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9 Tips for a Great Morning Routine For Mental Health
Aug 17, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

9 Tips for a Great Morning Routine For Mental Health

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 15 min read
9 Tips for a Great Morning Routine For Mental Health

Imagine starting each day not with the blaring of an alarm but with a sense of calm clarity, as if the morning sun isn't just rising in the sky but also within your mind.

This isn't a distant fantasy; it's the powerful reality of a meticulously crafted morning routine dedicated to nurturing your mental health.

A morning routine for mental health typically involves mindfulness practices, physical activity, healthy eating, and positive affirmations

Why does this morning routine matter?

In our high-speed world, where stress and burnout are more common than morning coffee, taking charge of your mental well-being is not just important; it's essential. 

Yet, many of us wake up to a day already filled with anxiety and chaos. What if you could change that starting right now?

This article isn't just a guide; it's a journey towards a revolutionized morning that empowers your mental health.

Here, we won't just list activities; we'll dive into the heart of a morning ritual that transforms your entire day, offering you tranquility, focus, and resilience.

9 Steps for Creating the Perfect Morning Routine for Mental Health in 2024

1. Embrace the Slow Wake-Up

Imagine, for a moment, trading that blaring, heart-racing alarm tone for a gentle one. Make it your bedtime routine to choose sounds that won't jolt you awake but invite you into the new day softly, like a warm embrace.

In those first five minutes, don't rush. Linger. 

Stretch out those sleep muscles and draw in a deep breath. Feel the quiet transformation as you breathe out, preparing yourself for the day ahead. 

This isn't just any morning routine; this is crafting a healthy morning routine that truly centers you.

2. Drink a Glass of Water

Drink a Glass of Water

Did you know that something as simple as drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can be a game changer for your mental health? It's true! 

After a night's sleep, your body craves hydration, and giving it what it needs can boost your brainpower and mood. It's like waking up your mind and body gently and naturally.

But here's the best part: make this a mindful moment. Instead of rushing through it, take your time with that glass of water. Feel the coolness, taste the freshness. 

This isn't just about quenching thirst; it's about setting a calm, positive tone for the day. Imagine it as washing away yesterday's worries and gearing up for a fresh start. Simple, yet powerful!

3. Practice Mindfulness

When we talk about morning routines for mental health, it's not just about our actions but the intention behind them. What you choose to immerse yourself in first thing in the morning can lay the foundation for the rest of your day.

Start with a guided 5-minute mindfulness session or meditation. You don't need to dedicate an hour; it's truly about consistency. 

Incorporate deep breathing, feeling each inhale and exhale. This practice isn't just another task in your morning routine but a gateway to becoming more present and grounded (1). 

The perks? Deep breathing alone can relieve mental health issues (2), preparing you to face the day with a clearer mind.

4. Leverage Journaling

Leverage Journaling

Ever thought of journaling first thing in the morning? It's like having a coffee chat with your inner self. Jotting down your thoughts, worries, or even dreams from the night before can be incredibly freeing. 

It's not just about venting; it's about understanding and organizing your thoughts. Think of it as decluttering your mind to start the day with clarity and focus.

And here's a fun tip: don't worry about grammar or making it sound perfect. This is your personal space to be real and raw. 

Whether it's gratitude listing, setting intentions for the day, or just scribbling down random thoughts, this simple act can set a positive tone for your entire day. So, grab that pen and let your thoughts flow!

5. Take Some Time to Read

How about starting your day with a little reading? It's like a mini-vacation for your mind. 

A few pages of a good book can transport you to another world, provide fresh perspectives, or inspire new ideas. And it's not just about entertainment; reading in the morning can calm your mind and sharpen your focus before the day's hustle begins.

Think of it as a quiet time just for you. Whether it's a chapter of a novel, an article, or even a poem, this peaceful ritual can help reduce stress and boost your mood (3). 

6. Connect With Your Senses

Connect With Your Senses

One of the secrets to crafting the best morning routine for energy and mental health is engaging deeply with the world around you from the get-go. Before the day's tasks cloud your thoughts, let's ground you in the present by connecting with your senses:

  • Scent – Light a fragrant candle, use aromatic oils, or open a window to let in the crisp morning air if you crave a touch of nature. The right scent can reduce stress, setting you up in a positive mood for the day.
  • Sound – Curate a calming morning playlist; think instrumentals, the gentle rustling of leaves, or a calming waterfall—no lyrics—just soothing sounds to still your mind and boost your mood.
  • Touch – Whether wrapping yourself in a plush robe, feeling the soft embrace of a blanket, or indulging in a brief self-massage, touch can profoundly boost happiness. 

7. Enjoy a Healthy Breakfast

For many of us, the ritual of eating breakfast can feel like an afterthought in our morning routines for mental health. 

But what we put into our bodies first thing in the morning can set the tone for how we feel the rest of the day. Moreover, a good breakfast is one of the keys to boosting energy in the morning.

A healthy breakfast can act as a mood stabilizer—this has been confirmed by research studies (4). Looking for quick, simple ideas? Consider these options:

These options don't just ensure you eat breakfast; they ensure you have a nutritious breakfast designed to uplift your spirit.

And then there's the sip that awakens the senses—coffee. Turn your coffee routine into a mindful ceremony instead of chugging it down on the go. 

Embrace each sip, savor the aroma, and let it be a tranquil moment in your mental health morning routine. Want to add health benefits to your cuppa? Try making a cup of mushroom coffee.

