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12 Things That Make Getting Ready in the Morning Easier When You Have Depression

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Editor’s Note: We hope the products below help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page.

If depression has ever greeted you in the morning, as real as the sunlight streaming through your window when you first open your eyes, you know how hard it can be to take that first step, to actually get out of bed. On mornings like this, depression isn’t just a feeling, but a weight that physically holds you down. And while there’s nothing wrong with staying in bed all day if that’s what you need to do, our days are sometimes filled with responsibilities or plans we’d rather not miss, and in that case, we might just need a little extra push to get us out the door.

To find out what products people use to make getting ready in the morning a little easier when they’re struggling with depression, we asked our mental health community for some ideas. Here’s what they shared with us. If you need help getting ready this morning, we hope this can help you, too.

1. Dry Shampoo and Baby Wipes

“Dry shampoo. I struggle with being motivated to shower, so it helps hide the fact that I haven’t washed my hair in days or even weeks sometimes.” — Carolyn A.

“Dry shampoo and baby wipes. The biggest sign of my depression is getting bad again is when I stop taking care of myself. I have hair that falls down past my waist and is such a task to do. Showering becomes something I forget to do, even something that causes stress when I’m dark and twisty… I think, ‘Why can’t I just shower like a normal person? I hate being like this.’ Dry shampoo helps me feel clean and it smells great, as well as the wipes. They allow me to feel like I’ve at least tried to take care of myself, and at least no one else can see how disgusting I feel, inside and out.” — Emily H.

baby wipes and dry shampoo

Our picks: Pantene Pro-V Original Fresh Dry Shampoo ($21.75), Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Moist Wipes (two packs for $11.49)

2. Morning Journal

“My wellness journal. I started the whole bullet journal tend, but instead of calendars and planners, I’ve got things like a fitness tracker, mental health tracker, history of medications I’ve tried and then fun stuff like lists of places I’d like to go, fun things to do with the kids, etc. I’ve got a section for gratitude to try to keep my thinking positive and one list that’s just ‘reasons to stay’ so that if I ever get that low again, I can take a look and hopefully it’ll help to see all the things I want to stick around for.”  — Heather D.

Photo via Heather D.

Our picks: The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal$16.20)1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion ($12.00)

3. Clothes You Look Forward to Putting On

“If it’s a day when I have to go out, then I seriously have to say a decent, well-fitted, comfy to wear, bra. The last one I got based on old sizes was horrid and I’d dread having to go anywhere, even just a small grocery shop. Since I do not mind the days when I have to go out so much because I’m not in discomfort or agony for it and it’s really made a difference.” — Rachel W.

“I guess this isn’t really a product, but my combat boots…I don’t go anywhere without wearing my boots, they’re sort of like a security blanket… I know the world cant get past my finely structured walls if I have them on.” — Serenity B. 

“A hat. For when I haven’t washed my hair for days and/or don’t want to put any effort into styling it. Also, it kinda helps shield me from the world. Or so, it feels like it does.” — Laura M.

“A good outfit. I didn’t have the motivation to do my makeup or hair so I felt like I couldn’t dress up. You’re naturally beautiful no matter what, and sometimes wearing your favorite shirt, bright happy colors or a soft material can put you in a good head space.” — Bridget L.

mood hat, bra

Our picks: True Body Scoop Neck Bra from True & Co., ($44), Mood Hat (Black) from Wear Your Label ($26.82 USD)

4. A Motivating Alarm Clock

“My false dawn alarm clock. It lights up half an hour before the alarm goes off which allows me to wake up naturally. My dogs are good for getting me out in the morning.” — Paula C.

“I love my Philip’s Wake-Up Alarm clock. You set it and then for 30-45 minutes before you wake up, it simulates a sunrise in your room. Especially as the mornings are getting darker, this simulating a sunny day really makes my mornings less of a struggle.” — Emily J.

sunset alarmclocks

Our picks: Wake Up Light Sunrise Digital Alarm Clock ($34.99), Philips Wake-Up Light with Colored Sunrise Simulation ($139.99)

5. Music

“My ‘good morning” Spotify playlist. I add happy songs which put a spring in my step and even if I hate everything and feel numb, I dance a bit. I dance because I was told if you do things that would normally make you happy then eventually you may feel happy too.” — Hannah M.

“Good headphones — listening to a good beat early in the morning can really help wake me up even if I’ve had no sleep the night before.” — Alyx P.

