Chronic illness can be a bit of a roller coaster. Many people talk about having times of flare ups followed by times of relative wellness. But according to research, establishing healthy routines can minimize bad days and help you stay in better control of your health.
Therefore, we’ve compiled some ideas for building your own chronic illness morning routine. Of course, finding the health-focused routine that works best for you is what counts most.
Meditation first thing in the morning can be a nice entry into wakefulness that helps center you for your day. And the benefits of mediation to health are well-documented.
Check out this guide to getting started meditating from Community magazine to give it a try.
Knock out a little exercise and prepare your body for any storm it may weather in the future with a few yoga moves to start your day. We all know the benefits of exercise and mindful stretching.
Yoga can also help you build a stronger relationship with your body—something that can help your overall health.
Journal or visualize
Taking time to process your own life—health-wise and otherwise—is important. For some people, writing is a good way to accomplish this. Many studies have shown the benefits of journaling.
Visualization is another option that might be easier for other people. It’s a word that can mean different things, but in cognitive behavioral therapy, it’s used to help people envision what their better selves might be. So, that could be simply taking a few moments to picture what you aspire to in your mind. It also might be a literal drawing or collage of the things you want to represent.
Staying positive is something that can benefit your mental, physical and emotional health. So focusing on writing about information, positive aspects of your life or gratitude may have the best impact.
Whatever direction you take it, a few minutes each morning processing your goals or reality can help your spirit.
There’s mixed research on how beneficial eating breakfast itself is. But one thing seems to be true: those with a habit of eating a healthy breakfast tend to follow healthier habits in general.
The act of planning your breakfast a day or week ahead of time helps ensure you’ll pick something healthier. And you can avoid grabbing a donut or three sugary granola bars in an unplanned burst of hunger.
Take your medications
Sticking to your doctor’s recommended treatment is very important in managing a chronic illness. Making medication part of your morning routine will help you stay on track. And now that you have a healthy breakfast in your stomach, your medications might go down a little easier. If you still struggle to make it part of your routine, there’s an app for that.
In case you need a little more motivation to start a routine, consider this article from Headspace: “Look at the lives of famously gifted and creative people—including Freud, Beethoven, and Georgia O’Keeffe, to name but a few—and you’ll see that many of them optimized their daily lives to get on top of their games. Routine was their secret weapon.”
See “A Few Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude” for more.
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