Starting your day by reading negative comments on your social media feed or fighting with a loved one? It’s time to let go of these habits as they will only upset you. So, create a good morning routine by picking up some healthy habits. After all, you don’t want to spend the rest of your day by grouching somewhere. If your mood is bad, it will immediately affect those around you. Be it your colleagues or family members, they will all be affected by your foul mood. Read on to know more about healthy morning habits for a happy day and mind.
It’s true that how we kickstart the day has a very significant impact on our mental health.
Health Shots checked with Dr Rishi Gautam, a US-based mental health expert and a specialist of psychiatry, to find about healthy morning habits that can promote mental well-being.
1. Good sleep hygiene
People must have often told you how important it is to sleep for at least eight hours. Well, it is true, you do need your beauty sleep. Dr Gautam said that waking up at the same time or within a consistent window every morning is very important as it helps our brain set a routine. Similarly, try and go to bed on time at night as well and sleep a minimum of eight to nine hours.
2. Avoid looking at your phone as the first impulse
Once you get up, you want to know what’s going on in your city or the world. So, what do you do? You pick up your phone and start checking out different posts or sites. Well, exposure to social media, stressful news events, stresses of work and screen time early in the morning is not recommended, said the expert. Avoid that urge to reply to the overnight email as it can wait.
3. Meditate for 15 minutes
Spending some time with your own thoughts in peace is helpful for the mind to feel rested and prepare for the day. Practice deep breathing and yoga in the morning, and see how positive you’ll feel after that.
Don’t think of working out only to lose weight. Physical activity in the morning gets our bodies moving and causes an instantaneous release of endorphins, which are the happy chemicals for your brain.
5. Journaling or keeping a diary
It’s a habit that you probably had when you were in school. It’s time to maintain a diary again, even though you are working or running a household. Writing what you feel is a great way to reflect on your emotional lives in a structured way. Dr Gautam said that an intentional effort towards expressing gratitude in this manner is soothing for the mind. Write down things you’re thankful for in your diary. You can mention your friends or family or health or work, topics are many.
The importance of a healthy breakfast cannot be overstated. Research has repeatedly shown that people who eat a morning meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins like eggs or cheese are better protected against mental health conditions as compared to those who don’t.
All of us wake up slightly dehydrated in the morning after a long overnight break, so a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance in the body promotes improved cognitive function, shared the expert. Make sure to have a big glass of water with lime juice and honey in the morning after waking up.
8. Make your bed
It is a simple task, but something like making your bed or tidying up your bedroom has been shown to be associated with a happier day time mood and better sleep overall.
9. Soak in natural sunlight
Brighten up your room or house by opening curtains and windows. Use a light box if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons.
10. Organise and plan ahead
Make a list of your to-do tasks for the day which help you keep organised and prevents feelings of inadequacy, frustration at the end of the day. Keep it reasonable depending on the demands on your day’s routine.
The expert warned that if you experience excessive lethargy or have poor motivation or in a depressed mood or get easily irritated, they may be signs of depression. If you feel this happens a lot, it may be best to go for a mental health evaluation.