Consistently performing healthy behaviors to start your day can create an overall calmer morning and improve mental health. Establishing routines filled with healthy habits can help you move more efficiently while using less mental energy, which decreases stress and anxiety. If you don’t already have a clear morning routine set into place, try following this list to start 2021 off right.
- Be Prepared
In order to start the day with a healthy morning routine, you should prepare the night before. Your nighttime routine will play a role in how well you sleep based on factors like sleep hygiene and environment, but it will also help you to be prepared for the next day as it can decrease stress, over-thinking, and worry, which keep you awake at night.
Before going to bed, prepare the items you plan to use in the morning. For example, lay out your clothes, make sure bags are packed, and set-up coffee and meals. This will allow you to sleep soundly and be prepared for the day ahead.
If it makes you feel even more secure, keep a check-list on your bedside table to remind you of the things you should accomplish before bed and when you wake up.
- Wake Up To Light
Rising with the sun increases wakefulness as exposure to bright light decreases morning grogginess. If possible, leave your blinds open while you sleep so you can get maximum exposure to sunlight in the morning.
If that’s not an option, consider using a smart light, which gently wakes you with a custom Sunrise Alarm that supports healthy cortisol levels and allows you to create a positive mood at any time with a selection of soothing sounds and lights. This can be especially helpful in the winter months when it’s dark more often and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more common.
- Avoid Technology
Technology should be avoided first thing in the morning. Although electronics are extremely useful in many ways, they can be harmful to your well-being if used too often.
Electronic devices emanate blue light, which is a high-energy visible (HEV) light that can cause eye and mental health complications. Therefore, if you use electronic devices early in the morning they can cause headaches, lack of concentration, or distract you from completing your morning routine. Social media has been proven to add to anxiety and depression, which is all the more reason to reduce time on electronic devices in your morning routine
If you prefer to use devices early in the morning, there are ways you can protect yourself from the blue light they emit.
- Use the Night Shift mode on your devices to alter the screen brightness and temperature, which can decrease the amount and harshness of the blue light that comes from screens. Night Shift uses the clock and geolocation of your device to determine when the sun is rising in your location, so it can automatically adjust your screen temperature.
- Protect your eyes more directly with a pair of blue light glasses, which filter out harmful blue light while still letting in the more natural light from your screens. Wearing these glasses throughout the entire day will further protect your eyes and prevent devices from disrupting your sleep patterns and causing disorientation if you use them frequently.
By combining the Night Shift mode with the blue light glasses, very little blue light will penetrate your retinas and you will be mentally healthier and happier.
A morning routine can help individuals set themselves up for better mental health throughout the day. Create your morning routine based on your specific needs and activities. Not everyone will have the same routine—it’s about what works best for you and your mental health.
As always, HOPE is here.
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