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3 Important Self-Care Routines for Better Mental Health

Sometimes, it can be easy to slip into habits that do not benefit our well-being or mental health. Our habits and routines can easily make or break us. I understand how challenging it can be to overcome certain habits. However, I’ve also felt the joy that comes with finally putting my foot down and deciding to change the old repetitive ...
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Sometimes, it can be easy to slip into habits that do not benefit our well-being or mental health. Our habits and routines can easily make or break us. I understand how challenging it can be to overcome certain habits. However, I’ve also felt the joy that comes with finally putting my foot down and deciding to change the old repetitive patterns that were keeping me stuck in a feeling of hopelessness. Continue reading my self-care routines below.

Once I zoned in on my daily habits and began to weed out the ones I no longer needed and replaced them with better habits, I felt lighter, more confident, and more willing to go after my goals and dreams. It all started with changing my routine and caring about myself as I would care for a friend. 

These tips may or may not work, but I hope they do. Especially, if you are someone who feels stuck in life. We are creatures of habit and patterning. Once we find out what our patterns are we can then figure out how to move forward with greater awareness than prior. 

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Morning Routine 

One of the first things I changed was my morning routine. I used to wake up, check my phone (scrolling for an hour or more on social media before getting out of bed), and then go to the bathroom and prepare for the day. Checking my social media right when I first opened my eyes was setting me up for information overload, comparing myself to others online, and losing a whole hour to mindlessly scrolling. 

Once I took a step back and evaluated how I truly felt after doing this, I came to the realization I was causing my own unhappiness. In October 2019, I deleted all social media that was not related to my writing or art. I began to feel a little better after 2 months. At first, it was hectic, and I wanted to check my feed constantly. 

I replaced scrolling social media with waking up, thinking of 3-5 things I was grateful for, spending the rest of the hour with my son, and getting dressed for the day. My son also started having fewer tantrums. 

I didn’t realize he was throwing tantrums because he needed more time with me. While I did spend time with him, it was in small spurts, 10-20 minutes here and there. I hate looking back and realizing how much time I lost with him, all because I was too focused on a silly social media app.

I also started writing out a list of things I needed to do in a day the night before. Seeing the list and crossing out the items gave me a sense of direction that I did not have prior. I’ve been doing this method for 2 years, and it has helped me accomplish a lot of the things I thought I never would. 

It’s important to set up your day for success. There may be challenging situations, but when you set yourself up in a positive manner you are more likely to handle the situation with a clearer head. 

Your morning routine may look different from mine. You know what works best for you.

Here are some ways to see how your morning routine is affecting your day: 

  • Write down everything you do within the first hour when you first get up.
  • Ask yourself how you feel after the hour. 
  • Ask yourself if you are charged and ready for the day, or are you dreading the day to come? 
  • Ask yourself if there is anything that you may need to change or add to help you feel your best. 
  • Listen to your body and emotions, they can be your best guides if you learn to pause and reflect for a moment. 
  • Write down things you want to try to implement into your day and give yourself a month to try it out to see how you feel. 

We all have our morning routines. Personally, I think how we start our day is very important for the rest of the day. Setting ourselves up for better days is highly beneficial for our future selves. After all, one day we are going to look back and see how far we’ve come, or we are going to look back and regret we didn’t take the steps sooner. The time is going to pass either way. 

Alone Time 

Another influential self-care routine is how we spend our alone time. Which can be hard if you are a parent. Still, there needs to be a time when you can breathe and relax, even if it is after the children are in bed. 

When we don’t allow ourselves alone time, we can become overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out from day-to-day life. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and even physical symptoms can appear. 

Here are some relaxing ways I, personally, enjoy alone time: 

  • Take a relaxing bath with Epsom salt. Lavender is one of my favorites
  • Reading a good book. 
  • Playing video games 
  • Writing poetry
  • Sitting in silence and just being 
  • Yoga 
  • Getting in my portable sauna box 
  • Drawing 

There are many ways to enjoy alone time. When you do things you enjoy that are relaxing to your mind and body, you begin to fill your own cup in life. We cannot pour from an empty cup. We need time to recharge, do things we like, and take a little time to nurture ourselves, so we can nurture those around us fully. 

Nightly Self-Care Routine 

Nightly routines are just as important as morning routines. Setting ourselves up for the next day by getting into a routine before falling asleep can help us feel more refreshed in the mornings. Before I made my own nightly routine, I would be on my phone… You guessed it, scrolling through social media until my eyelids could not stay open any longer. I would wake up so groggy and unmotivated. 

To combat this, I started plugging my phone into its charger around 7 pm in my craft/workroom. This helped with not being tempted to grab it and redownload social media just because I was bored. 

I then began to add things like 30 minutes of meditation before going to bed, reflecting on the day, while figuring out if I needed to be doing something different to better optimize my days, and I would write down the next day’s tasks. This helped set the foundation for the following day, so I could spend the mornings with my son with no interference. 

Ways you can start a nightly routine: 

  • Evaluate where you are and if you feel as if you wake up refreshed and recharged
  • Ask yourself if there are any habits that could be making you feel drained
  • Start by replacing one thing at a time, if there are multiple things you wish to change 

I started small by taking away a bad habit and replacing it with a better one. I let myself adjust, and then I would add more. I did not want to overburden myself with so much change at once. In the past, I would go all in and not let myself unwind the patterning naturally. This led me into giving up soon after I started something new. Another pattern I had to let go of. 

Occasionally, we take on too much and give up before any real change takes place. It’s significant to pace ourselves. 

Conclusion

As you can see, these changes in my own routines have helped me greatly, and I hope they can help others too. It starts by becoming aware of our own patterning and then figuring out a better pattern to fall into. It’s not easy and there will be times when we fall back into old patterns, but that is okay. Once we become aware of it, we can continue to move forward. 

Getting into better self-care routines can benefit mental, physical, and emotional well-being by helping us build healthy habits that propel us forward in life instead of going in circles with old unhelpful habits.

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