When it comes to our mental health, it can be difficult to pin down what changes we need to make to enhance our overall well-being. In reality, though, some very small adjustments have the combined power to improve our mental health and all-around wellbeing.
For example, simply having a routine that you stick to can absolutely transform your day (and your night!). Do you have days where you struggle to get out of bed, so instead you decide to postpone your work, study or exercise even and end up crawling out of bed hours later, feeling even worse about yourself and even more groggy? It’s easily done and many of us have given into the cozy feeling of staying in bed only to later berate ourselves or feel disappointed for doing so. Neither does anything to have helped your day ahead nor your feeling of mental wellbeing. So, if you’re struggling to set a routine that you actually stick to, we have the perfect tips for you.
Why Is A Routine Needed For Your Mental Health?
So.. why do we actually need a routine? Can we not just review it day-by-day? Of course, you can give this a try but speak from experience, as we know, we often end up doing less on the days when we don’t follow a routine. Typically, the end result is that you have postponed all important tasks for the day, you’re feeling exhausted because of your inconsistent sleep schedule and your mental health or any positive feelings of wellbeing are fast dwindling. It’s time to take matters into your own hands. And if you’re reading this from your bed at 4 pm, having one of those days, don’t worry. It’s never too late to turn your day or week around.
Step 1: Get Up At Consistent Times
The essential first step of your journey to a better routine is getting up at consistent times in the morning. We hear you thinking, what about my weekend sleep-ins? Of course, you may want to treat yourself to a lovely lay-in on a Saturday morning, but try to limit this to only an hour past your normal weekday schedule.
There is a good reason for this – did you know that you can actually sleep too much which will leave you feeling more tired, despite the long night you’ve had? This is also known as hypersomnia which can leave you with headaches, tiredness, and sometimes even depression. During weekdays, try to set your alarm at a consistent time that works with your working or studying schedule. Whether that’s 7 am or 9 am, that’s completely up to you. Make sure you go to bed on time to ensure you get the needed 7-9 hours of recommended sleep. And an extra tip, did you know the hours you sleep before midnight are worth twice their weight in gold compared to the hours after? A 90minute sleep phase just before midnight is seen as the most important for replenishing and rejuvenating the body and mind. So an ideal routine would be heading to bed at 10 pm to be asleep by 10.30 pm and then getting up at 7 am.
When first changing your schedule, don’t expect to magically wake up feeling 100% refreshed and ready to jump out of bed. Your body will need some time to adjust to your new routine which may cause you to feel a bit more tired before you feel much better. But stick to this routine and you should start feeling the difference in just a matter of days. What better feeling than having a super productive morning and still having the rest of the day to enjoy (with the energy and mindset to make the most of the day ahead too)?
Step 2: Eat At Regular Times & Feed Your Mind Well
If you’re struggling with mental health, there is a chance that you’re struggling with eating as well. Whether you’re overeating or undereating, it’s crucial to have regular meals to stay healthy and have a consistent release of nutrients and energy throughout the day – for this feeds your brain as well as your body. Try to stick to regular mealtimes. If you’re someone who tends to overindulge when going through rough times, it can help to start by just eating your breakfast at a consistent time every day. This will help ward off cravings for sugary snacks because it gives you an immediate burst of energy setting you off on the right foot. And if you happen to have an off-day and feel unmotivated to leave your bed or eat well, be kind to yourself, we all have these days so aim to look at the overall balance across the week instead so that you can easily get back on track the next day.
Also, ensure your routine meals or snacks are feeding your mind with goodness: Take a look at what you are eating across the week, eat a balance of vegetables and foods/drinks rich in vitamins and nutrients as well as drink lots of water.
Try drawing up a weekly plan of ‘mind boosting’ foods that you build into each day or week, for example, dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, or kale twice a week alongside food rich in omega fatty acids such as salmon or tuna, also fit in some nuts, eggs and even dark chocolate to your weekly routine. Drinking Green Tea and White Tea is also seen to help boost the mind – try our High Spirits White Mint Tea with Jasmine Green Tea, White Peony Tea, and Peppermint once a day as a very simple, enjoyable, and easy start to your routine!
Effect Of Routines On Your Sleep
By sticking to a routine and having structure within your day, it has actually been proven that it helps you sleep better during the night. So if you’re one of those people struggling with insomnia, setting a daily routine can help you to limit the sleepless nights. Sometimes you may need more help to get a truly restful night sleep, switching off your phone/screens an hour before bedtime is known to greatly help.
We recommend reading a book or having a bath before you settle into bed – there’s nothing that makes us feel more sleepy, relaxed and ready for bed than a warm, relaxing bath with our bath & shower oil. Sleep teas can also help you to fall asleep easier and quicker, like our Inviting Sleep tea. Try a combination of these to help you drift off into a deep, peaceful sleep. This in turn can help you kick start that routine the next day which will work wonders for your mental health!
Let us know what worked best for you – we’d love to share any of your tips for the perfect routine too.