This month for Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share five morning routines that can help start your day off right. Taking time for self-care is so important – even the smallest change in routine devoted to self-care can make a big difference in your day.
Meditation can be a great way to center yourself before getting going into the workday. Guided meditations, which are very easy to find on YouTube, through a google search, or even on Netflix, offer a great way to focus on a specific concept and change your thinking to gear up for the day. A meditation on success, achieving your goals, calmness, or stress management would be an awesome way to ensure your day starts off in a positive way.
The practice of yoga has long been used in mindfulness-based techniques as a way to center oneself, reduce stress, and quiet the mind in order to gain awareness of what is going on in your body. Starting your morning with a yoga routine would help to achieve those things and prepare yourself for the day ahead, promoting focus and stress relief. Especially as the weather gets warmer, this is a great activity to do outside and enjoy the sights and sounds!
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR, is an awesome stress reduction and relaxation technique that not only works to reduce mental stress but also physical stress or bodily soreness. PMR scripts are widely available online, but most will start with muscle groups in the head and work downwards through the body. This technique works really well for anxiety symptoms and can be used at night time as well as a coping skill for insomnia. Here is an example of a PMR script.
4. Mindful Drinking of Coffee or Tea:
Mindfulness involves being fully present and aware of the current moment going on, working to not allow the focus to drift to the coming events or past experiences. This practice can help to reduce stress and anxiety as the morning starts, allowing your brain to quiet down and release worries before the hustle and bustle of the day. Using your favorite morning drink, such as coffee or tea, to focus your attention on, can also activate the senses and result in a fully immersive experience. A great script for this can be found HERE.
5. Breathing Exercises:
Breathing, one of life’s most basic functions, can often be overlooked throughout the day. We are doing it all the time without thinking about it, so it makes sense that we would sometimes not think to have it work to our benefit! Breathing exercises work to reduce stress and anxiety and are a fantastic way to regulate many things in our bodies such as heart rate and blood pressure by sending a signal to your brain to slow down and relax. This routine might not take 10 minutes to start noticing results, so just use it until you start feeling calmer. A great website with a few different scripted breathing techniques can be found HERE.
About Jack Fox:
Jack graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Psychology. He recently finished his graduate work at Regent University with an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Throughout his studies, Jack has seen and worked with many clients. His clients have been adolescents and adults, struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment issues. He has even worked with people with a desire to get to know themselves just a little bit better! The more Jack has worked with people, the more a simple truth has come to light: You are not alone! To learn more about Jack, visit HERE.