On top of showcasing their skincare routine and breakfast spreads, content creators have also been sharing simple habits that help them boost their mental health. This can range from very simple ones like picking an outfit that makes them happy to more intimate ones such as journaling and meditation. While these are not alternatives to professional help, it doesn’t hurt to try what works for others to find out if they can improve your life as well. With that said, here are morning habits of some content creators that you can try for better mental health.
Jenn Im’s Morning Pages
Ever feel like you have so much clutter in your mind you can’t think clearly anymore and you tend to forget things? We’ve been there. It can also trigger anxiety for some. That’s why it’s important to do an activity that will give you time to make sense of your thoughts. Take a cue from California-based vlogger Jenn Im and try Morning Pages. It’s a method that came from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and was originally created to guide artists back into their creative mindset.
“Morning Pages is an activity that you do in the morning. You get a notebook and you fill out three pages. And you can write about anything,” Jenn explains, calling it a “mental dump” to unload your thoughts and feelings. Jenn shares that this doesn’t just help ease the clutter in your mind, but it’s also a way to track the progress of your mindset. She shared that she realised how harsh she was to herself when she revisited her entries from 2018and was glad that it’s no longer the case.
Additional tip: For busy bees who can’t spare precious time in the morning, instead of writing things down, you can voice your thoughts instead and record on an app. You can talk while preparing breakfast or dressing up. You can also do this in the afternoon during your downtime or before going to sleep when you can reflect about your day.
Hannah Kathleen’s morning reflection
For Filipina vlogger Hannah Kathleen, getting inspiration and practising gratitude are two simple things you can do in the morning to boost your mental health. She shared a step-by-step guide to doing her daily morning reflection.
First, she gets a notebook and writes down the date, then she reads a devotion, which is a guided reflection of a bible passage (side note: even if you’re not religious, you can still do this by reading other inspirational literature) and writes down the message that caught her attention.
Next, she writes a prayer or a letter to herself. Hannah shares that it is in this part of her morning reflection that she often has realisations or gets answers to questions she’s been pondering on. Finally, she caps off her routine by writing down the simple things she’s grateful for like having comfy pillows, having access to clean water and her pyjamas. It’s the little things that count!
Additional tip: If you’re someone who has a short attention span and finds reflection routines to be too tedious, you can try a meditation app to improve your focus first. One good app to check out is Headspace. There are also meditation guide series on Netflix, if you prefer it in streaming format.
Hitomi Mochizuki’s yoga routine
In a fast-paced world, Hawaii-based YouTuber Hitomi Mochizuki’s serene and carefree lifestyle is something that’s very aspirational. It’s amazing how she once lived in a tree and have travelled to many places. But beyond this seemingly perfect peaceful life, Hitomi shared that she has struggled with depression and anxiety. She shared how she’s able to cope and prevent herself from spiralling into a dark place, one of which is through her morning yoga routine. She also practices yoga throughout the day whenever she’s feeling anxious or “stagnant in her energy”. This is fairly easy to do and all you need is a yoga mat and a guide to an asana (or yoga poses) sequence that suits you.
Additional tip: Not sure if you’ll have the motivation to do a yoga routine every day? Do it with a buddy via Zoom. This way you can hold each other accountable. Plus, having someone to do it with makes it more fun and motivating. Set an exact time for your e-session every day to establish a routine. If you want to do it solo, you can also join online yoga classes so you can have an instructor to guide you through the transitions.
bestdressed’s work-from-home “commute”
Working from home has a lot of perks but it also comes with its own pitfalls like having blurred boundaries between your office life and personal life, which can affect mental health. To counter this, YouTuber Ashley a.k.a. bestdressed from NYC does what she calls a work-from-home morning “commute”. It’s a really easy part of a morning routine that you can try for better mental health. Instead of waking up late and going straight to her laptop to work, Ashley carves some time in the morning to make breakfast, do her makeup and pick a nice outfit just like how one would if they’re going to work in a physical office. For her, this creates a clear boundary between “office time” and home life.
She also notes that you shouldn’t wait for a good day to wear a nice outfit. To her, any day can be a good one — even if you’re just at home. We totally agree! And there’s some evidence that work clothing "enhances abstract cognitive processing". We tried it ourselves and we got some pretty good results.
Additional tip: It’s quite common to look at your phone right after waking up since most of us also use it as an alarm clock. The danger in doing this while working from home is seeing work emails and messages right away, which can send you into work mode before you even brush your teeth. To prevent this, you can either limit your notifications in the morning or invest in an actual alarm clock (bonus: it can double as decor).
thoughtworthyco’s simplified fitness routine
Exercising has been linked to fostering better mental health. However, it can be overwhelming — all the reps and do’s and don’ts can be a bit much. When something is complicated to do, we can be demotivated to do it. So for the Singaporean couple behind minimalism-centric YouTube channel thoughtworthyco, a simplified fitness routine is the way to go. If you’re expecting a boring one-style workout routine, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it’s not the case. Instead, they do a “workout of the day” scheme every morning. It’s a very varied fitness routine that consists of bike rides, skating, running and outdoor walking. Mixing and matching doesn’t apply to just clothes.
Additional tip: You don’t have to religiously follow their recommendations and you can establish your own routine. The key is to incorporate cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises for an all-around fitness routine. If you’re a workout newbie, be sure to consult with an expert to avoid injuries.
Your mornings can dictate how the rest of your day will go. It can also affect your mood — positively or negatively. The choice is yours to make. Would you try these content creators’ morning habits to boost your mental health?
(Cover photo from: Sarah Brown via Unsplash)
Next, check out these wellness trends to watch out for in 2021.
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