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Cultivating Daily Habits and Rituals to Support your Mental Health 

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Cultivating Daily Habits and Rituals to Support your Mental Health 

Let’s be real, life is busy and although we like the idea of incorporating more self-care into our daily routine, it can feel like adding another chore to our ever-growing to do list. Even as we begin to think about the culture surrounding self care, we are transported to a world of bubble baths and ‘super foods’ that can’t be purchased at your ordinary grocery store. Holding such beliefs surrounding self-care not only make it intimidating, but also inaccessible to many of us who are already struggling to find balance in our everyday lives. Therefore, let’s talk about daily habits that you can incorporate into your everyday routine that not only make self-care manageable, but sustainable overtime.  

Why is Routine Important for Mental Health?  

Creating and adhering to daily habits have been found to have beneficial outcomes on every aspect of our physical and mental wellbeing. Such routines can help lower stress levels, improve sleep, and help you feel more productive throughout the day. They can also help us feel better prepared to handle areas of life that are outside of our control, which may have felt like roadblocks to self-care practices to begin with.  

“So yes, the idea of this sounds great, but what does that look? Because I don’t see how I can fit anything else into my day when I barely have time to be reading this blog.” 

And that makes total sense, that is why the following sections have been divided into morning, daytime, and evening routine suggestions so you are able to pick and choose different habits as you see fit. Because no one will understand your needs, like you.  

Please remember as you read forward that these are only gentle suggestions and can be adjusted to your needs and lifestyle. 

Wake Up Feeling Ready to Take on Today! 

  1. Keep your phone away from your bed: Allow your mind and body to wake up before reaching for your phone. Immediately starting your day with emails, obligations, and information can start your day off in a panic before you even get out of bed. Consider investing in an alarm clock or place your phone out of arms reach so you can’t fall back into bed to scroll.  
  1. Mindful mornings: That said, spend the time you would have used to scroll through your phone to practice a simple, 5-minute meditation. Two ways to do so are, either on your own or with the support of a morning meditation podcast. This is a great place to start, and you may feel like making it 10, 15, 20 minutes as you become more comfortable with meditation.  
  1. Fuel Yourself: Your belly is empty, and your brain needs fuel to take on the day. It’s an easy one to miss but it’s not only a way to show yourself love through what you eat, but it is also an opportunity to slow down and practice mindfully preparing your meal.  

As you become comfortable with making time for breakfast and learn what feels best for you to consume when you begin your day, it will also help you know what to prepare in advance for seamless mornings.  

Keep The Momentum Going 

  1. Hydration: Emotional support water bottle anyone? Not only will it help you stay focused and energized throughout the day, but it gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs when refilling your water bottle. Which takes us into… 
  1. Mini breaks: Little mental resets can help keep you on track and help you get everything accomplished you need to. Whether it is doing a short meditation or taking a 10-minute, phone-free walk, this allows your mind and body time a moment of recharge. 
  1. Exercise: This is not one size fits all and it does not need to look the same every day. It is important to listen to your body and adjust according to your lifestyle. Exercise does not need to be high intensity, low impact sports like yoga and walking are equally as significant.  

Evening Wind Down  

  1. Digital detox: From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed, you are flooded with new information and stimuli. So put the power back in your hands and choose when you are ready to shut the world out. Pick a time in the evening to put your screens away and adhere to it. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but it will become a habit just as quickly.  
  1. Write it out: Use the time you would have been on your phone or watching a show to do some reflective journaling. Write about your day, all the negatives and positives, and anything weighing on your mind. Writing can offer a new perspective, foster creativity, and provide a sense of relief as thoughts are transferred from the mind onto paper. 

Final Note on Self Compassion 

Every day is different and will have varying obligations, so as you begin to incorporate these practices into your day, be kind to yourself when it doesn’t look the same as it did yesterday, or you slip into an old habit. If you would like to learn more about cultivating self-compassion, check out another of our blogs, What is Self-Compassion and What is it Not? written by Registered Clinical Counsellor, Andrea Dasilva.  https://deareliza.me/what-is-self-compassion-and-what-is-it-not/ 

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