you prefer a quiet, individual morning to yourself, you have the freedom to implement that quietness into your routine.
Building habits normally take around 4 weeks to settle in. This also goes for breaking habits. The first few days and weeks may be challenging; however, reminding yourself of the benefits of a morning routine can help you stay on track.
Talking about your routine or writing it down to hold yourself accountable can also be good ways to continue implementing these routines in your life.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, ease yourself into a morning routine. Even if your routine only consists of primary routines at first, you are able to build upon your morning as you become accustomed to this new change.
Remember: Your morning routine is your “Me-Time” and a structure to help stabilize you and your day. The routine should not be put in place to drastically change yourself. Instead, it should act as a tool to help support you, your goals, and your mental health going into the day.
Here at Sage Recovery, our goal is to aid mental health by offering methods to establish routines and positive mindsets to aid someone at the beginning of their self-care journey. We prioritize staying in the present and helping others find peace within themselves in order to maintain a positive and healthy mindset, especially in a busy, overwhelming modern day. We at Sage Recovery emphasize the understanding that external factors cannot be controlled, and rather finding control within oneself is of utmost importance; therefore, we strive for individuals to feel secure within themselves and view their progress in a personal and positive light. Call us at (512) 306-1394 to learn more about our program.