When it comes to mental health, sleep is everything. And when it comes to sleep, circadian rhythm is everything. What cues your circadian rhythm? Light. By opening the blinds and getting bright light into your eyes early in the morning, this sets the clock on your circadian rhythm so you can feel energetic during the day and tired at night.
7 a.m. / Make sure a tall glass of filtered water is the first thing you consume.
Apart from sleep, digestive health is probably the biggest determinant of mental health. In order to have good digestive health, you need to start the day with a stellar bowel movement. By drinking a tall glass of water before you eat or drink anything else, and then resting calmly for a few minutes, you’ll encourage a good BM first thing in the morning. Filtered or spring water is worthwhile because our municipal tap water can contain pesticides, chlorine, fluoride, and pharmaceutical residue.
8 a.m. / Practice equanimity and nonreactivity.
Let’s say you’re on your morning commute and you’re stuck in traffic, or you got cut off, or you can’t find parking, or the train is running late…commuting is one of the more stressful things we do as modern human people. We can’t change those stressors (short of working from home or having a walking commute), but we can change the way we perceive and react to those stressors. We are all so conditioned to be reactive, going from zero to 60 with frustration and road rage. Instead, play around with keeping a state of equanimity and nonreactivity in the face of super-annoying stressors. Try taking a deep breath and seeing some humor in the situation. Remind yourself to tread peacefully on the earth.