Structuring Your Daily Routine to Promote Strong Mental Health

Maintaining Mental Health when building a business and creating the life you want is often overlooked, which then leads to burn out and other challenges in your business and personal life. Creating a daily routine that includes sleeping, eating, exercising and recreational activities in a busy schedule, allows you to work better, be more proficient, and stay fulfilled.

There is no one-size-fits-all routine to create space for good mental health. Lifestyle and Career Coach Harper Spero shares, “There are many ways to get into a routine, but the number one rule is to make it work for you. Just because a routine works for your friend or family member doesn’t mean it’s the best for you to take. Routines help you manage your time better, be more productive, less stressed and feel less overwhelmed.”

RELATED READ: From Self-Destruction to Self-Discipline: 5 Tips for Structuring Your Life

This isn’t about adding more things to your to-do list, but rather acknowledging you need to maintain your health overall, including the often neglected mental health.

Here some other activities to consider in your daily routine:

  • Prepare for your day the night before
  • Wake up at the same time every day
  • Don’t check your email in bed
  • Stay organized with a planner (here are 10 options recommended by fellow creative entrepreneurs!)
  • Take 5 minutes to stretch and wake up your body
  • Start with small acts of self-care (washing your face, flossing)
  • Make your bed
  • Have breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea away from your computer or phone
  • Set boundaries around your work hours
  • Plan free time as a cushion in your schedule where you can work on whatever you want or catch up on things
  • Try these 9 yoga poses for reducing stress and anxiety
  • Create blocks in your schedule for focused activities (content creation, client work)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Block out 20-30 minutes (minimum) for self-development practices like journaling, meditation, or reading
  • Take breaks after completing a task
  • Go for a walk
  • Eat meals that nourish you throughout the day (plan these out too!)
  • Make time for family and/or hobbies
  • Acknowledge three things your are grateful/thankful for
  • Go to bed at a regular time
  • Do more of whatever it is that boosts your mindset!

Get Social

Another thing you may want to consider during the week is ensuring you are socializing – perhaps learn something new in a collaborative setting, attend a networking event, or seek out a support group in your area. As entrepreneurs, life can feel pretty isolated and structuring your mental health by engaging with like-minded people, the people who get it, is a great way to have support and will also help combat the loneliness of being your own boss. Even though being around other people may be the last thing you want to do when you’re having a down day, socializing can help improve mood and fight depression.

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Morning’s Matter

Your morning sets the tone for your entire day. Nicole Amesbury, Therapist and Head of Clinical Development at Talkspace (an app that connects users digitally with a licensed therapist), suggests taking a few moments to appreciate life:

“When you wake up, rather than dragging your feet into the shower, try opening up the curtains and looking outside of the window. A few short moments of sunlight can help lift your mood and if you have the luxury of time, take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of nature before the day rushes by you. By doing this, you earn a few moments of relaxation and can mentally prepare yourself for what’s ahead.”

RELATED: 6 Morning Habits That Are Sure to Lead to a Better Day

Her recommended morning ritual is to make up your bed and make up your mind:

“When someone feels blue, the urge is to stay in bed or crawl back under the covers. Making your bed can change your mentality in two different ways: 1) you won’t want to go back to sleep because once it’s neat, you won’t want to mess it up; 2) while you’re making your bed, you’ve already made up your mind to start the day.”

Plan Ahead

When there is no structure in your day or week, you will feel drained not just emotionally but mentally and physically. Sunday afternoon is a great opportunity to decide on meals for the week, plan out your days, and decide when in your schedule you’ll make time for family and other things.

RELATED READ: The Importance of Structure

The benefit of having a daily routine is that you are supporting yourself as a whole to reduce procrastination, hone in on priorities, keep on track with your goals, and simply be a healthier version of you. Nicole notes, “Getting into a daily routine can benefit your mental health because it creates stability, structure, and familiarity.”

Putting your needs first and ensuring that your mental health continues to be well, is a necessity, not a luxury.

"Getting into a daily routine can benefit your mental health because it creates stability, structure, and familiarity." - Nicole Amesbury, Therapist and Head of Clinical Development at Talkspace

Photo By: Kate Stutz Photography
  • Every morning when I get up I do my SOAPS and check my planner against a printout I found that has me looking what I can be thankful for, making a to do list, and the 3 major things that need to be done that day… planning is definitely key 😀

    • Jessica

      I’m so curious, what is SOAPS?

      • It is a way to do devotions… Scripture Observation Application Prayer

  • this is a great article!! Thank you for sharing it!

  • Amber

    These tips are so awesome, and they have been some of my biggest struggles regarding routine and mental health! Thank you for the inspiration, especially the yoga poses!

  • I can’t get enough of your blog posts, Allyn! I’ve been restructuring my morning + evening routine and its made a huge difference. It may not seem like 5-10 minutes of one of your favorite things would matter, but oh wow it does 🙂

  • I’ve recently started reading a book called “The Miracle Morning”. The book also suggests getting up early, morning meditation, working on your personal development, and setting your goals the night before too!!!! Great post!

  • Great post. I’m actually a morning person and there’s always room for improvement.

  • So many great tips!! I do a good job of waking up at the same time, making coffee for me and my boyfriend, pack his lunch, and have a nice slow morning spending time with him before the craziness of the day starts! This is something that is super helpful for me and my mental health!

  • Wow, what a great post. I think this is a really important issue for everyone, but especially for those of us who work alone most of the time. Ever since I started attending a women’s group through my church, it really helped me get out of my shell and feel less lonely, and I honestly believe that’s part of what makes my weeks easier! I love the idea of making more time for myself in the morning…that’s something I struggle with right now. Thanks for bringing it up and taking the time to address these issues!!

  • These are great tips. It is so important to focus your attention internally so that you can get the energy you need to move forward. Keep up the great work here and live unstoppable!

  • These are great ideas. I shoukd start opening the curtains every morning after I wake up. I don’t think I can start my day any earlier, I wake up at 5:30am every morning. I try to get to bed around 10, usually it happens. I do love doing yoga at nor before bed, it’s so relaxing. I’ve pinned this post, thanks for sharing.

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  • I have really been struggling witb my daily routine I’m so glad i have come across this article it has really helped me ! i now feel i can move on in a happy posative way thankyou ☺

  • Hi Petra! Thanks so much for sharing your insight regarding maintaining mental health. I especially enjoyed all of the daily routine activities you included in the beginning. My blog is centered around mental health so I always like to read others’ posts as well. Have a blessed day!

  • Such a great post! As a full time blogger and student, I’ll definitely be taking these tips to heart.

  • Thanks I needed this it helped so much!

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  • Feuza Reis

    I was just about to post in my FB group about importance of giving attention to our mental health as entrepreneurs so great timing.Will share

    • How incredible that you are reducing the stigma and creating conversations around this for your Facebook Group, Feuza! You might enjoy this read too. It’s on the mental cost of owning a business. Let me know what you think! http://hitthegem.com/the-mental-cost-of-owning-a-business/

      • Feuza Reis

        Yes as some one who has struggled with depression and anxiety due to running my own business, it is always on top of my mind and this is a great month to declutter and engage in more self care and yes I loved your first post too, will share that one as I am doing the whole month of January on Monday-s Monday Mental Health Day ,thank you for showing folks the importance of addressing this

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