Mental Health Toolbox: Creating My Morning Routine

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Disclaimer: SickNotWeak does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Where do I start?

Do I talk about the emotional and physical abuse I endured for all of 2017 that led to my symptoms of PTSD? Being told I was the reason someone was going to take their life, physically hit repeatedly, receiving 60-plus texts and calls a day in abusive contact and that only is the tip of the iceberg.

Or while this was all was happening, I got the news that my father had Parkinson’s disease and saw it move at an astounding rate through his body and mind. Within 12 months, leaving him a frail old man that didn’t recognize me, compared to the youthful 71-year-old just a year before.

I stopped caring about it all.

Or maybe I talk about how cancer hidden in his body was a silver lining in all of this. Ending the cruelty of what the Parkinson’s was doing to his mind in a short three-week span after doctors first noticed it.

Starting in 2017 until May 2018, I endured all of this.

  • Crying daily in the shower.
  • Having panic attacks every time my phone went off.
  • Lost all sense of happiness.
  • Slept no more than five hours a night.
  • Had severe anxiety.
  • Had severe depression.
  • Stopped working for long periods.

This is how my days looked, and they didn’t get better after May when my father finally died. Things just became more numb, harder to do, and I started to wonder if it all would ever go back to normal.

I stopped caring about it all.

I stopped wondering why this was all happening to me.

Until one morning in the fall of 2018, I had enough of feeling this way. I realized if I didn’t start working on trying to get myself better, it would never happen on its own.

That morning I pulled out my laptop and typed into google “How to create a morning routine.” I was overwhelmed by the number of blogs and articles that popped up, but that didn’t stop me. I started writing down the most used techniques that were shared in these searches.

I had enough of feeling this way.

After a time, I found a handful that I connected with, thinking I might enjoy doing them over and over for the next few months to maybe even years as part of my morning routine.

Over the next three months, I dedicated myself to completing this morning routine I was crafting. The end goal was to have a 60-minute routine that I felt at peace with as I went through it, finally ending up with a sense of accomplishment and confidence I could make it through the rest of the day.

  • The key parts of my routine were
  • Waking up at the same time every day.
  • Making my bed before I leave my bedroom.
  • Finish my shower off with 15/30/45 seconds of total cold water.
  • Have hot lemon water.
  • Sit in the quiet and think about yesterday and what’s to come ahead.
  • Meditate for 5-10 minutes.
  • Make coffee.
  • Write in my morning journal.
  • Finish my routine by saying out loud a few affirmations.

Only once I had completed the routine would I open my phone and laptop.

Not only was this routine there to give me confidence in my ability to complete any actions ahead in my day, but it was to save my brain from a harsh wake-up from anxiety-driven social media posts or stressful work emails.

Creating this morning routine was the backbone of putting together my mental health toolbox. This toolbox consisted of daily exercises, weekly therapy sessions, eating healthy and much more.

I am grateful I could start working on myself finally. I hope you, too, find the day where you have the desire to take the first step forward.

To see more of Paul’s work and how he’s helping those suffering, along with other powerful stories please check out http://www.weareneveralone.co/.

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