I’ve talked about my stress and anxiety before, but I wanted to touch on it in more detail as I’ve been consciously working at minimizing it. January was a particularly hard month for me (work is slow, the weather is COLD and my friends + family are far away) and I vowed to try and be more proactive about my mental health and wellness. I never thought I’d say this, but I really love my mornings. I have made a point to have a relaxing and lovely morning routine to start my day off right, both physically and mentally. Anyway, I really think it has helped with my mood and stress levels so I wanted to share with you!
1. NO PHONE
This one is the hardest, especially as my job basically revolves around my phone. But the texts and emails at 7am can definitely wait for an hour until I’m ready for the day. I put my phone on airplane mode and try not to look at the screen for the first part of my morning. No Instagram, Facebook or emails. Or even texting for that matter. I don’t always succeed, but it’s definitely something I’m trying to do.
This is a new part of my routine, but I really think it’s helped with my positivity and mood. It actually takes less than 5 minutes and it’s a foolproof way to actually write down things you’re grateful for, what would make your day great and then review it before you go to bed (there’s a small evening portion as well). It can be something as small as that you got out of bed without snoozing or that you’re grateful for your partner or family. I find it so helpful to remind yourself while physically write these things down.
3. MORNING WALK
Almost as soon as I get up (before breakfast, after brushing my teeth), I take the dog out. It’s so great to be outside first thing in the morning, especially when it’s sunny, and get a few minutes of exercise. And seeing my dog so happy automatically makes me happy 🙂
4. THE DAILY
Another new edition, The Daily is a daily podcast from the New York Times. It’s only 20 minutes long, but it talks about important news (mainly politics right now) in an unpretentious and educative way. I always find that it answers the questions I have about the topic right away. It’s a great way to stay informed and be intellectually stimulated.
Breakfast is my JAM. No, really, it’s the only thing I’m good at cooking. I have eggs every morning. I’m not a health food freak, but I don’t believe in starting your day with sugar and carbs that don’t fuel your body properly (although, this belief begins to wane by lunchtime…) I have an egg scramble with toast and tea every morning. I usually read or watch a show while I’m eating (no phone) and it’s become one of the best parts of my day.
Now that you are fed, walked, and positively stimulated, you’re ready to start your day.
P.S. I realize that this is a long morning routine and I’m lucky in that I work from home and for myself so I have much more flexibility in this. However, even if you take one or two of these points and add it to your morning (e.g. no phone until you physically get to work, 5-min journal + a proper breakfast), I really believe it will help you start your day well. Good morning!
photos by Justine Iaboni