Not a morning person? Me neither. Let’s face it: Getting out of bed every single morning is a challenge, especially when we’re struggling with our mental health. Here are some practical tips to give yourself a jumpstart on those tough days.
By Marc Shapiro
(First and foremost) Sometimes you just won’t be able to get out of bed………..AND THAT’S OK!!
Your health is most important, and experts say that taking a mental health day as frequently as once a month can be a great way to relax, reset, and recharge. When taking a mental health day, do try your best to spend time doing things that are fun, relaxing, and meaningful, in addition to getting plenty of rest.
Get a good night’s sleep
Ahhh, so obvious, but so much easier said than done. Here’s what’s helped me –
Ditch bedtime news and social media: Let’s face it (no pun intended): For most of us, screens are part of our lives and often figure into our nighttime routine. And contrary to popular belief, that might not even be so bad! Research disputes that blue light from our screens negatively affects our sleep and I believe the content on our screens is much more influential than the screens themselves. I find news and social media to be far too overstimulating for a healthy bedtime routine, but enjoying a non-stress-inducing book, podcast, movie, or show can be a good way to calm down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Well-timed exercise can do wonders: If you find exercise beneficial, try getting your body moving daily and at a time that makes sense. While physical activity provides a jolt of energy for some, others are ready for sleep as soon as they shower and change! If physical activity is productive for you, think about or find out how it affects you: that will determine if you should exercise in the mornings or evenings to be energized during the day and ready for sleep at night.
Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning (no matter how small)
We can give ourselves little motivators to get out of bed and start the day. Keep the fridge stocked with your favorite morning treats as a yummy bribe, add some music to your morning shower with a portable speaker, and catch up on your favorite book or series during your commute. These are all little things that can make a big difference!
Let the light shine bright!
Exposure to morning light is crucial in getting our circadian rhythm ticking on schedule, allowing us to be awake in the morning and sleepy at nighttime. If you have good access to natural light, I highly recommend keeping the blinds slightly open before bedtime to let some light in when you wake up. Getting outside first thing in the morning is another great option: Whether going for a walk or sitting outside, being in the sun shortly after getting out of bed is a great way to soak up morning light and reflect.
Do some helpful favors for “morning you”
What is “morning you” like? If morning you is anything like morning me, they are forgetful, indecisive, cranky, and above all, TIRED. Show morning you the care they deserve by ensuring they have an outfit picked out, fully charged electronics, and all the upcoming day’s materials organized and ready to go by the door. Morning you may still not be the jolliest version of yourself, but with some favors, it’s much more likely they’ll be much more likely to get up and out the door on time.
Self-compassion is a must
Whether it’s morning you or afternoon you, energetic you or unmotivated you, have some compassion for you. I know it’s tempting, but please don’t blame yourself for struggling to get going on any given morning. It’s a legitimate challenge and something that affects people from all walks of life. All we can do is try our best while being mindful of our mental health.
Marc Shapiro is a blogger and content writer. He appreciates receiving comments and suggestions at email@example.com