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“Win the morning, win the day.”


The quiet. Stillness.


This is the time before the rest of the world is up, so make it your own.

There’s a feeling of accomplishment watching the sunrise — like you’re arriving before anyone else.

Whether you’re a ‘wake at 4 am’ person or a ‘snooze the alarm’ type, having a healthy morning routine can be important for mental and physical health.

A consistent morning routine can help regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm, improving sleep quality and being more restful. And we all know we need better sleep.

A good morning routine can also help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a sense of structure and predictability, and can help to set a positive tone for the day. Knowing what to expect and having a plan can help to reduce feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty.

It also gives you an opportunity for self-care and self-reflection.

Here are a few simple habits to incorporate into your AM routine to supercharge your day.


Whether you wake with an alarm or just ‘greet the day” when your eyes open — don’t touch that phone. Don’t put on the tv or radio, or playlist. Instead, take a moment to enjoy the silence that the morning brings.

Hydration before Coffee

Before your morning coffee or tea, drink at least 8–16 oz of water. You may not feel it, but you’re dehydrated when you wake, losing hydration as you sleep. Water also boosts your energy levels and mental alertness.

Some health ‘experts’ say you should wait at least 120 minutes to drink your coffee to hack your cortisol, but I’m not a freak — I’m enjoying that first cup right after I hydrate.

Meditation and Affirmations

If you’re too busy to meditate, you’re exactly the person who needs to meditate. Some of us wake to a jolt of anxiety (raises hand), and meditation helps quiet the mind and get you mentally ready for the day ahead.

Take a moment before you start your day to breathe. Many apps can help you get started with meditation, and I highly recommend Insight Timer. It’s free and offers meditation tools, music, and courses; a paid plan provides more extensive courses.

Affirmations are an excellent way to put your brain in a positive state for the day. As an anxious person, I always thought this was a bit silly, but it works. I keep a list of affirmations on a note on my phone and look to them as part of my morning routine.


The last thing we want to do is leave our cozy beds and get up and exercise. But even some simple stretches get the heart going and help the body shake off the grogginess from sleep.


Journaling (either on paper or electronically) is a great way to unburden and offload your mind before the day sweeps you away. I have been journaling for about 15 years, and it is interesting to go back and see how much of your life has changed — or not — which helps you figure out what might need changing in your life.

I have been using DayOne (an electronic journal) for the past 12 years, and it helped me to see where I’ve been and how I’ve grown. It’s also great for preserving memories, as you can add photos, videos, and audio clips.


Exposure to sunlight in the morning can help regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm, improving sleep quality and contributing to overall well-being. Sunlight helps to suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleepiness.

During the winter months, we folks in the northeast don’t have the luxury of walking outside to get a burst of sunlight in the morning. The lack of Vitamin D causes many of us to suffer from seasonal depression (or SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder). Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy, and medications. A good sunlamp can help.


Reading in the morning can have several benefits for mental and emotional well-being.

Reading helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It provides an escape from daily stressors and allows you to focus on something enjoyable and engaging, which can help reduce anxiety and promote calmness.

Reading in the morning can stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function, and it can help increase focus, attention, and concentration, enhancing productivity and mental performance throughout the day.

Reading in the morning can improve mood and increase feelings of happiness.

Who doesn’t want to be happy in the morning?

I’ve been an avid reader my whole life. Depending on what you read, books can transport you to another place, giving you a sense of calm, or inspire you to be your best self.

Make Your Bed!

This one may seem either obvious (hello, fellow OCD people) or silly, but making your bed can help cultivate a sense of discipline and attention to detail. Plus, what would you want to come home after a hard day and see your bed in disarray?

You can incorporate some or all of these life-changing habits into your mornings. If you feel overwhelmed, start small; pick one and see how you adapt. You’ll be surprised at how these small habits will change your perspective on the day.

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The world today is a scary place. Feelings of anxiety and overwhelm can derail your week and lead to some unhealthy habits (which only makes things worse).

Here are a few common sense tips for when you’re feeling ‘over your head’.

Go for a Nature Walk

Walking helps clear your mind and gives you a different perspective. Walking in nature has been shown to impact mental health for several reasons positively. The natural environment is often less stimulating and more peaceful than urban environments, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, exposure to nature can increase feelings of well-being and improve mood. Studies have also suggested that spending time in nature can reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall cognitive function. Walking itself can also be beneficial for mental health, as it can be a form of exercise associated with improved mood and reduced stress.


