Many of us are not morning people on the best of days, and chronic illness can make it even more tempting to remain under the covers until well into the afternoon. Even once you get up you stumble around like a zombie for the first hour or two of your day, waiting for yourself to wake up.
Rather than an excuse to sleep in, chronic illness makes it even more necessary that you implement a daily morning routine for yourself. Reserving the first sixty to ninety minutes of your morning for a few daily practices will energize you and give you the tools you need to have a focused and productive rest of your day.
Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, studied successful people and formulated a morning routine that would allow him to emulate those people’s common daily habits. Every morning for ten minutes each, he practices meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and writing. An easy way to remember this routine is the abbreviation S.A.V.E.R.S: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.
You don’t have to try to fit six different activities into the first hour of your morning, though, especially not when you’re just starting out. Getting into the habit of taking a walk each morning is a great way to start getting used to starting your day the same way each day. Then, as you become more comfortable, you can add in some slightly more strenuous exercise and ten to fifteen minutes of meditation. You should of course only do exercise-wise what your doctor approves of. The important thing is to build daily habits that will start your day off right.
It’s easy to know that a morning routine would be helpful, but it’s quite difficult to actually implement one. One morning you fall prey to the seductive siren song of your snooze button and suddenly you’re right back where you were three months ago.
What’s been helpful for me is plugging each part of my morning routine into my daily schedule. Each time I look at my schedule and see my walk, workout time, and meditation time listed there I feel more accountable to actually get those things done.
Getting up at the same time each day will also help you to stick to your new morning routine. Eventually your body will fall into a sort rhythm and it will get easier and easier to get up and get going each day.
You may feel like your illness has earned you an extra hour or two of sleep in the morning. But if you really want to achieve your dreams, you shouldn’t let your illness stand in the way of the habits that will bring you success.