One thing we all strive for is to be happy and live the life we desire. Of course, this looks different for each of us, but it is a universal desire of all people. The hard part is achieving that state. Some people find it easy, while some spend their entire life trying to achieve it and never do. As I was scrolling through Instagram recently, I stumbled upon a quote that made me think about this concept. It stated, “It’s in the small habits. How you spend your mornings. How you talk to yourself. What you read. What you watch. Who you share your energy with. Who has access to you. That will change your life.” — @mindset.therapy
The piece that resonated with me most was the statement about mornings. For so much of my life, my mornings consisted of me running around the house trying to get everything in order. To explore this idea further, I created a mental health morning routine for myself. I then started seeing small changes throughout my everyday life.
Waking up early
As we approach summer, everyone wants to sleep in, but I’m not saying you have to wake up at 5 a.m. The key is to wake up early so you can enjoy a long morning solo and spend time with yourself. Plus, when you wake up early you have more time to complete tasks that need your attention each day. You don’t have to get up at the same time every day, just try to stick within an hour window. This will create a natural alarm clock in your body.
Don’t go on your phone in bed
Every morning I use my phone as my alarm clock, so I have to at least keep it near my bed and acknowledge it. Once I click stop on my alarm, I flick through the notifications on my lock screen to make sure nothing is an emergency. Then, I carry on with the rest of my morning routine. Before I became more intentional, I’d lay in bed mindlessly scrolling on my phone for almost an hour. Change it up.
The Five Minute Journal is a daily morning and nightly journal that provides you with prompts. This practice sets up your day to be filled with gratitude and allows you to reflect on your day at the end. This puts you in a positive mindful state, without taking much of your morning time. If you prefer to brain dump into another journal set up, feel free. You can keep it in your bedside table for easy access! Any sort of journaling or scripting first thing is a great step in a mental health morning routine.
Drinking a cup of water
Water not only has tons of benefits for physical health, but also mental health. All aspects of health are connected, so if you fuel your body with good food, you will feel better. When you wake up after sleeping for hours, your body is dehydrated. Having a glass of water in the morning allows me to sit and simply be present with myself. I found that when I drink a glass of water in the morning it is easier for me to continue that habit throughout the day.
Do some stretches
This doesn’t need to be an elaborate yoga routine, unless you want it to be. Just stretching for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning will get your muscles warmed up and ready for the day. I learned the saying “a body in motion tends to stay in motion” in high school physics class, and I live by that.
Once you’ve completed all these steps, you can go on your phone and identify the important tasks you need to get done. By taking the time to do a few extra things in the morning, you are becoming more present in the moment and in your body. This allows for reflection on your thoughts, and sets you up for a great day. Your steps don’t have to follow mine exactly, but it is important to create a mental health morning routine that matches your lifestyle. You are making small changes that will become habitual routines and can profoundly change your life for the better. It really is the small thingsthat make the biggest difference.
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