I cannot stress enough how helpful journaling is. I have been journaling for 11 years, and it’s fascinating to see how much life has changed. Start small — just a few sentences. Set a timer and just write what’s in your head for a few minutes. I journal in the morning using an app called DayOne (if you’re like me and don’t relish the fact that someone can see all the things I’ve said after I’m gone, this might be the route for you)

Journaling has been found to impact mental health for several reasons positively. Writing about one’s feelings is linked to decreased mental distress. A study found that those with various medical conditions and anxiety who wrote online for 15 minutes had a decrease in mental distress. t also can help you to understand and cope with the symptoms day-to-day.

A Little Self-indulgence

Take a day off! Go to a museum or any other favorite place. Treat yo’sefl! A day of self-indulgence can be beneficial for mental health for several reasons. It can serve as a form of self-care essential for maintaining overall well-being. Engaging in pleasurable and relaxation activities can reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. Additionally, indulging in something that one enjoys can boost self-esteem and confidence. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can be especially important if you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.

Self-indulgence should be balanced with other forms of self-care, such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep. Also, self-indulgence should not be a way to cope with negative emotions but rather a way to appreciate and treat yourself. Keep in mind the context and ensure that you are indulging in moderation and not overindulging to the point of harming your mental or physical health. (Example: Having a drink with a friend = Good. Having 15 drinks = is not so good.)

Give of Yourself

Giving and being kind causes positive emotions to arise. Giving to others can increase feelings of empathy and connectedness, improving overall well-being and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, giving can create a sense of purpose and fulfillment, boosting your self-esteem and self-worth.

Research also suggests that giving can activate the release of the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin in the brain, leading to increased feelings of happiness and contentment. Additionally, helping others can lead to a shift in perspective, which can help reduce stress and negative emotions.

However, it’s important to note that the benefits of generosity can be significantly enhanced when it’s done voluntarily and with no expectation of reciprocation and when the act of giving is associated with personal values and goals.

Be mindful of your own boundaries, and make sure that you are not giving more than you can comfortably afford or taking care of yourself.


Go deeper into what is troubling you. You’ll learn something about yourself and may be able to help someone else in the future. Learning also provides a sense of accomplishment and personal growth, which can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. Additionally, learning new things can keep the brain active, which can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve overall cognitive function. Research also suggests that engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as learning, can help to reduce the risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression and dementia. Learning can also provide an opportunity to develop new skills, leading to better job opportunities and greater control over one’s life.

Moreover, Learning also provides a sense of mastery and control over your environment, which can benefit mental health. It can also offer an escape from negative thoughts, give a sense of distraction, and be a form of self-care.

Make a List

Consider your areas of strength. Make a list of 10–20 skills you possess. This introspective list may help you address some of your concerns.

Having a list of tasks can help break down large and complex tasks into smaller and manageable parts, making them feel less overwhelming.

Additionally, making lists can provide a sense of accomplishment and progress as tasks are completed and crossed off. This can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. It can also be a form of self-reflection that can help you better to understand your own thoughts, feelings, and priorities.

Making lists can also help to improve memory and recall, as it allows you to see visually what needs to be done, which can be helpful for people who are forgetful or have a hard time remembering things.

Research also suggests that writing things down can help to reduce the number of negative thoughts and worries and also can help to reduce the risk of developing conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.


Pick up that old hobby. Do you like puzzles? Fishing? Putting little wooden ships on bottles? You get the idea. Hobbies are a great stress reliever.

Hobbies provide a sense of accomplishment, personal growth, and purpose, which can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. They can also provide a way to relax and de-stress.

Hobbies also provide an opportunity for socialization and connection with others who share similar interests. Engaging in activities with others can provide a sense of belonging and can be a form of social support.

Hobbies can also provide an opportunity for self-expression and creativity, which can be beneficial for mental health. Engaging in creative activities can provide a way to process emotions and be a form of self-care.

Clean and Fix up Your Space

Set a timer and clean something you’ve been putting off in your house. The task will be done, and you’ll be proud of yourself.

A clean and organized environment can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Clutter and disorganization can be overwhelming and make it difficult to focus and relax. A clean home can provide a sense of calm and order.

