My whole life I have hated mornings. No not because I didn’t like to leave the cozy confines of my nice warm bed, although some days this was part of it. The problem was that I never knew on any given day the person I would wake up being. Sometimes it was the happy me, sometimes the emotional me, sometimes the dark and depressed me, and sometimes the ‘haven’t slept due to anxiety’ me. I’m grateful things are better now than they were in the past and thankfully I’m not as scared of the mornings as I used to be. But when times get tough or I am overwhelmed, the mornings can still be a somewhat scary time for me. So how do you get past that morning person, whomever it is?
For me, it starts with reading the sign I placed on my bedroom door many years ago. It states, “You are worth fighting for. Stay Focused!”. To be honest, there are days when that message is the only thing that gets me out of bed. I focus. Whether it be on just getting two feet on the floor or getting out of the house for errands. Whatever the focus, I use that reminder daily to meet some kind of goal, even just small and seemingly insignificant ones.
Some mornings I will meditate using an app I have called Breethe. It’s strange but there are times I wake up and know that unless I do that mindfulness piece, there’s no way I’m getting out of bed that day. I also use the app to put myself to sleep each night using calming music. There are a boatload of apps out there you can try….this is just the one I found that works for me. Starting the day with a quiet mind, especially if I have been tossing and turning with anxious thoughts most of the night, is a perfect way to do a reset of my brain and then face the day with a clean slate.
On the mornings when I feel that heaviness of all the dark emotions welling up (luckily not as much as in the past), I won’t pretend that my tools work. I may grab the phone, send a note to work that I need a sick day, and roll over to go back to sleep. Now its important to be careful with this one. I always make sure I give myself time to process before I make that choice. More often than not, I realize that its important to keep routine, do the best I can, and will usually end up feeling better as the day goes on because I am working, productive, and connecting with people. Self-awareness plays a crucial role in recovery and going back to sleep is only a last choice option because it is truly needed for recharging.
I know myself well enough that I know I’ll never be the ‘get out of bed and be perky’ person. Just not gonna happen! But learning how to get up and embrace each day has been a key recovery piece in my journey. I may never love the mornings, but most of the time I can wake with a smile on my face and embrace the day now. When you have spent the majority of your life dreading what daylight would bring, it’s a huge victory to be able to open your eyes after a night of slumber and look forward to what wonderful things may occur once your feet hit the ground. Embracing mornings is something I never thought I would ever be able to achieve, but here I am killing it!