Morning Routine Hacks To Support Mental Health

I love a good morning routine. It helps get my head right before a long to-do list, centers me when I’m feeling scattered or depressed, and balances me when traveling. (When I really get the blues, these tricks help, too!) Even if I don’t get through every part, it’s amazing what even one little ritual can do.

But I like to do it up.

It’s fun to look forward to some pampering in the morning. I also do these routines with Chris here, and he likes it, but there’s just something extra special about early mornings alone, right after he leaves for the boat, when I can, as one reader put I, paint your toenails without anyone complaining of the smell. (Chris would agree for mornings spent by himself, too.) I say this all with love. (Y’all know what I mean, right?)

Here’s the morning routine I use to get my mind right for the day. I’d love to hear what you like to do in the mornings! Please share in the comments below! 🙂

Morning Routine Hacks To Support Mental Health

Refrain from Social Media: Turn off your alarm and resist the urge to check emails or socials! Yes, we’re all guilty of scrolling in bed. And we all know what social media can do to our psyche so that mind F-ery can wait. I try to stay off socials until at least 10 am, or after working on projects and other deadlines. It’s the “create before consuming” mentality of using good morning energy for your personal growth instead of it getting chipped away from responding to emails, DMs, or getting lost in the “compare-and-despair” ways of social media.

Grab a Book: Reading wakes my brain up. Like, opening an actual book with pages to read a few or getting lost for thirty minutes. Since I’m a writer and work on a screen all day, it almost feels like mediation for my brain to read words that don’t glow by blue light. Plus, it’s a great way to get through those books on your nightstand you’ve been eyeing.

Drink Water: I chug a glass of room temp water in the morning to rehydrate and get the gut moving. We lose a lot of water when we sleep (sweating, breathing), so it’s essential to get some old-school H2O in us before a cup of caffeine.  

Calm Music: I’m talking music you’d hear in a spa. My friends laugh at me until I bring them into the fold. Even my four-year-old nephew doesn’t mind it. While my family and I shared a beach house recently, I put on my favorite morning mediation music, and the whole place seemed to tick down a few notches to enjoy a slow morning. It was nice. Here’s a YouTube of the music I’m talking about.

Light a Candle: What is it about a flame that is so calming? I don’t always have yummy-smelling candles, so sometimes, I’ll light a tea candle in a votive jar on the counter to see the flickering light. Of course, always be cautious with fire. The bonus to a tea candle is they burn out in an hour or two. Light another if you didn’t get your fix with the first one. (You can buy a packet of 20 The Dollar Tree or a pack of 100 from Amazon here.)

Light Palo Santo: This may be my favorite part of the morning. Using the lit candle, I’ll smoke a stick of Palo Santo for an uplifting woodsy scent that awakens the mind and feels luxurious at the same time. We’ve got to find ways to pamper ourselves throughout the day, to bring more ease somehow, and the beautiful scent feels like an instant shot of that. Here’s a helpful link on smudging.

Yoga/Walk/Move: I know, I know. It can feel like a lot. But man, after you’ve strolled the block, done a quick stretch, or got five minutes to yourself while the kids are at school or distracted for a moment is SO DAMN REVIVING. Move into your “me moment” and make it count. I know it’s easier said than done, but give yourself a chance at least look at the sunlight through the trees without anyone talking or tugging on you.

3 Notes of Gratitude: Even as a writer, journaling can be taxing, but I’m always happy when I do. Even if I don’t have the energy to describe my feelings or day, I’ll write down three things I’m thankful for and call it a day. I used to think doing something like this sounded hoaky, but it’s a different vibe once your pen hits the page. It can be as simple as being thankful for family members, a good cup of coffee, right down to your long nail beds. It’s funny how reminding yourself of simple joys in life can shift perspective rather quickly. Try it. You’ll see. 🐟

How do you like to treat yourself? We would love to know in the comments below!

If you liked this, you’d love this interview on How to Beat Depression.

Photo by Bekir Donmez

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