Mornings have a weird way of shaping your day. Personally, they can make or break my day. After struggling with depression and anxiety for several years, I can confidently say that creating a general morning routine has made my poor mental health days a little bit better. Sure, I have had days where I wake up but am not physically able to get out of bed, let alone follow some schedule. And there is no shame in that. On those days, I switch up my routine to accommodate how I am feeling that morning. Hence, this is merely a basic list of tips I have incorporated into my life on this journey to recovery, NOT something intended to be followed step by step. Lastly, I would like to point out that I know just following these tips surely will not cure all your mental health struggles, but these tips always make me feel more in control of my day and of my life on those slightly better days!
The night before:
- Make a checklist of things to do the next day. As silly as it sounds, I write down even the most basic things, such as brushing my teeth and eating breakfast, because checking them off the next day makes me feel competent. Those struggling with mental health know how difficult even menial tasks can become at times.
- Go to sleep earlier the night before.
In the morning:
- Wake up a little earlier than required for my day- I like to practice mindfulness in every task I do in the morning and do not like being rushed.
- Light a candle, and maybe even blast my favorite bad bitch anthems.
- Take a cold shower or at least wash my face with cold water- it is good hydrotherapy for depression and anxiety!
- As basic as it sounds, I love to look at myself in the mirror and list five things I love about myself and my life. Then, I proceed to smile in the mirror and admire and appreciate that smile. This always boosts my mood and reminds me that I am important and that I have a purpose.
- Practice some simple yoga poses for depression and practice pranayama, or substitute it for a mindful walk.
- I try my best to eat some breakfast- I prefer some protein and something quick to make, such as oatmeal or scrambled eggs.
On the days I have more time (optional):
- Do my makeup- it always lifts my mood and gives me a little extra confidence whenever I find time to do it!
- Do something I’m good at. This can be anything – whether that is playing an instrument or making a bomb ass smoothie. It’s nice to remind myself that I am a woman with many gifts and talents.