How a Morning Routine Improves Your Mental Health
As life changed without any notice, it became even more clear to me how impactful a solid morning routine is. As I grow as a human and entrepreneur, my morning routine continues to evolve.
This routine has consistently allowed me to feel mentally healthy throughout the full duration of a workday. It is important to remember that what works for some does not work for others, but I encourage you to give this morning routine a try.
My morning routine is only as effective as the preparation I put into it. Before bed, I write down the three most important tasks I need to complete when I wake up. I also make sure my desk is clean and prepared for the next morning of work.
By having these tasks written down, I waste no time when I sit at my desk each morning. I attack this list before EVERYTHING, including checking email. I think we have all lost track of time checking emails once or twice.
Here is how my day starts. If you are not religious, please skip my first action of the day.
After my eyes open in the morning, I pray. The next step in my morning routine is to set a fifteen-minute alarm on my phone. The first fifteen minutes of my day are spent without looking at a screen. I picked this tip up from one of my mentors-turned-friends, Tony Alexander. This step will be extremely beneficial for you if the majority of your day is spent staring at a computer screen.
After I set the alarm, the first task I complete is making my bed. Once my bed is made, I pour a glass of water and eat a banana. Staying hydrated throughout the day has amazing mental health benefits. We have all been dehydrated before. I find it difficult to focus when I am thirsty.
I feel healthier overall when the first thing I eat in the morning is a piece of fruit instead of an unhealthier option. You already understand how the foods we eat affect our feelings. I am not the type of person who would not eat a piece of pizza later in the day if I was in the mood for it, but I have found that starting my day eating as healthy as possible is extremely effective.
Until the alarm sounds, I do light chores around the house to get my blood flowing and mind thinking in a productive way. Some examples of activities include cleaning off a coffee table, doing dishes, and sweeping the floor. As I complete these small chores, I am finishing tasks that were left unfinished, building up an accomplished feeling. I have found that finishing these tasks creates momentum for the start of my workday before it even begins.
Once the alarm sounds, it is time to begin work!
I set one 55-minute alarm followed by a 50-minute alarm to begin my workday. After each alarm sounds, I am strict on myself to take my eyes off of all screens. I am sure you can relate to the feeling of your eyes after staring at a screen for a while.
The next step in my day is to exercise. I go to the gym six or seven days per week and find exercising to help my mental health a great deal. I always leave the gym with increased energy, thinking more clearly, and feeling less stressed.
It is not uncommon for people to associate the word exercise with lifting weights. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk. Taking walks in my neighborhood and going to the gym have been incredible mental health boosters for me. I follow my morning exercise with breakfast.
As an entrepreneur, my days are flexible, as each day is different. The only part of my days that do not change are my mornings up until breakfast. By preparing the following morning before bed each night and having structure in my mornings, I start my day in a stress-free way. Ending the morning with exercise is the cherry on top for a mentally healthy day.
As it becomes later in the day, I try to insert mental health breaks every hour or two. Before I began doing light chores in the morning, I used to meditate and take a walk. I have now moved these activities to the second half of the day to reduce stress and take my eyes off electronics.
I have set myself up for success with this morning routine and challenge you to do so too!
Contributed by: Vincent A. Lanci
Contact Vincent A. Lanci at:
@VincentALanci on all social media