I talk to ALL of my clients about their daily routines. Human beings thrive on structure. We are creatures of habit. But are your habits healthy? Are they adding positivity to your life and enhancing your mood?
Most people I know wake up to a loud alarm, rush to get ready, and rush to work. Not only is this a terrible way to start your day but it increases cortisol levels and throws off your circadian rhythm. It is an unhealthy morning routine.
Having a healthy routine is not only good for your mood, but good for your brain. Our brain knows what to expect when we have a routine and it can actually help energy in the morning and falling asleep at night. If you are going to employ any routines into your life, I recommend a morning and evening routine. This will get your circadian rhythm back on track and set you up for a successful day and night.
Simple 3 step morning routine:
If you can start your day each morning with light, hydration, and movement, your brain and body will trigger the wake cycle and give you increased serotonin and energy.
So I like to sleep in a dark, cold cave. But when I wake up, I need to let my brain know that the sun is up to trigger the wake cycle. When you first wake up, open the blinds. Let your brain know that the sun is up and it is time for serotonin. This will increase your mood and give you more energy. If you struggle with seasonal depression, try a Happy Light and reduce the amount of time you wear sunglasses.
Your body uses a ton of water while you sleep. Everyone wakes up very dehydrated. Starting your day with a glass of water is extremely beneficial for your health. I like to start my morning with a water that has 1/2 of a squeezed lemon, a pinch of himalayin sea salt, and a table spoon of apple cider vinegar. This is a super water that will hydrate and alkaline your body.
I like to exercise in the morning on an empty stomach so I often to start my day with a yoga or pilates class. If you don't like to exercise in the morning, try light stretching or a quick walk outside. Even 5 minutes of movement will signal to your body and brain that it is time to be awake and start burning calories.
Simple 3 step evening routine:
1. Bedtime tea with CALM
3. Blue light blocking glasses
Having an evening routine triggers your brain to start the sleep cycle and secrete melatonin. I like to have a Yogi bedtime tea that helps stimulate GABA, the relaxation chemical, with a little scoop of CALM magnesium powder that helps sleep and digestion. Then, I wash my face and put on my night cream. Lastly, I put on my blue light blocking glasses that naturally stimulate melatonin. Doing these same things every night not only helps promote GABA and melatonin but it also tells my brain that I am getting ready for bed.
Whatever routine you choose, just aim to slow down and create healthy habits.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
Katie Nix, MA, LPC