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A writer shares her morning routine for mental health


Too many memes on Instagram exist to remind you that Monday morning is the worst part of the week (just in case you haven't figured it out for yourself). No matter how much you love your job, making the transition from carefree weekends to workplace responsibilities is mentally taxing. The term "Sunday Scaries" didn't come out of nowhere, after all.

As an anxious person, this Sunday-Monday shift was hitting me hard every week. Without fail, it started around 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, keeping me awake for hours into the night, then waking me with a start to my sweat-soaked alarm clock. (There were many occasions when I tried to remedy the situation with a few glasses of pinot noir, which only made things worse.) I spent the whole morning feeling anxious and overwhelmed, same before I even sat in front of my computer, which meant I was already starting my week in a bad place for my sanity.

Last year I decided I couldn't continue with this kind of toxic pattern, so I created myself a Monday morning routine that helps me through this transition from weekend to weekday on solid foundations - or as I like to call it, #MentalHealthMonday. The routine is far from elaborate (though I'm not one of those people who meditate for two hours or practice witchcraft in my living room, #respect). Rather, it's a series of small, manageable (and mostly free!) steps that help me feel my best at a time that would otherwise make me feel my worst. My morning ends with the most important step of all - a 45-minute session with my therapist - and the moment I walk into my office (streaming Lizzo music into my AirPods, another essential part of my self-care routine), I'm ready for whatever Monday throws at me.

The term “self-care” is used often and has recently gotten the bad rap of being selfish or superfluous. But for me, those three hours of self-care are essential for my mental health. Watch the video above to see what my #MentalHealthMonday routine entails, and consider finding one of your own (it'll probably be totally different from mine!) to put those Sunday Scaries on the sidewalk every week.

If you want to incorporate more self-care into your life, this checklist can help. And no matter what your self-care routine looks like (or how involved Lizzo is), it should always start with this step.

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