I have found a bit of magic for my mornings.
It’s good news because I live with an ogre.
The Ogre in My House
I have a bitter, angry, spiteful man who hides out in my house. When my alarm goes off early in the morning I know he’s hiding in the darkness. When I step out of the bed he sneaks up behind me and whispers hateful things in my ears.
When I head into the bathroom to get dressed for my run and flick on the light he’s staring back at me. He’s mean and angry and says horrible things. He doesn’t like me. He swears at me and tells me I’m worthless and makes me feel terrible.
So I start my mornings outrunning him.
The Struggle of Early Mornings
I don’t know why, but the negative thoughts in my head are brutal first thing in the morning. They range from a toddler throwing the “I don’t wanna!” tantrum, to the grown adult sitting in the darkness with a scowl and furrowed brow telling me what a horrible person I am, why I’m a loser, and why I’m fooling myself.
Zig Ziglar says to get up with the alarm, sit on the edge of the bed and cheer, even if you have to do it quietly. Be excited about the new day!
I love that. I’ve tried it a ton. When things are going well and there is visible proof that I’m on my game, this works well.
But in dry patches, especially in long ones, it’s hard to feel like cheering. I read authors like Zig and realize that he could be so positive because he didn’t get stuck in a pit of depression or have to claw his way to happiness. Yes, happiness is a choice, but sadness is not the same as depression, and those of us that struggle with it know the difference.
So as I sit in the early morning hating myself surrounded by a fog of gloom and being angry and everything else, I know none of that changes what I’m about to do.
The Ten Minute Change
I simply have little choice. At the time of this writing I have exercised every day for 2 years and 1 week. Every day. I have written at least 20 minutes a day for over 2 years and have written 60 minutes a day for over half a year.
There are several other things like this in my schedule. It’s a schedule I’ve built slowly, over time. To get them all done without putting it all in jeopardy, I have no choice but to get up and get out the door. So I do.
The thing I find is this: exercise really helps. It typically takes 5 minutes of running, maybe 10, when the endorphins kick in and I am feeling good. The anger and hate I had for myself start to drift away and I realize this isn’t so bad. No. Actually, it’s quite nice.
I had two choices: stay in bed, risk it all, and hate myself more, or push through the hate and the swearing and the heavy eyes and run. It was all in the choice.
Your Ten Minute Change
I highly recommend exercise. It can turn your gloomy, angry hate into joyful, positive possibilities. If you can do it but aren’t, it’s worth it to try it out. It turns your body into a happy factory.
But regardless of whether you choose exercise or not, find something to turn your day around. Find something to get you energized. Find something to move you forward and have hope. Then jump in.
I don’t know if you’re like me. I don’t know if you struggle with depression, self loathing, or feelings of worthlessness. But if you are, you must find something to turn your day around. Find your ten minute change. Find your thing that turns you from negativity to hope. Then do it. Every. Single. Day.
It may be hard to get started, but it will change your pre-dawn darkness into a great morning.