You don’t need to spend hours on a healthy morning routine. Try this 30 minute morning routine to help ease depression and anxiety.
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Everyone is chasing that perfect and productive morning routine. And there are literally thousands of articles on which morning habits to establish, which to avoid, and how to go about doing it.
Science shows that mornings are the optimal time to partake in important projects and activities we deem “undesirable”. In the morning, our short-term memory functions at it’s best. And also, we tend to be more self-confident and ambitious in the morning.
But, if you suffer from depression or anxiety, waking up in the morning may be one of the most trying times of the day. And that’s why it’s important to start working towards a solid morning routine, now.
That’s not to say you have to do it all at once. Take your time and start adding in activities one at a time, starting with the one that seems the least daunting.
The end goal is to have a short, 30-minute morning routine that will set you up for success for the rest of the day. Remember, you can add or take activities away that don’t seem to be helping. But, I encourage you to try each one for at least two weeks before deciding that it doesn’t work.
30-Minute Morning Routine for Depression and Anxiety
Every good morning routine starts with a pre-bedtime routine. Don’t roll your eyes at me just yet. I’ve made this part as quick and easy as possible. It should take you no more than 5ish minutes.
Nighttime Routine for Morning Success
All you need to do is set out a fresh pair of clothes you can move freely in. This might be a pair of leggings, a pair of sweats, or shorts. Set your outfit next to your bed or in your bathroom.
After that, you are free to crawl in bed. But, before you drift off to sleep, repeat this mantra five to ten times. I am excited to wake up tomorrow and have a good day.
It may sound foreign and like you are lying to yourself, but your mind is a powerful thing. And it’s important to think positive things before going to sleep because the last thing you think about before you go to sleep is usually the first thing your brain thinks upon waking.
Now, go to sleep with a smile on your face and a belief that tomorrow will be your best day ever.
*Bonus: If you are a coffee drinker, prep your coffee pot the night before so that you can wake up to a hot mug of coffee and not have to worry about brewing it.
30-Minute Morning Routine
Make your bed first thing when you wake. William H. McCraven, a retired U.S. Admiral Navy Seal says this small habit can change your entire life. I highly encourage you to check out his book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World.
Making your bed as soon as your rise allows you to accomplish one task right away. This incites a feeling of pride and accomplishment and can encourage you to keep being productive and accomplishing more tasks.
After making your bed, slip into the clothes you laid out the night before.
Meditate. If you have never tried meditation before, you can try a guided meditation free on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music.
Or, you can play some gentle soothing music. Look up meditation music on your favorite streaming service and you will find an array of ambient music that will ease you into meditation.
Sit cross-legged on the floor or on your couch. Gently close your eyes and rest your hands on your knees or in your lap. Sit up straight. Let your shoulders relax down your back. Release any tension from your forehead and jaw.
Now, clear your mind of all thoughts. Forget about what you need to do today, what happened yesterday, and whatever is dragging you down. Focus on your breath. If it helps, do a body scan.
Focus on your feet. How do they feel? Are they warm or cold? Do they tingle? Then, slowly move your focus up your body, focusing on each part of your body individually.
There are so many ways to practice meditation. And it’s not always easy. Your brain will wander and thoughts will come. Let them come and then let them pass with the same ease that they entered.
This takes a lot of practice, so don’t give up. You might feel like you aren’t good at it. Many people feel that way when they first start meditating. But sticking with a morning meditation routine is one of the most beneficial habits you can establish for overall mental health.
Moving your body first thing has incredible benefits including decreased stress levels, improved mood, increased energy, and better sleep. One of the best ways to get your blood flowing at any fitness level is with yoga.
You don’t need to know any complex yoga poses, have inhuman balancing skills, or be ultra-flexible to build a morning yoga routine. You can start with a simple round of 5-10 sun-salutations.
If after two weeks of doing this morning yoga routine you decide that you are enjoying it, look into a yoga streaming service. AloMoves is my favorite because they have so many videos, styles, and intensity levels. You can truly build a successful yoga practice with their app.
The next step in your 30-minute morning routine is to have a healthy breakfast.
It’s becoming a more common knowledge that food can be a natural anti-depressant and method of treating many illnesses. Starting your day with a healthy meal will give you energy, and can also give you a mood boost.
Here are a few breakfast ideas to try:
- Oatmeal with berries. Oatmeal is a complex carb. Complex carbs can boost your serotonin levels, giving you a mood boost. Berries have fiber and will help keep you full. Plus, they have anti-oxidants to ward off free radicals in your body.
- Eggs on Whole Grain Toast. Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D, which can boost your mood and brain function. If you are vegan, you can opt for Avocado Toast and a Vitamin D Supplement.
- Smoothie. If you aren’t a big breakfast person, you can opt for a healthy smoothie. Try adding leafy greens and healthy fats from either avocado or seeds. You can also add greek yogurt, peanut butter, or a banana for added flavor and satiety.
Unfortunately, none of these daily morning habits will change your life in one day. It’s going to take some consistency for a few weeks to notice a difference in your mindset and overall mood.
Remember to start with one or two new habits to incorporate into your morning routine. This can ease the pressure and make you more likely to succeed in the long-run. I also suggest you try your hand at journaling as you work through building your morning routine.
Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family that may be struggling with depression or anxiety. It might not stick right away, but the first step to any cure is to take the first step… which is reading this post.