Creating a Morning Routine When You Have a Mental Illness

August 15, 2023 Michaela Jarvis

Creating a morning routine matters. Mornings can be tough when you have a mental illness. Warm covers, an hour of scrolling, and total denial of responsibilities used to be my go-to routine. While indulging in my escapism, I unknowingly set myself up for an unbalanced day. Now I've realized it's much harder to have a bad day when I've had a good morning, so building a healthy morning routine that helps my mental health has been essential in my recovery journey.

Creating My Morning Routine to Help My Mental Illness

Here's how I take advantage of my mornings by creating a morning routine:

  • I wake up right away and utilize music. My phone is strategically placed out of reach, forcing me to get out of bed to turn off my alarm. Once up, it's easier for me to avoid the enticing "sleep" button that had previously been my crutch. After the alarm is silenced, I skip the social media scrolling and turn on music. Beyond having a specific song I've found to be a great kickstart to my day, I've also created a morning playlist stacked with high-energy songs and positive affirmations.
  • Getting ready is self-care for me. Making my bed is a non-negotiable because I know that having a tidy space helps ease my anxiety, especially since I work remotely from my bedroom. I down a full glass of water, take my medications, and start my skin routine. This is my personal form of self-care. I know what makes my body and mind feel its best, and I honor that.
  • Food and fuel matter to me. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. Everyone is different, but eating a filling, healthy breakfast keeps me more focused and curbs my irritability. Additionally, I skip the coffee. Previously, I had been a two-three cups a day kind of gal, but since I ditched the coffee, my anxiety has decreased significantly. I found that I enjoy tea just as much (if not more) than coffee, and I didn't need it to be my "fuel" once I implemented a proper routine.
  • Moving my body is important. Getting active in the morning has given me a lot of energy. I love the gym, but a short walk, a workout video, or even light stretching will usually do the trick. Not only does this practice fill my energy tank, but it creates a new appreciation for my body and all it does for me.
  • I center myself. Before I dive headfirst into the "real" world, I take time to center my mind first. This could be a short meditation session, reading an exert from an inspiring book, or mapping out how my day will look. This helps me go into the day with a sense of patience and purpose.

Going from rolling out of bed to creating a morning routine did not happen overnight. In fact, it took years for me to build these habits, but once I did, I never looked back. Everyone is different, but I've found what works best for me, and I encourage everyone to explore opportunities to set themselves up for a well-balanced day.

Watch this video for more information on how I use music in my morning routine.

APA Reference
Jarvis, M. (2023, August 15). Creating a Morning Routine When You Have a Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Michaela Jarvis

Michaela Jarvis is continuously on her road to self-improvement while managing bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the life challenges that come with being in your 20s. Find Michaela on Instagram, LinkedIn, and her website.

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