Cleaning can also be a form of physical activity that can boost mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Research suggests that engaging in physical activity can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Cleaning can also provide an opportunity for mindfulness. Engaging in cleaning tasks can be a way to focus on the present moment.

Have a Good Cry

No, really. Just let it all out. How wonderful you’ll feel afterward will amaze you.

Crying is a natural and healthy way to express emotions. Holding in emotions can be overwhelming and lead to sadness, frustration, and anger. Crying is a way to release these emotions, which can provide a sense of relief and can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It can also be a way to process and cope with difficult emotions, which can benefit mental health.

Crying can help us understand our emotions better and accept them as a normal part of life.

Avoid Negative Self Talk

The mind is a fertile field; if you keep piling it on with rotten thoughts, those thoughts will become a part of you. Love yourself.

Negative self-talk can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. Negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself can be internalized and lead to a negative self-perception. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and depression.

Negative self-talk can also lead to increased stress and anxiety. Negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself can lead to increased worry and fear, which can be detrimental to mental health.

Negative self-talk can also lead to a negative self-fulfilling prophecy! Negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself can lead to a lack of motivation and make it difficult to take positive action. This may be harmful to your mental health and prevent advancement in both personal and professional spheres.

Negative self-talk can also lead to social isolation and relationship problems. Negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself can lead to a lack of confidence and make it difficult to form and maintain healthy relationships.

I hope you enjoyed these 10 tips on how to clear your troubled mind. These are just a few things you can do to get out of your own head, even if it’s only temporary. If you have any other recommendations, please share in the comments. And if you liked this post, subscribe and follow for more content like this.

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Those who say that they are too busy for meditation are the ones who need it most. I was one of those people. But after years of scattered thoughts and ADHD-like tendencies, I knew I had to try something to calm my scattered brain.

It’s been about 20 years, but meditation is still a non-negotiable part of my morning routine.

Meditation can seem intimidating at first, especially if you’re new to it. Many people think of spiritual gurus when they hear the word meditation, conjuring images of folks lounging on cushions in a cloud of incense and mellow sitar tunes. That sounds pretty good, but it is not at all required. (That’s why they call it “practice”; it’s a learned skill.)

Meditation has been practiced for centuries. It offers a wide range of benefits, both physical and mental. Here are just a few:

Reduces stress and anxiety

One of the best-known benefits of meditation is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditating can quiet your mind and calm your body, which can help lower your stress levels and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Improves focus and concentration

If you have a hard time staying on task or tend to get easily distracted, meditation can help. It helps improve your focus and concentration by teaching you to be more present and mindful in the moment.

Increases self-awareness

Meditation allows you to tune in to your thoughts and feelings in a way that can help you better understand yourself. It can also help you become more aware of any negative thought patterns or behaviors that may be holding you back.

Promotes emotional well-being

Regular meditation can help you manage your emotions more effectively and respond to difficult situations more calmly. It can also help you cultivate positive emotions such as gratitude and compassion.

Improves physical health

Meditation has been shown to have a number of physical health benefits as well. It can lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and even boost the immune system.

Enhances relationships

Relationships with others can improve and become more meaningful if you practice meditation to help you become more mindful and present. Additionally, it can aid in the development of empathy and compassion for others, resulting in more amicable interactions.

Increases happiness

Through relaxation, self-reflection, and inner peace, meditation can help foster greater joy in life. You will be happier not only with yourself, but also with the world around you!

How Do I Begin?

So, how do you get started with meditation? One tip I have for beginners is to start small. Don’t feel like you have to set aside an hour each day to meditate right off the bat. Even just a few minutes of meditation each day can be incredibly beneficial. I started with 5 minutes; now, most mornings, I start with 20 minutes. As I said, that’s why they call it “practice”—you get better the more you do it.

Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down, and set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, letting your thoughts come and go without getting too caught up in them. If your mind starts to wander, gently redirect your attention back to your breath.

It’s okay if you find your mind wandering a lot at first—that’s completely normal. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at staying present and focused.

If you’re new to meditation, it can be helpful to start small and gradually increase the length of your practice as you become more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down and to set a timer, so you don’t have to worry about the time passing. It can take some time to get the hang of it, but the more you practice, the more you’ll start to see the benefits.

