Welcome to the Weekly Well-Being Connection! Each week we will share advice from our clinical experts on ways to care for your mental health and well-being throughout COVID-19.
This week’s post was written by Colorado Spirit Counselor, Ally Burdick. Thank you Ally!
Mornings can be challenging!
If you’re like me, the mornings can be one of the most challenging times of the day. During this period of working from home and staying indoors, waking up with gusto has proven more challenging than ever. The main obstacle for me is getting active and motivated early in the morning; it takes my mind and body pretty long to wake up and get moving. Despite my struggles, mornings actually tend to be the most productive time of the day. More so, routines can be extremely advantageous regarding a person’s mental clarity and productivity when paired with a looming and uncertain day-to-day.
There is plenty of research supporting the notion that healthy morning habits can translate into increased productivity throughout an individual’s day, not to mention the physical and emotional benefits. Making the most of your mornings and establishing a motivating morning routine can radically change your mood, attitude, and mindset for the remainder of the day. Find soothing habits that make mornings bearable, or even anticipated for the historical night owls. Anything that calms your nerves and allows you to relax and focus on yourself.
Pre-planning can help your morning self
Mornings are also important because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. There are multiple things we can do in the mornings to help find a routine that fits us individually, depending on what we personally find motivational and helpful. I often find myself just having a cup of coffee in the morning and forgoing food until lunch. Having easy and pre-selected breakfast options makes it much more likely to add a solid breakfast to your morning routine. Equally important to adding positive steps to your routine is removing the steps that cause barriers. Cleaning your bedroom and laying out clothes the night before will allow your morning-self a bit more sanity first thing after waking up.
Take intentional action
Science tells us to focus on the three necessities of nature in regards to reframing our morning routine: sun, oxygen and water . Opening the blinds, taking time to stretch and deep breathe, and drinking water are backed by researchers as some of the most effective morning activities in starting your day off right.
Positive psychology gives us several other morning activities that could be considered. One activity that psychologists often seem to favor is journaling. Working your brain in such a way first thing in the morning can benefit you throughout the remainder of your day and focus on the important pieces. Morning yoga or meditation also comes highly recommended mainly due to the calmness that it brings and the component of mindfulness. It’s important to find a routine that truly feels cleansing and calming, so embrace some trial and error in finding your perfect morning. There are lots of options out there for free on YouTube. Some of our team members really enjoy Yoga with Adriene including this 5-minute Morning Yoga routine .
Tips for better mornings
Again, our morning routines work best when they are individualized to what we find comforting and motivating personally.
Even so, we have included a few general tips to get your routine on the right track.
- Review your morning plan the night before
- Organize your space, and yes make your bed
- Limit online/social media time and focus on positive things to start your day
- Warm up your body and your mind
- Make a to-do list
- Open blinds and curtains to let in sunlight
- Get up when your alarm goes off instead of using the snooze function
- Eat breakfast
Allow for some trial and error in finding your perfect morning routine, and keep in mind the need to be flexible. While the current pandemic may have many of us on a mundane and tired schedule within the same four walls of our home, adding not only wellness tips and activities but activities that will make you look forward to the start of a new day will better ensure success. Sift through the links below to tackle mornings and improve your wellness, or feel free to reach out to the Colorado Spirit team for further assistance.
Would speaking to someone help?
For information about other services at AllHealth Network or to get connected with ongoing behavioral health support, please call: 303-730-8858.
AllHealth Network is continuing to provide service via telehealth or by phone and our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7. To learn more about what other community mental health centers are doing, please visit The Colorado Behavioral Health Council COVID-19 website.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.