News for the Change Makers on your campus




Mental Health: Making T.I.M.E. in the Morning

T.I.M.E.: Thankfulness, Insights, Mindfulness, and Exercise
Lindsey Charron CADA VP

With activity directors, there are various levels of busy. There is homecoming level busy, semi-busy, and just plain busy. Our positions are stressful and no one really understands the kind of busy that we can be. As someone who always tries to help others, I have often found that I put myself last. However I realized what a detriment that is, not only to my students and my program, but also myself. We cannot help others if we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves. And that is why the past few years I have really put an emphasis on my mornings. 

As someone who would be rich if I was actually paid each time my name was said during the day, I discovered that mornings are the best place for me to focus on myself. They are a time when I do not need to worry about the needs or wants of others, but I can make time to set myself up for the best day possible. This has pushed me to wake up earlier, which you do not necessarily have to do.  However, waking up earlier has given me that little extra cushion to do the activities that I know are best for me. These activities include focusing on gratitude, mindfulness, exercise, and learning.

Recently, I was delighted to discover that the activities that I was already trying to focus on in the morning are part of a routine that Jay Shetty also emphasizes in the book, “Think Like a Monk.” He wrote about how monks take the time to do this each morning to help place themselves in the right mindset. The acronym he used to describe this is T.I.M.E.: Thankfulness, Insights, Mindfulness, and Exercise. Shetty states that by making time to do each of these activities in the morning, not only do you create space to start your day off on the right foot, but you also help yourself grow as a person.

Each morning, I start by writing a note of gratitude to someone. I might post on someone’s Facebook page, write an email to a student, or send someone a text. Focusing on gratitude actually changes your brain, and it helps me to stop going through my seemingly never-ending to-do list before my mind starts racing. I then try to read something that I think will either benefit myself or my profession. Sometimes if I have made more time it is a chapter from a book, other times it is just an article. I love learning, and this helps get my creativity flowing. Next, I will try to do some type of exercise; it is nothing long in the morning. For ten minutes I will go for a walk, do a yoga flow, or hop on the Peloton. I prefer to finish with meditation. Guided meditations are easier for me to focus on, so I will pick something from the Peloton app, or Headway that is five to ten minutes long. As someone who deals with anxiety and depression, this is the perfect way to end what I have come to refer to as my morning session.

Now, there are mornings where not all of these things happen. Sometimes, I am only able to write an email of gratitude, other mornings I only find time to read. No matter what, I try to make sure I perform at least one part of this morning routine because it helps me center myself. I encourage you to give it a try. And if not, please make sure you are carving out some time for yourself during the day to focus on something that you love and enjoy because you need to make sure you are a priority in your own life. And you deserve it.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All CADA News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *