I was pondering my SAD this morning as I did the dishes in front of my light box and I realised one if the biggest challenges many people face is getting out of bed in the morning. It struck me I have created a routine that has made this so much easier and I wanted to share.
Of course, I am aware that my routine may be completely wrong for some and the essence of this blog is not to tell people to do what I do, but instead think about what you can do to make this particular challenge easier.
Before we talk about how to get up it’s important to consider when we go to sleep. If we don’t go to bed until 2am it is going to be harder to wake. Try to get to bed at a sensible time and use the various tools available to help you go to sleep. The better your bed time routine is the easier it will be to get up when that alarm goes off.
The first step to making mornings easier is to use a sunrise lamp. These are particularly useful if you have to wake before dawn but as the days darken in general they will be useful to anyone. These lights wake you gently from your sleep rather than the way a conventional alarm jolts you awake. By using one of these lights you are already in a better mind set because you have woken naturally.
After my light wakes me I spend some time scrolling through social media on my phone. This allows me to wake up more but I also believe the brightness of my phone screen starts to wake my brain up too. If you find the content of your social media depresses you consider finding pages that post uplifting information such as Crystaloak Therapies on Facebook.
Making sure I get up in good time is also important. As tempting as it is to have 5 more minutes in bed that extra time is completely outweighed by the stress of knowing you’re going to be late for work. Give yourself plenty of time and you’ll find your morning routine is so much easier and your stress levels so much lower. After a few days having removed just that one source of anxiety will make it easier.
The next very important aspect of my morning routine is a reason to get out of bed. Knowing you have to go to work can force you out of bed but having something nice to look forward to makes it even easier. For me it’s my cats. They aren’t allowed upstairs at night so I go straight downstairs and see who is around. Being greeted by a friendly meow always puts a smile on my face.
From here routine and environment is key. I shower in a brightly lit bathroom, often accompanied by a cat sat on the linen basket. I use bright fairy lights around my mirror to put my makeup on and then it’s downstairs to the dishes and my light box. This could be enough but there is so much more to this stage of my morning.
I have discovered a cd of classical music that lightens my mood every time I listen to it. So, as insane as it seems, I listen to it EVERY weekday morning. The purity and lightness of the music simply raises my spirits. My oil diffuser and negative ion generator also goes on and I use uplifting essential oils to help raise my mood. In total I have created a haven for my soul while I prepare to meet the day; I have my bright light that I love, beautiful music, a joyous scent and cats to keep me company. After the dishes I have a tasty breakfast and my supplements, still in front of my light, and make my lunch for work before leaving the house.
In accepting that I have to get up and that it could be a struggle I have found ways to make it easier. We can fight having to get up, refusing and rebelling but we only really make it worse for ourselves. What simple things can you add to your morning routine to make it easier?