Beware the ‘Monkey Mind’

The concept of “monkey mind” is often used in the context of meditation to describe the restless, scattered, anxious state of mind. It’s called “monkey mind” because the mind jumps around from thought to thought, much like a monkey swinging from branch to branch.

In meditation, the goal is often to quiet the monkey mind and bring the focus to the present moment. This can be challenging, especially for beginners, because the mind is naturally drawn to wander and is easily distracted.

The monkey mind can be particularly active during times of stress or anxiety, making it even more difficult to quiet the mind and find inner peace. This is one of the reasons why meditation is so helpful for reducing stress and anxiety: it helps to calm the monkey mind and bring a sense of clarity and focus.

One way to deal with the monkey mind during meditation is to simply acknowledge the thoughts as they come up and then let them go. This helps you dissociate from your thoughts and allows you to return to the present moment.

It’s also helpful to have a specific focus during meditation, such as the breath or a mantra, to help bring the mind back to the present when it starts to wander. With practice, it becomes easier to quiet the monkey mind and find a sense of inner calm and clarity through meditation.

When to Meditate

There is no “best” time to meditate; the most important thing is to find a time that works for you and fits into your schedule. Personally, I find mornings optimal; it clears away the grogginess of the morning and makes me more focused and ready to tackle the day.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding when to meditate:

Energy levels

Some people find it easier to meditate when feeling rested and energized, while others prefer to meditate to wind down at the end of the day. Experiment with different times of the day to see when you feel most focused and alert.

Personal schedule

Consider your daily routine and see if there are any natural lulls in your schedule that could be a good time for meditation. For example, some people like to meditate first thing in the morning, while others prefer to meditate in the evening before bed.

Time of day

Some people find it easier to meditate in the morning when the mind is fresh and the day has yet to get hectic. Others prefer to meditate in the evening as a way to unwind after a busy day.

Ultimately, the best time to meditate is whenever you can carve out a few minutes for yourself and find a quiet, comfortable space to sit or lie down. So, choose a time that works for you and stick with it—the important thing is to make meditation a regular part of your routine.

Minimalism is a lifestyle and design movement that emphasizes simplicity and functionality. Minimalism involves reducing unnecessary possessions and distractions and allowing you to focus on what is essential and valuable to you.

The idea behind minimalism is to declutter your life and eliminate excess so you can live a more intentional and fulfilling life. Removing things that don’t serve a purpose can free up physical and mental space and make room for what is truly important to you.

One of the critical benefits of minimalism is that it can help you save money. You can reduce your expenses and save money by eliminating unnecessary things you don’t need or use. Minimalism can also help you become more organized and efficient, as you’ll have fewer things to manage and maintain.

In addition to the practical benefits, minimalism can bring peace and clarity to your life. By simplifying your possessions and surroundings, you can reduce stress and distractions and focus on what is truly important to you.

To start practicing minimalism, begin by taking an inventory of your possessions and identifying what you truly need and use and what can be eliminated. It can be challenging to confront your attachment to material possessions and question whether they serve a purpose in your life.

One approach is to start small, such as decluttering a single room or closet and gradually work your way up to larger areas. You can also adopt the “one in, one out” rule, where for every new item you bring into your home, you must get rid of something else. This can help prevent your possessions from accumulating over time.

Another aspect of minimalism is being mindful of your consumption habits. This means considering the environmental and social impact of the products you purchase and choosing items that are made sustainably and ethically.

A minimalist lifestyle does not mean living a bare and austere life but rather focusing on what is truly valuable and important to you. It is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. The key is to find a balance that works for you and helps you live a simpler, more meaningful life.

A minimalist lifestyle can simplify your life and help you find happiness and fulfillment. By decluttering your possessions and surroundings, you can create more space and clarity in your life and focus on what truly matters to you. So, if you want to simplify your life and focus on what truly matters, then minimalism may be a worthwhile path for you to consider.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

In the quiet solitude of their studio, the artist sits surrounded by their creations.

Brushes and paints litter the tables, half-finished canvases lean against the walls, and the air is filled with the faint smell of turpentine.

The artist gazes out at their work, lost in thought as they contemplate their next move.

As they sit surrounded by their art, they feel a sense of peace and purpose wash over them, knowing they are exactly where they are meant to be.

[Illustration Created with Midjourneyv4]