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7 Ways Depression Changes Your Morning Routine

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When you’re struggling with depression, sometimes it can take your plans for the day and throw them out the window. Depression can make everyday tasks feel impossible — especially the ones that affect your morning routine.

In her piece, “4 Changes in My Morning Routine That Indicate Depression Is Back,” Mighty contributor Miranda Nichole outlines the four ways she knows depression is upon her again. But she’s not the only one who has experienced a disruption in their morning routine because of depression.

We wanted to know how depression affects people’s morning routines, so we turned to our Mighty community to share their experiences. In addition to their insights, we included some helpful articles that might help you if you struggle with depression in the morning.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. Oversleeping

You oversleep because sleeping is the only thing you can manage to do. And then you hate yourself because you wasted so much time sleeping. And you repeat this cycle indefinitely until someone helps bring you out of it or your cloud of depression hopefully lifts someday.” — Brianna T.

“Hit the snooze button multiple times — so many times that you ask yourself if it’s worth getting out of bed. Takes nearly an hour to even get the mental strength to get out of bed.” — Trisden W.

Some helpful stories:

2. Arriving Late to Work

“I work from home now, but when I worked outside the home, I was often late. Even on days when I was able to get out of bed and shower, I would drive up to work and sit for minutes and minutes in my car, sometimes thinking and sometimes crying and sometimes just numbly dreading the day.” — Shannon R.

Some helpful stories:

3. Neglecting Basic Hygiene

“Even if I do wake up, I spend an hour or more in bed afterward with no energy to start my day with. Oftentimes, this means skipping some basic hygiene routines — brushing teeth, skin care, doing my hair — since I simply don’t have the energy to actually commit to it or the self-esteem to care that I’m suffering as a result.” — Brittany C.

“Some days I don’t care about hygiene. I pop some gum in, throw on deodorant and leggings and go. Sucks because I work in a corporate building. I just don’t have the energy to care about myself.” — Starr S.

“When I am depressed, I neglect to do the things I normally do. I don’t brush my hair the way I should, and to hide it, I just put it up in a ponytail. I also normally neglect to brush my teeth and wear old worn out clothes. I just stop caring about everything altogether.” — Jaime E.

Some helpful stories:

4. “Zoning Out”

Time moves simultaneously slow and fast. I often wake up and immediately zone out as I wait for my coffee to cool off. Ironing, packing a lunch, exercising… it all seems like too much of a chore. After a shower, I just sit for a good 10 minutes just trying to hype myself up for the day. I look up and I’ve been awake for 2 hours and spent maybe 20 minutes of it actually doing anything. The routine is so ingrained now that it’s extremely difficult to switch things up so that they’re more optimal or rational. It’s just the nature of the beast.” — Ian K.

Some helpful stories:

5. Setting Alarms to Wake Up Earlier Than Usual

“I’m having to make sure I wake up earlier than I need to by at least two hours, in order to get up and get ready to take care of myself and start my day.” — Tatauq M.

“Having to set your alarm wayyyy earlier than you actually need to get up because getting out of bed feels impossible and takes forever.” — Brynn H.

Some helpful stories:

6. Letting Kids Get Their Own Breakfast

“I’m definitely not the mom I thought I’d be. Most mornings my kids fend for themselves at breakfast, because I literally have to drag myself out of bed at the last moment possible. Even though they don’t seem to mind or even say they enjoy cooking meals, I still feel like a complete failure as a mother. Which does nothing for my depression.” — Amanda M.

Some helpful stories:

7. Taking Baths Instead of Showers

“It might seem like a little thing, but I started taking baths instead of showers. It’s a small shift, but it has a huge impact on my mood for the worse. It’s a reflection of my hopelessness.” — Jessica P.

Some helpful stories:

Header image via Roberto Delgado

Originally published: February 7, 2019
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