One of the less acknowledged symptoms of endometriosis is fatigue. While there isn’t much research into this symptom and why it occurs, it’s generally acknowledged that the continuous strain of battling chronic pain and the internal challenges our bodies face leave us feeling drained and exhausted.
Depression is another reason that women with endometriosis may have fatigue. Fatigue is a symptom of depression, and given that women with endometriosis are more likely to develop anxiety and depression, it could be the mix of the two conditions that leaves us struggling for energy.
This year, I embarked on an online course to improve my quality of life. One of the stand-out lessons for me was how changing my morning routine could impact how I feel and perform for the rest of the day. The emphasis was that many of us allow life to “happen to us,” instead of taking control before the day begins.
Starting this morning routine, or ritual, was quite simply, life-changing. Beginning with these steps took me from a place of waking up depressed, unmotivated, and exhausted to feeling energized, inspired, and connected. It was (and still is) a mammoth task to open my eyes in the first place, but once I’m in my front room, surrounded by my creature comforts, I begin to come to life.
Below I’ve outlined my morning routine, and how it helps me start the day feeling energized and positive. Whatever you want your morning routine to look like, make it realistic for the amount of time you have in the morning, and make it something you’ll enjoy.
Change your alarm clock
It could be helpful to look at what’s actually starting your day — your alarm clock. Is it a shrill siren? An annoying ring tone? Or something more inviting, like calming sounds or your favorite song?
This is the first thing you hear, so look into ways of making it more pleasant. I recently started using the “bedtime” setting on my iPhone instead of my alarm, opting for bird sounds. I actually found myself smiling, as I lay half asleep, instead of bleary-eyed hitting whatever button I could to stop the racket.
I do this every night to help me fall asleep. I count backward from 2,000 (really), and it actually helps quiet my brain and prevents my insomnia from kicking in. But recently, I’ve been hearing lots about counting backward to stop your brain from going into reaction mode. As you wake, try counting backward from five – the five-second delay can help stall your brain from getting into the negative spin it usually gets into as soon as you open your eyes.
Create your space
As a creative, I need a space that makes me want to be there. My living room is full of plants, and in the morning I have a candle lit, surrounded by crystals (whether they work or not, they look pretty).
This might all sound totally “hippie “to you, which is fine. Just create a space you want. If that’s covered in teddies or “Simpsons” memorabilia, go for it! Just make it a place where you want to wake up.
Having a drink or some breakfast that you love waking up to is just a nice creature comfort to slowly wake your senses, and bring you energy and enjoyment.
I generally start my day with a tea that I love. It helps me wake up and tastes crisp and refreshing. The steam in the morning light is almost mesmerizing, and it’s comforting to have a hot mug to hold as I come to.
Once I have my tea with me, I settle down for a five-minute meditation.
Meditating has been shown to lessen our stress response, heighten our ability to focus and concentrate, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. I also feel more calm, present, and positive after meditating.
I’ve talked about how yoga is beneficial for endometriosis in my previous column on exercise, but you don’t have to stick to yoga. I use yoga because I’m not really a sporty person, and I like yoga because I’m always pretty highly stressed and yoga is a proven stress reliever.
However, exercise, in general, is a great way to increase feelings of well-being and boost your mood in the morning. Even if you just did a couple of minutes dancing to your favorite song, or five minutes cardio, it’s sure to help you wake up and feel good.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.