Our picks: Our list of 20 songs that help people with depression get up in the morning (free!), SleepPhones® Classic from SleepPhones ($39.95)

6. Comforting Drinks

“Instant coffee. If I’m in a bad way, I’m not going to take the time to make a pot of coffee. Even a Keurig feels like it’s too much work sometimes, so I got instant coffee for days where I just can’t be bothered.” — Sara P. 

“Orange juice. It’s like drinking sunshine. It gives me the energy to get out of bed and do things. And it helps my immune system keep my body well. Also liquid vitamin B complex. It hits quick and between that and the OJ really sets me up for success.” — Julia J.

Green tea and coffee

Our picks: Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew House Blend Coffee (eight 8-packs for $10.99), Bigelow Green Tea (six 20-count boxes, $14.76)

7. Everyday Hygiene Products

I know this seems so small, but for me just getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, washing my face and putting my hair up in a messy bun. It helps me to start to feel better about me, and my outlook for the day. Getting out of bed for many is very hard, but it’s those small steps into a routine that will help you get through each and every moment of the day.” — Tracy C.

“Cleansing Balm. I use Eve Lom Cleanser. You apply the balm to dry skin, then use a muslin cloth that you’ve soak in hot water and rung out and place it over your face. The warmth and the scents from the essential oils in the product — they are so calming and the feeling is beautiful. Knowing when I get out of bed, I can have my mini in-home facial for five minutes really sets my day off well and makes it easier for me. It’s easier than having to put water all over your face because sometimes for me that’s too much of a struggle. I just wipe it all off with the cloth.” — Emily J.

colgate and morning burst facewash

Our picks: Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Travel Toothbrush, Peppermint ($4.99), Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Cleanser ($4.92)

8. Something to Read

“Books or stories. When I need to get up and get going the first thing I do is either read an article on something, or read a chapter of my book or a few fanfictions cause it wakes me up and gets something positive on my mind first thing and helps keep my day positive to think back on that one good moment.” — Roann S.


Our picks: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed ( $9.51), The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns ($17.00)

9. Pets

“Not a product, but it’s really my dog. For some reason every time I struggle to get out of bed, (when it’s nearly noon) he comes up to my room to wake me up, and then he waits for me by the door.” — Pola E.

“My pets. I know I have to get up to feed them and give them love because nobody else would. They are the reason I get up in the morning.” — Lauren C.

We recommend: Adopting a pet from a local animal shelter or reaching out to rescue groups to see if you can foster a cat or dog in need of a home.

10. Podcasts

“I listen to podcast from the moment I get up. Comedy, true crime, interviews. It’s good to start your day not in complete silence, even better when you laugh at one!” — Conner L.

“I think also podcasts has helped me a lot in the mornings because it gives me something more positive to focus my mind on. Also, having ready-made breakfasts and lunches helps tremendously!” — Mikayla H.

this american life, radio lab

Our picks: The Moth, This American Life, RadioLab

11. An (Easy) Breakfast

“I know it’s weird. But Premier Protein in the pre-made individual bottles. I have trouble eating but need to eat to take my medicine. It’s actually really good! Don’t have to eat, but have the protein my body needs and don’t get sick from taking my meds on an empty tummy!” — Allyson L.

“Small pack of crackers and hot tea. I tend to have a hard time eating and generally feeding myself when I struggle with depression. Usually, I make a certain amount the night before and just heat up the tea and throw the crackers in my bag.” — Anjae W.

“‘Up & Go’ drinks — a true no effort required breakfast. It’s got nutrients and I can drink it on the go (handy because by the time I manage to get out of bed and get dressed, I’m running late for something) and I don’t have to prepare anything or wash any dishes.” — Erin H.

kind bars and protein shakes

Our picks: Premier Protein 30g Protein Shake, Chocolate (4-pack for $9.01), KIND Breakfast Bars, Blueberry Almond (32 4-packs for $27.28)

12. Meditation Apps

“Meditating helps me. I’ve found specific ones for relieving anxiety or uplifting my spirit. Even ones for ‘Monday blues’ can be super helpful on the days I feel overwhelmed by my anxiety or depression.” — Reid S.

Our picks: Headspace (sign up for free), Calm (sign up for free)

What would you add?

Lead photo via Mighty community member Heather D.

Originally published: October 25, 2017
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