I made a prediction that we would start feeling the mental & emotional effects of the disruption of our day-to-day lives within 2-3 weeks. I made this prediction knowing that the anger & frustration would soon dissipate and turn mental. As a mental health advocate, I always want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to take care of myself & provide as much guidance to others that I possibly can.
I noticed myself struggling during the first full week of April. Ever since I went through my own experience with mental health struggles and depression, I have been able to identify my warning signs that something just isn’t right.
If you know me or have been following me for some time now, you know that I turned to fitness and going to the gym first thing in the morning. I used my morning workouts for many reasons, including maintaining my healthy habits & keeping my mental health on track.
With being forced to stay home and out of my routine, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle to adjust to this new normal. That’s definitely true for everyone, right?
Well, here’s the thing. We can’t control the current unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in, but we CAN control how we respond. I know this can be extremely hard because the pain that this whole thing has caused can seem to be so severe that it overshadows all of the positives that can come from this and all that you CAN indeed control.
For me, my mornings are sacred. How I spend my mornings are extremely important for determining how the rest of my day is going to go & how I show up. One thing that I’ve missed since working out in the morning is my slow mornings to really just take it easy and ease into the day. I have more information in my posts on How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM & My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home.
What I started noticing
- unhealthy choices
- increased anxiety & stress levels
- bloating all over my body
- low energy/exhaustion (needing to lay down and take a nap almost everyday)
- creative blocks
- lack of motivation
So, I wanted to share with you how I have adjusted my morning routine based on what I have learned over the years. I’ve focused on what I am still in control of and utilized the knowledge that I have about what I need.
I hope you find this helpful in creating a routine for yourself, based on what it is that YOU need!
GET UP EARLY AS USUAL.
One thing that I noticed to be important for me is waking up early in the morning. It’s just something that is important for my mental health & stress. I don’t handle sleeping in very well, especially during the week because it makes me feel rushed.
I understand that it sounds a bit crazy to some people, but for me, I noticed that getting up at the same time as I would to go to the gym has helped. Instead of working out, I take it easy and let myself ease into my morning.
I very much rely on time to myself to maintain a healthy mental health and being able to create that time to allow myself to have that time to myself has been very important.
However, what I have noticed is that I started getting more and more exhausted for reasons that I am not sure of. This could be due to the fact that emotions and stress levels are higher, therefore I am feeling more rundown than usual. So, I have learned to listen to my body and let myself sleep in a little bit if I need to do so a couple days during the week. Not just during this time, but all the time! Your body will tell you what it needs and it’s important to listen and not get frustrated.
GET RIGHT INTO THE SHOWER.
For me, I don’t feel like my day can really start if I don’t jump in the shower. My new routine included going to the bathroom and getting right into the shower to wake up and get in the mindset to get my day started.
DRINK 24oz OF WATER.
When I go to the gym in the morning, I usually drink at least 16oz of water before I go to the gym and drink another 24oz-32oz while I’m at the gym. I would rely on that to make sure that I am getting in my water. Starting the day with water is incredibly important and comes with many benefits.
Now that I don’t have the gym to rely on, I started making it a goal to drink 24oz of water right when I get up. Before I start drinking coffee and eating breakfast. It helps for many reasons, but I also always feel dehydrated and lethargic when I wake up anyway, so getting in 24oz of cold water upon waking up really helps with waking up my body and making me feel more energized and I notice that I don’t feel as bloated, plus I don’t get headaches like I would if I neglected getting in the water.
MEDITATE & JOURNAL.
After I get showered and drink most of my water, I go into the living room and do a 5-10 minute guided meditation and journal.
MOVE MY BODY.
When I don’t go to the gym in the morning, I always make it a goal to get in 1000 steps. I understand this might sound a bit bizarre to some, but I started pacing around the apartment or lightly jogging in place to move my body and start getting in steps. This doesn’t take long but it always feels so good to start moving my body right away. Not to mention, it always wakes up my body even more. I am so used to the treadmill really waking me up in the morning and doing this releases those endorphins that I am used to.
GET MY COFFEE & WATCH THE NEWS.
By this time, I’ve already been awake for about an hour and I have really taken the time to prioritize myself and I am feeling awake and ready to take on the day. So, at this point I will grab my coffee and turn on the news.
One thing that I do miss since I have started working out in the morning is just relaxing and taking it easy before sunrise. So, I am really taking the time to enjoy being able to do this. I love just sitting on the couch and sipping my coffee. If I am feeling like it, I will grab my laptop or planner and get some work done.
BREAKFAST AT 6AM.
I do this until my boyfriend wakes up at 6am. We still eat breakfast at this time because he still has to clock in for work at 7am.
MAKE THE BED.
After breakfast, I will make the bed since my boyfriend is up. I am definitely one of those people who has to make the bed in order to be able to get my day started. It’s like being able to immediately check something off my to-do list and makes me feel like I am already starting to get things done.
GO ON A WALK AT SUNRISE.
I’ve started going on walks when the weather is nice at sunrise. It’s just another layer that I have added to my routine that I have found really helpful. It allows me to get some light cardio and also get some fresh air.
By this time I start getting ready to tackle my workday. My workday looks a little bit different than usual, but I just take it a day at a time.
I don’t follow this routine exactly everyday, but I have found these elements to be helpful in making sure that I am doing what I can to manage my stress and anxiety. Over the years, I’ve been able to learn about what it is that I need to manage my stress & anxiety. Using that information, I’ve been able to learn about what I am in control of and be able to focus on what I can start implementing to make sure that I am doing what I can to get through this.
I hope you found this to be at least a little bit helpful. I know that it sounds a bit crazy to some people, but this was developed based on what works for me. It’s always important to make sure that you are adjusting your routine based on what works best for you. Maybe you don’t need such a structured routine and you are doing well sleeping in as much as possible.
That’s OK! Just make sure you are focusing on what you are in control of and doing what YOU need to do to get through this. <3