Morning routine for Depression (7 tips and strategies)

This post will provide an insight into depression, the causes and classification of depression, routine for people suffering from depression and the strategies that they can follow and finally some FAQs that are related to the topic. 

Some of the morning routine or tips that people diagnosed with depression can follow are:

  • Keeping a gratitude journal
  • Getting a good and hygiene sleep
  • Structuring the day
  • Hydration
  • Light therapy and soaking in sunlight
  • Motivating oneself
  • Meditation and physical exercises
  • Staying away from electronic gadgets and social media
  • Getting a filling and healthy breakfast

Morning Routine

Morning Routine is the set of actions or activities that a person follows or performs in the morning, before actually starting their main task. These are the series of activities that can be healthy, motivating to start off the day on a positive note or jumbled up.


It is a mood disorder that is often called Unipolar Depression or Major Depressive Disorder. It is one of the most common and prevalent mental disorders. Depression if remains untreated gets worse and takes a toll on one’s life in some cases.

The three main symptoms of an individual battling with Depression are:

  • Anhedonia: Loss of interest in all pleasurable activities.
  • Fatigability: low energy and get tired easily.
  • Depressed mood: low mood and depressed mood for a prolonged time.

Depressive Symptoms

Some of the symptoms experienced by people suffering from depression are:

  • Aggressiveness and Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Hopeless feeling
  • Loss of Interest, Anhedonia
  • Get tired easily, fatigability
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Recurrent thoughts on suicide
  • Difficulty in communication and interaction
  • Disruption in the sleepy cycle: Insomnia and Hypersomnia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Pain and Headache
  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive and Inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to concentrate
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Significant weight loss
  • Impairment in social and other major functioning.

Classification of Depression

Based on the severity of the symptoms and their duration, two major types of depression are Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression and Chronic Depressive Disorder/ Dysthymia. Apart from these, there are Bi-Polar Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Major Depressive Disorder

To be diagnosed with MDD, there should be five depressive symptoms that last for at least 2 weeks. Adding onto that, there should either be a depressed mood or loss of interest. MDD is a periodic or episodic disorder where the symptoms go on and off over time. Along with it, suicide ideation and thought of death are common. 

Persistent Depression Disorder, Dysthymia

One of the essential features of Dysthymia is a depressed mood that lasts throughout the day for at least 2years, in case of children the duration is for 1 year. Along with depressed mood, they should also experience two of the six symptoms (poor appetite, sleep disturbance, low energy, low self-esteem, trouble in concentrating and hopelessness)

Bi-Polar Disorder

Two types of Bi-Polar disorder are, BP-1 and BP-2. The manic symptom is the defining feature of the two and the severity of the two differentiate these. Bi-Polar 1 is known as Manic-Depressive Disorder where there is a single episode of mania during their lifetime however, they may or may not have a depressive episode. While Bi-Polar 2 is characterised by hypomanic (milder version of Manic) episodes with Major Depressive Episodes.

Cyclothymic Disorder. 

It is also a chronic mood disorder where the proposed symptom (numerous episodes of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms) last for at least 2 years. They experience frequent alternating mild symptoms of Mania and Depression. People with cyclothymia have a high risk of developing Mania and Major Depression. 

Postpartum Depression. 

It is a blend of physical, emotional and behavioural changes that a woman undergoes after giving birth. The diagnosis is based on the length of time between their onset and delivery and the severity of depression. Some of the symptoms are difficulty in sleeping, appetite change, fatigue, decreased libido and frequent mood change. It generally begins within the 4 weeks after delivery

Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

It is known by recurrent depressive episodes occurring typically in winter.

The severity of the episode ranges from mild to moderate and in the worse case, have the risk of suicide as well. It is more prevalent in people in the northern part of the world than in summer. The change in melatonin is responsible for this episode, they show more change in melatonin than the rest. 

SAD Symptom is similar to those of Depression except that it coincides with seasons.

Importance of Morning Routine

Morning Routine is important for some reasons and it is important to use it productively and in a healthy way because:

  • It influences the performance of the rest of the day
  • The willpower of circadian rhythm is at its peak and best hour
  • Natural predisposition that morning activity tends to reinforce the following activities of the day.
  • Set the importance and significance of starting off the day in a positive and productive way.
  • Improve mental health throughout your day.
  • Maintain and build up the body’s mental, psychological and physical health during stressful and tough times.
  • Readying and preparing both mind and body present for the day.

These are some of the little known yet important and significant reasons for having a productive and healthy morning routine. 

Strategies for building a morning routine

Since the morning routine of an individual is detrimental for both mental health and effectiveness and productivity of a day, there are some strategies or tips one can follow to build their morning routine on a healthy note.

Mindset and preparing your mind

Having a positive and proper mindset is a must in building a morning routine which is productive and healthy. Mentally as well as physically prepare yourself to start off the day in a positive mindset and set the stone for the rest of the day. Physical preparations begin by getting a proper and hygienic sleep the night before, making sure that you get a proper meal and keeping all the needful things around so that it won’t evoke any stress and anxiety the next morning.