Not a coffee lover? No problem. There's magic in a mug of caffeine-free herbal tea, too, especially when enjoyed on a freshly made bed.

8. Time to Exercise

Time to Exercise

Movement first thing in the morning isn't just about getting your blood flowing; it's a gentle nudge to your mind, signifying the awakening of a new day and a little reminder that you can take control. 

And no, we aren't talking about an intense workout; it's much simpler than that:

  • Mindful Breathing: This involves focusing solely on your breath, taking slow, deep breaths in and out. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and concentrate on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. This exercise helps reduce stress and increases feelings of calm and focus.
  • Yoga: Practicing yoga is a great way to blend physical movement with mental relaxation. Even basic poses and stretches can help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and enhance flexibility. 
  • Bodyweight Exercises: Engaging in simple bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, or squats not only strengthens the body but also releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. 
  • Walking or Jogging in Place: If you have limited space, walking or jogging in place can be a great way to get your heart rate up. This type of light cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow, which can help clear your mind and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Dancing: Put on your favorite music and dance around your room or living space. Dancing is fun and effective to release tension, improve mood, and increase endorphin levels.

It's okay if you're new to this; many people struggle with establishing a new routine, but the beauty lies in the journey, not just the destination.

And in case you want a nudge to get started today, here is a research article (5) confirming the importance of exercise for mental and physical well-being.

9. Create Your To-Do List

Ever feel overwhelmed by the day ahead? Here's a neat trick: start your morning by creating a to-do list. 

It's like mapping out a treasure hunt for your day. By jotting down your tasks, you're organizing your day and clearing your mind. It's about taking control and setting a clear direction.

And the best part? There's real satisfaction in ticking off those tasks. 

Whether it's big projects or small errands, a to-do list can help you focus and reduce anxiety about forgetting something important. 

Plus, it's a great way to prioritize and ensure you're not just busy but productive—it is a productivity hack

How to Craft Your Perfect Morning Ritual for Mental Well-being

 How to Craft Your Perfect Morning Ritual for Mental Well-being

Finding the right morning routine for your mental health is a deeply personal journey. What works for one person may not resonate with another.

The key is to experiment, listen to your mind and body, and create a routine that aligns with your unique needs and lifestyle.

Start by considering your current morning habits and how they make you feel. Do you often wake up feeling groggy, anxious, or overwhelmed? Take note of these feelings and use them as a guide to shape your new routine.

Next, reflect on the activities that bring you joy, calm, and clarity. Perhaps it's a gentle yoga flow, a few pages of journaling, or a nourishing breakfast enjoyed in peaceful solitude.

Incorporate these elements into your morning ritual, ensuring that they are realistic and sustainable for your schedule.

Remember, a morning routine is not about perfection or rigidity. It's a flexible, adaptable practice that should support your mental well-being, not add to your stress.

Give yourself permission to adjust and refine your routine as needed, celebrating the small victories along the way.


FAQs About Morning Routine for Mental Health

How Long Should My Morning Routine Ideally Be To Support My Mental Health Effectively?

The ideal length for a morning routine to support mental health? There's no one-size-fits-all. While 20-30 minutes is an excellent baseline for many, it's really about what feels suitable for you

Some days, a quick 10-minute routine might do the trick, while on other mornings, you might crave a longer, more reflective time for better mental health. The key?Listen to yourself and focus on quality over quantity

Your morning routine should feel like a refreshing start, not a chore. Adjust as you go, and remember, it's all about what boosts your well-being!

What Do I Do If I'm Not A Morning Person But Still Want To Establish A Routine That Benefits My Mental Health?

Totally get it! Not being a morning person doesn't mean you're out of the routine game. Start small; even a 5-minute stretch can work wonders. 

Not feeling the AM? A set morning routine is not compulsory. You can craft a cozy evening routine to wind down. 

Remember, it's not about the hour on the clock but the quality of your me-time. Find what feels good, slide it into your day, and watch the magic unfold. You got this!🌟

How Does Nutrition In The Morning Impact My Mental Health Throughout The Day?

Oh, it's a game-changer! Think of your morning nutrition as fuel for both your body and brain. 

A balanced breakfast can stabilize your blood sugar, meaning fewer mood swings and more sustained energy. Plus, the right nutrients can boost brain functions, keeping you sharp and focused. 

On the flip side, skipping breakfast or grabbing sugary snacks can leave you feeling sluggish and foggy-headed. So, starting your day with the right bite? It's like giving your mental well-being a head start! 🍎🧠✨

Key Takeaways

In the grand symphony of life, our mornings set the tone. They can be the soft, gentle notes that guide us to a day of harmony or the discordant rush that leaves us feeling out of tune.

With the right morning rituals, not only do we create a melody that resonates with our soul, but we empower ourselves mentally and emotionally. And hey, if ever you feel like the notes are too complex, don't hesitate to reach out to a licensed mental health counselor. They're like the maestros of our minds, ready to help us orchestrate our best lives.

Now, over to you, dear reader! What's your morning jam? Share your routines, insights, or questions in the comments below. Let's keep the conversation going and learn from each other's rhythms!🎵🌞👇🏼

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  1. The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults, (1),
  2. Effect of breathwork on stress and mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised-controlled trials, (2),
  3. Five studies evaluating the impact on mental health and mood of recalling, reading, and discussing fiction, (3),
  4. Food, Mood, and Brain Health: Implications for the Modern Clinician, (4),
  5. Role of Physical Activity on Mental Health and Well-Being: A Review, (5),

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