Human beings are creatures of habit, and perhaps that’s why mental health professionals recommend starting your day with a good morning routine. In the pre-coronavirus era, we all had some sort of morning routine—which would involve getting ready for work/college and a commute. These rituals had helped us transition seamlessly through the day.
However, come 2020, and our routines went haywire. With most of us confined to our homes, we no longer had any transition rituals. Plus, with the stress of the current times, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing everything from our bed. But this trend is dangerous, because it tends to make us feel lazy and unproductive—which makes us feel low. So take our advice and break up with your bed during the day—it is only meant for you to sleep on! Want to start your day feeling centred and calm? Try out these morning activities!
Most of us stretch our limbs for about 30 seconds right after we wake up. It makes our body feel good and helps us feel less sleepy. Well, turns out that stretching has several health benefits, including keeping your muscles flexible, strong and healthy. So dedicate the first 15-20 minutes of your day to a relaxing stretching routine. Don’t know where to begin? Youtube is your best friend!
Meditation is one of the best things you can do to improve your mental health. And the morning is the best time to do it, as you will start your day on a calm note and with a clear head. You don’t even need to close your eyes or chant—just sitting in silence with your morning cup of coffee for a few minutes can be meditative.
Walking for as little as 30 minutes every day can do wonders for your physical fitness. It is great for your cardiovascular health, reduces risk of strokes and heart attacks, keeps your joints healthy, improves balance and of course, keeps your weight in check. Besides that, it is also known to boost your energy and improve your mood. Now, doesn’t it sound like the perfect morning activity? We recommend going to a park or a nature trail near your house if possible—as being in nature will give you additional mental health benefits. If you have a pet like a dog, even better!
Personally, journaling is my go-to activity whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Jotting down all my cluttered thoughts and feelings on paper helps me clear my head and make sense of my emotions. So it’s a great idea to start the day by writing a few pages. Most people like to set their goals and intentions for the day in their morning journal. If you’re not sure what to write about, you can also buy journals with writing prompts—they can be a fun way to kickstart your creativity in the morning.
Thanks to the current lockdown, we are all separated from people we love, be it our family, friends or colleagues. So why not start your day on a positive note by catching up with your loved ones? You could give them a phone call, or connect with them over video. If you want to spend more quality time with them, you can even have your breakfast together over video and do a catch up before you start your day.
Getting a workout first thing in the morning will help you start your day on an energetic note. If going for a run or engaging in other intense cardio activities is not your thing in the morning, give yoga a try. It relaxes your body and mind, and is also a great strength-building exercise. If you are a beginner and some of the yoga poses intimidate you, try starting with a few rounds of surya namaskar every day, and gradually increase them before you get on regular yoga sessions.
You may or may not have a Zoom meeting in the morning, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting ready in the morning. We’re talking about taking a shower, doing your skincare, blow-drying your hair and dressing up to look your best! Just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean that sweatpants and hair buns should be your uniform every day. Put on some mascara, wear your favourite lipstick and do up your hair—it will be an instant mood-booster, trust us!
While we are all going through stressful times, it is important to remember that this too shall pass. So stay home, stay positive and #KhayalRakhna.
Featured Image: Pexels
This article is part of a social initiative called #KhayalRakhna by Philips. We hope to provide you with some comfort, relief and guidance as we power through these tough times. If you are finding it hard to cope, we encourage you to get in touch with a mental health professional.