Letting the light enter

Exposing oneself to bright sunlight in the morning can increase wakefulness as well as clear the morning lankiness and grogginess. Researchers have proven that people waking up before the sunrise actually are happier and reduce the morning drowsiness as well as increase their alertness. 

Making your bed

Keeping your bed messy and unprepared can induce more sleep and slack off in bed. Thus, making one’s bed right after waking can boost the confidence in their ability to set off other things. Making one’s bed is correlated with better sleep. 


Dehydration results in cognitive impairment and often leads to fatigue, low mood and confusion. Staying hydrated first thing in the morning can cure and dissolve all kinds of mental health issues for the rest of the day. Drinking enough water nourishes the person and energises them to deal with any kind of mental illness symptoms as well as issues in a better way.

It indeed helps the person to calm down and relax.

Writing down what you are grateful for and keeping a gratitude journal

Gratitude and feeling of thankfulness for people around increases their happiness, improving the relationship and results in positive well being. 

Always start the day with a grateful and thankful mindset by noting down three things they are grateful for that induce the sense of positive well being.


Motivation is an important determinant of reducing sleepiness and then promoting wakefulness in the person. When the person keeps them motivated through the day span, it results in a productive day.

Small things like getting out of bed, making the bed and feeding yourself with positive thoughts and energy keep the person motivated and energised for the day.

Avoiding technology

Technology can enhance the mood of the person however, it can be compulsive that hampers or disturbs our mental health. It was found through research that smartphones and social media do increase anxiety and depressive symptoms in the individual. Thus, to keep the technologies away in the morning can help one to build a constructive and productive morning routine. 

These are some of the ways or strategies in building a productive yet a healthy meaningful morning routine that can make the rest of the day much better.

Making a list 

Writing down or noting down the activities or plan that are set for the day can help in framing a healthy morning routine. Often we fail to keep hold of everything in mid, thus, it is best to take some time to jot down everything to reduce chaos and to structure the day.

Healthy morning routine for Depressive people

With the importance of having a healthy morning routine for all and especially for people battling with depression known, some of the healthy morning routines are discussed below:

Waking up early

Rather than sleeping late in the night and waking up to missed sun rays and a brunch, it is always better to set alarm and start the day early to assure that all the morning activities and ritual flows in without any rush and panic of not finishing it.

Practising gratitude

A healthy morning routine can be noting down all the things and people that the person is grateful and thankful for makes them feel much happier and flows in more positive thoughts. To also stop and defend you from the negative mood and thoughts.

Freshening up and staying hydrated

Right after getting off the bed, freshening up and hydrating yourself are a healthy routine to set yourself for the day. Sneaking in the bed for more time makes the person lazy and lanky. Thus, to hydrate yourself with fresh lemon water can actually fire up our digestive system and freshen up the person.

Meditating and physical exercise

An important way of making your morning routine a healthy one and complete one, meditation is the best practice that can induce relaxation, slower down the body and produce a sense of calmness and equanimity.

Planning for the day

Writing down the agenda for the day is an important part of a healthy morning routine to avoid hustle and stress throughout the day. One can structure the day in the morning so that the rest of the day flows in and goes off without any worry and stress of not finishing and getting it done on time. 

A filling and scrumptious breakfast

Going to work without breakfast and skipping it for some reason can make the day tiring and lack of energy. Thus, to feed oneself with a healthy morning breakfast can enlighten the mood as well as fuel the person to start off the day with enthusiasm and motivation.

Limiting the screen time of night before

One can also reduce the screen time and reduce  the blue light of night before to make sure that they get enough sleep and are not drowsy the next morning. 

Mentioned above are some of the strategies that people with depression can follow or add to their morning routine to make it more productive and healthy.

FAQs: Morning routine for depression

What is the ideal morning routine?

Ideal morning routine includes a short exercise, drinking a glass of water, freshening up, getting a shower, stretching etc.

Does having a routine help with anxiety?

Yes, having a morning routine can help steady our mind as well as thoughts. Along with that, it gives us confidence and helps us feel controlled.

How do I get into an early morning routine?

Getting into an early morning routine includes waking up early, getting some fresh air, setting alarm, staying off mobile and technology etc.

Why is it so hard to get out of bed in the morning?

There are different reasons contributing to difficulty in getting out of bed, some of the most common reasons are stress, lack of proper sleep, anxiety, depression etc.

How do I start my day right?

One can start their day right by getting up on time, stretching, meditating, journaling morning thoughts, having a proper breakfast and avoiding phone screen for some time.

What successful people do in the morning?

Successful people wake up early, exercise, spend time with family and loved ones, take time for meditation, fuel their body as well as mind.


This post provided an insight into depression, the causes and classification of depression, routine for people suffering from depression and the strategies that they can follow and finally concluded with some FAQs that are related to the topic.