I have had clients complain about mornings for as long as I can remember.  They don’t want to get up, don’t want to face the day. For younger adults, school is boring, maybe too difficult.  For older people already in the workplace, I hear the same complaints about their jobs. Folks would rather stay home, often isolated, and sometimes not even move out from under their blankets.

This is what I call “The Morning Dread.” It’s nothing new, no, but the phenomenon is becoming more prevalent as the quarantine and stay at home orders stretch from weeks to months.   So many of my clients  – kids, teens and adults alike – are describing similar feelings of just not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.

Why the malaise? The Morning Dread is a symptom of a lot of factors, including: 

  1. It’s the same thing day after day with little to no change and no new excitement.  Remember the movie Groundhog Day?  
  2. Our brains are not adequately stimulated.
  3. We struggle with how to make things happen, create activities; manage our kids, school and work. 
  4. The anxiety over not knowing when it will end.  When can we go out again and feel safe?  

Here are a few ideas for combating Morning Dread: 

  1. Create a morning routine. Routine is comforting to our bodies and minds.
  2. Put something nice in your morning- a good breakfast, a cup of your favorite coffee.
  3. Get up and exercise, meditate, take an early morning walk.  
  4. Limit your time on social media, bad news and negative energy.  
  5. Take a moment and affirmatively set a positive mindset for the day

Julie Bulitt, LCSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker, having worked for more than 25 years with individuals, couples and families.  Her private practice focuses on family, couples and individual therapy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Functioning coaching.  She presently serves as the in-house therapist for The Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Her new book, THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES is co-authored with her husband, a Maryland divorce lawyer is now available from all booksellers in paperback and e-books.