• Ann Marie

Morning People: How do you do it?

I will be the first to tell you that I am not a morning person. This will quickly be confirmed by my friends and family who have ever had to encounter me before my first, maybe even my second, cup of coffee. I have read multiple articles about the benefits of it and just how to become the chirpy bird who gets the worm at sunrise. I have set my alarm to times I didn't know existed, made schedules, set all of my things out the night before, and attempted to go to bed early. I failed. Every. Single. Time. So at some point, I just gave up and accepted that my motto for being a morning person was "Never have been, never will be."

I'm currently writing this post at 8:03 am. I've been up since 7- I've made breakfast and coffee. To some of you, well probably most of you, this seems like an everyday occurrence. This could even be child's play. Kindly keep your gahawfs to yourself, I will take the praise of those of you waking up at 8:03 to run out the door to your jobs with a toothbrush in your mouth as you lock the door. It is an accomplishment to me to not still be laying in bed sound asleep or losing myself in an Instagram feed. So am I a morning person? Absolutely not. There are bags under my eyes, I'm on my second cup of coffee and I feel like death may come knocking on my door at any minute to put me in a deep slumber. Have I come to appreciate mornings? Absolutely. There is something pleasant about having the opportunity to appreciate silence.

So what changed? I've taken some time off from work to focus on my mental health. A couple of weeks ago, I was running on fumes and it got to a point where I didn't have a choice but to rest and refuel. I called the nurse practitioner who prescribed me meds over a year ago and mumbled to her that I quit taking medication just a few months after she last saw me. I expected shame or guilt to be her response. Instead, she praised me for scheduling an appointment and gave testimony to the fact that she also struggles with compliance. As my body has adjusted to the medication, my sleep-wake cycle has become more normal. I have stopped watching as much television. I haven't set a limit on how much TV I watch, but I don't sit around all day and binge-watch Married At First Sight or Gilmore Girls. Instead, I have focused on reading books, writing, and cooking. These are things I very much enjoy, but "never had time for". It has been a welcome change in my life and I am starting to feel like a human again.

So for those of you who struggle with mornings, keep doing whatever makes you happy. But if you're looking to change your routine, I suggest the following:

1. Talk to your health care provider about your sleep habits.

2. Set REALISTIC goals and expectations for yourself.

3. If mornings aren't a good time to sit in silence, find a time. Let your mind rest!

4. Just do your best.

I am not an expert, I am still learning. Here are some helpful articles on sleep and routine:

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