Mental Health Morning Routine
Oh Mornings, they can be the most difficult times in the day. Especially if you struggle with your mental health. However, we can conqueror mornings and even make them something to look forward to with my mental health morning routine. I’m not going to tell you my morning routine is perfect, I don’t exercise everyday or get up at a good time but I do little things that help make everyday feel a little bit better and help me concentrate on my plans for the day. I’m currently not working due to my depression so my mornings tend to be very relaxed and I also tend to take my time. If you’re working and don’t have time for a relaxed morning routine then I would recommend trying this on a weekend or simplifying it for a working morning.
Every morning I try to wake up somewhere between half 7 and 8 o’clock. Currently I’m not sleeping very well so if I’ve had a bad nights sleep I tend to get up an hour later. However, even though I’m not at work I still like to get up early so I can make the most out of my mornings. My counsellor told me that once you’re awake you should get up and get dressed as it doesn’t allow any time for your mind to wonder and think of anything negative. I’ve found this greatly improves my day and my mood.
Showering and Getting Dressed
I find that showering almost as soon as I get up greatly improves my concentration and ability to focus on whatever tasks I’ve presented myself with that day. Due to my depression, I struggle to get a full nights sleep and I’ve found if I shower on a morning it wakes me up a little bit more. I don’t shower every morning, sometimes I can’t find the energy to and that’s okay, but its one of them days where I feel a little bit brighter I do. If you like to exercise on a morning, fit this in before your shower. I’m trying to get into the habit of doing a little bit of exercise on a morning but I’ve never been one for exercise.
Getting dressed sounds so simple and easy right? Wrong. If you struggle with your mental health then your PJ’s become your best friend. I spent weeks where I lived in my PJ’s and I’d struggled to even remember what day it was. Now that I’m getting up and getting dressed everyday I’ve found I’m more likely to have a better day and feel a little bit brighter. I know how difficult it can feel to get dressed when all you want to do is climb back into bed but trust me when I say it really helps! Even if you put on some really comfy clothes at least you feel like you’ve made a little bit of an effort.
You don’t have to look like a style icon, hell when I get dressed my family tell me I look like I’ve escaped. However, its that feeling of being dressed and knowing you’ve made an effort that day.
Sometimes I even do a little bit of makeup!
If you asked me a few months ago what I specifically hated about mornings I would have said having breakfast. Why? I was experiencing a voice in my head that told me I didn’t deserve food and I would feel physically sick and unable to eat whenever I felt hungry. It was horrible, every meal time I would feel this way but it was always louder and more apparent in the mornings. If you experience something similar you may find this is the hardest step within this morning routine. I promise you it will get better.
Every morning I make myself a cup of tea and sit in our living room with some music playing, scroll through my social media or ring my boyfriend Charlie. The distraction helps me forget about food and drowns out that little voice. Without realising, I will sit and eat my toast or breakfast biscuits and voila! I’ve had something to eat that morning without telling myself that I didn’t deserve it. This was a really difficult to achieve, I’m not going to lie it was hard but you can do it!
What I would recommend doing is slowly building it up. Get yourself a biscuit or something you enjoy and forget that it is there while you watch TV or go on your phone and hopefully you will eat it without realising. Overtime you will build it up so that you can have a full breakfast without any negative feelings. Breakfast is so important and it sets you up for the day so I know how incredibly difficult it is when you struggle to eat. Please try this if you also struggle and let me know how it goes.
Getting On With Your Day
After all of these steps you will feel more awake and focused, even if its just a little. I tend to grab my little notebook and write my ‘to do’ list for the day. I don’t write a huge to do list, maybe just a couple of things. Most of the time for me these are to do with either writing a blog post or making something with my sewing machine. I always have at least one thing I enjoy on my ‘to do’ list as I feel it makes the day more manageable and give me something to look forward to.
If you have quite a busy morning and would struggle to incorporate these into it, the two I would highly advise is making sure you get up when you wake up and having breakfast.
I hope this post has helped you and if it has please share with your friends. If you have anything you do on a morning that you think would be good to share, please comment below.
Jess – @walkwith_jess