Well, my friend, it’s pretty evident by now.
Our original thoughts of getting a stay-at-home vacation for three weeks and then resuming back to everyday life have been proven wrong.
For me, living in Vancouver, Canada, life hasn’t been the same since last year.
Over 50 weeks and counting, not three.
My life, your life, every human being in this world’s life, has been altered in more ways than one. The majority of us are working from home, our income has been cut in half (or more!), and the ability to connect with those we love has moved from in-person hugs to on-screen Zoom calls.
These things we cannot change. These are areas that we, as a community, must take a collective hit on to better the world.
But in following these guidelines, one thing is apparent. Our mental health has taken a hit that hasn’t been seen on a mass scale like this before. To combat this, I would have in the past written an article motivating you to join a gym, highlighting the benefits of exercising on our brains.
But we all know that’s not as easily done as written.
However, there is one thing we all can focus on each day that will, over time, give us the potential to lessen our anxiety, fears, sadness, and depression. And this one thing is a combination of multiple actions that will work together to create a morning routine.
Below, I will go over five areas you can focus on when creating your morning routine and how they will be helpful for you and your brain.
Creating Your Personal Morning Routine
When to Wake Up
Most of us work from home right now (and could be doing the same once this is all over). Without the need to head into work for a specific time, you most likely see no need to set your alarm and wake up at the same time each day.
To start your morning off right, you need to get back to setting your alarm clock, finding a consistent time to wake up each day. Create a sense of purpose back into your days, and make that the reason for starting each day.
Do not Use Your Phone
Rolling over in bed to open one eye and scroll through the gram, check out the latest TikTok dance, or heaven forbid, get your heart racing as you read the newest work email will 100 percent hinder your morning.
Leave your phone off until your full 45-60 minute routine is finished. To best execute this, set your morning alarm on an Amazon Echo or Google device. Give yourself no reason to pick up your phone.
Make Your Bed (Moma was right!)
Making your bed doesn’t just give off the look of someone who has their life together, but it gives you a quick and easy “win” within three minutes of waking up.
When taking 30 seconds of your morning, the win you create gives your brain the first positive reinforcement you can do anything. It’s contagious; you will be searching for that next win (such as finishing your morning routine, getting your workout in, getting all items checked off your to-do list, and so on).
Dedicated Morning Journal
Once you’re awake and have made your first cup of coffee (I hope I’m not the only one refilling 2-3 times), pull out a dedicated journal, just for your morning musings. Look for a journal you find a connection with; it may be aesthetically pleasing, the paper connects with your sense of style, or maybe leather is just your thing!
Spend 10 minutes or half a page, and write down everything swirling inside your head. Some areas of focus when writing in your morning journal:
>> How productive was yesterday
>> Did something affect you mentally yesterday
>> What’s planned for today, and does it make you nervous
>> Perhaps you are burnt out and need a break (write it down!)
Take 30-60 seconds and voice positive affirmations out loud to the universe. Think of it as a bit of a morning exercise for your brain, just as you would warm up your body through physical movement. A few examples of what a morning affirmation would look like:
>> The feelings in my body are normal and I fully accept them.
>> Every day I am becoming a better version of myself.
>> I’m allowed to make mistakes; they don’t make up my whole story.
>> I am confident in my ability to better my health today.
>> I am at peace with who I am as a person.
Morning routines aren’t only for the most successful people in “Top 100” blog posts. They have value in all of our lives, and without mine, I know for a fact that this pandemic would have shoved me down into the dirt far more often than it did.
Today, take some time to look around the web, reading up on those you look up to, and see what their morning routine entails. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, they say.
If nothing else, do this for your mental health and happiness because we are in this for the long haul.