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When Mornings Are the Hardest Part of Your Day

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Mornings are the hardest part of my day, hands down. I dread going to bed at night because I know as soon as I close my eyes, it’s time to get up. When I wake up in the morning, I’m not fully awake for at least an hour. Depression has taken a lot out of my usual morning routine lately.

It’s not just that I don’t want to get out of bed — it’s that I have no energy. I’ve gotten 10 hours of sleep, and I wake up exhausted. Depression is like a heavy blanket on your bed, and you have to struggle to get out from under it. I do not know a better way to put it. Mornings are rough because my mind starts going off as soon as my eyes open. Bitter and ugly thoughts enter my head before I can even try to block them. I think about calling out of work every single day (not exaggerating) because I just don’t feel like going. I feel like collapsing in my bed and not moving.

Another thing that makes mornings hard, especially when you’re in a really bad spot, is fully waking up. When the alarm clock goes off — I’m awake. But am I really? Sometimes someone will ask me about what I said earlier that morning, and I’ll have no idea what he or she are talking about. My mind is foggy. I can’t think about things that might be common sense to other people. I’ll even get ready and go right back to bed until I have to be out the door. I think that makes it worse, too, but sleeping more seems like a good idea at the time.

Depression really affects my morning routine. If I’m depressed, I eat something that probably is not the greatest for me. I’ll grab a granola bar because I don’t have to make something. But this just makes my blood sugar crash at 10 a.m. Sometimes I just don’t eat — and that is even worse. I also have a strict facial regime I do on mornings when I’m not depressed. I wash my face, twice. I do serum and moisturizer. These things are important, but I can never get up the energy to do them when I’m down.

There are a couple things that help me in the mornings. The first one is a consistent schedule. Whether it is a weekday or the weekend, I go to sleep and wake up at the same time (as close as possible, anyway). This helps my daily routine start on track every day. I find I have more energy later in the day if I don’t press snooze. Something else I struggled with was finding the right amount of sleep that gives me the energy I need. I require less than eight hours of sleep. That was surprising! Finally, a good wake-me-up is washing my face. A splash of cold water to my face will wake me right up.

Depression makes mornings so hard. I say these things help me — and they do — but definitely not all of the time. I will always struggle with mornings when I am having a depressive episode. I hope people understand that.

Depression makes me an unhealthy person. It makes it feel impossible to care about myself at all in the mornings. It makes it hard to really wake up and be aware. It’s a struggle I deal with constantly, and I know I’m not alone. But experimenting and finding your rhythm of how much sleep you need and what will help you wake up is so important. It can make a huge difference for your mornings. Again, I’m not promising this will work all the time, but I believe it can help improve your days.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: July 19, 2016
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