NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Overcoming the Morning Blues

If you struggle with the morning blues, you're not alone.  Millions of people wake up in the morning and want to go right back to sleep because they find it hard to face the day.  Assuming you've gotten enough sleep, the temptation to go back to sleep can be a way to avoid facing the day.  For many people who are confronted with the morning blues, their attitude is "Why bother?"  They have a sense of purposelessness. But you can overcome the morning blues by changing the way you approach the start of your day.

Overcoming the Morning Blues

One way to overcome the morning blues and that negative inner voice that can be so self defeating is to start each day with something that will inspire you.

Overcoming the Morning Blues

You'll need to plan this ahead of time so that when you wake up, it's available to you when you wake up.  For each person this will be different.  It can include:

Read an Inspiring Passage:
Many people find it uplifting to read an inspiring passage, whether it's spiritual material from one of the many One Day at a Time books or other reading material.

Overcoming the Morning Blues: Read an Inspiring Passage, Write Down Your Dreams, Set an Intention for the Day

Starting your day by reading an inspiring passage can change your attitude for the day and challenge your negative self thoughts.

Write Down Your Dreams:
Rather than giving in to that "Why bother?" negative inner voice, wake up with the goal that you'll write down your dreams.  

The best time to write down your dreams is when you first wake up.  If you keep a pad and pen by your bed and tell yourself before you go to sleep that you want to remember your dreams, you're more likely to remember your dreams.  Your dreams can provide you with interesting insights into yourself.  Some people discover that they become more in touch with their intuition once they start paying attention to their dreams.

Set the Tone with an Intention for the Day:
This is something you can decide before you go to sleep.  Alternatively, you can give yourself the suggestion before you go to sleep that you want to wake up with an intention for the day (see my article:  The Power of Starting the Day with an Intention).

Either way, having an intention for the day gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.  For instance, if your intention for the day is to be more compassionate, you can observe yourself throughout the day:  Are you getting impatient and angry with your coworkers?  Are you getting irritated with other drivers on the road?  Instead of being impatient and irritated, how might your attitude be different if you were more compassionate and put yourself in the other person's shoes for a moment?

Practice Morning Meditation:
Taking even just a few minutes every morning to start your day with morning meditation can change how you feel when you wake up and your attitude throughout your day (see my article: Wellness: Safe Place Meditation).

If you're new to meditation, there are many meditation CDs or downloads that can lead you through a guided meditation if that's what you would prefer.  You can also just spend a few minutes with your eyes closed observing your thoughts.  Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, just see it go by like a cloud passing in the sky.  Don't hold onto it.

Practice Yoga:
Whether you go to a yoga class to begin your day, which I highly recommend, or you do a few yoga poses on your own, beginning your day with yoga poses can be an uplifting way to start your day.  Not only will you quiet your mind, but you will feel more relaxed and refreshed.

Volunteer in Your Community:
When you wake up with the intention of helping others, you're less likely to be consumed with negative self thoughts.
Overcoming the Morning Blues: Volunteer in Your Community

There are many nonprofit organizations that need volunteers.  Not only is it a good feeling to be helping others, but you also can often feel gratitude for what you have in your own life.

Keep a gratitude journal:
Before you go to sleep each night, you can write down things you feel grateful for in your life.  They don't need to be big things.  They can be about the simple things in life that you might usually overlook: finding a parking space without having to drive around for a long time, hearing from a good friend, eating a delicious meal, and so on (see my article: Journal Writing Can Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety).

Overcoming the Morning Blues: Keep a Gratitude Journal

If you get into the habit of writing down at least three things every night, you'll begin to sensitize yourself to all the things you can feel grateful for in your life.  When you do this before you go to sleep, it can set the tone for when you wake up.

Overcoming the morning blues can be challenging, but not impossible.  Often, it's a matter of overcoming habitual negative thinking.  In other words, it's possible that the morning blues has become an unconscious habit that can be overcome with new positive habits.

Getting Help in Therapy
These are some ideas about how you can overcome the morning blues.  If rather than the morning blues you're feeling depressed, these ideas can be helpful.  But if they're not and your feelings of sadness and purposelessness last more than two weeks, you should seek the help of a licensed mental health practitioner who has experiencing working with clients who are depressed.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist. 

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.