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Creating an Effective Morning Routine with Depression

Getty Images / AJ_Watt

For Bryce Evans, a crucial part of managing depression is starting each day with a balanced morning routine.

When you’re living with high-functioning depression (like me), I’ve found that it can often be the little things that happen throughout the day that determines your mood. 

That’s why it’s helpful for me to set myself up for success in the morning to build momentum and start off with a more positive mindset. Having a few key actions or routines that I can achieve each morning to help me focus on my priorities can make all the difference. 

Most important, however, is coming up with the proper morning routine. In my experience, the way I spend the first few hours after waking up can really set the bar for how I’ll feel over the day and how productive I am. 

The following is what has worked for me. You’ll need to test these tips to find what works for you. Trust me, the time invested in the process will be well worth it. Nothing is better than waking up refreshed and able to hit the ground running. 

Tips to win your morning


  1. Get out of bed as soon as you wake up. This will help you avoid dipping back into sleep (which may make you even more groggy than before) or staying in bed so long that you lose time for the rest of your routine. Don’t give in to the urge to hit the snooze button! 

  2. Drink a big glass of water right after waking up. If you’re well-hydrated, you may be less likely to feel that morning grogginess that can put you in a bad mood. 

  3. Integrate a short session of meditation, yoga, stretching, or cardio exercise at the start of your day. You can do this in your lounge or garden (if you have one). It will help wake you up, get you grounded in your body, and avoid missing exercise or mindfulness for lack of time or energy later in the day. I’ve found that even as little as 5 or 10 minutes can make a big difference! 

  4. Seek out a trusted friend to be an accountability partner for you. If you’re both interested in waking up earlier or setting better habits for the morning, you can text or call each other and check-in to make sure you’re both on track. 


  1. Go on your phone to check your email or social media while in bed. If you can, try to avoid looking at your phone (or using it excessively) for the first few hours of your day. We all have different preferences and ways to use our devices. Still, the key is to avoid falling into a reactionary state early in the day. If you can focus on today’s task right away and get it done, then that non-urgent email can wait.
  2. Leave your meals left to the last minute, filling your body with lots of empty calories or extra sugars. Plan out and be intentional with your breakfast, whether it’s a big meal or quick smoothie. Ensure that your mind and body have enough nutrients and energy to get through the day
  3. Leave yourself with too little time in the morning to get everything ready before you have to start work. Having to rush in the morning sparks and fuels my anxiety, which sets the tone for the rest of the day and makes me more susceptible to triggers later on. Wake up with enough time to allow yourself to be more relaxed in your morning routine.


When creating your morning routine, keep it simple. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Focus on one tactic first and build consistency. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself to the point of anxiety (the irony here is too real). 

Alongside working with my doctor, managing my depression and anxiety includes keeping myself healthy. Get enough sleep, eat well, drink lots of water, and find ways to express yourself and clear your mind. And don’t forget to move your body and sweat often! 

There’s no need to strive for perfection and get down on yourself if you miss a habit.

Sometimes, that means catching myself when I feel overly frustrated or lacking energy during the day. I’ll have a mini check-in with myself to shift things around and try to complete a habit that I might have missed earlier in the day. That could be a short walk, a few minutes of mindfulness, or finishing something that I’ve put off. Whatever I need to do to get back on track. 

Each new morning is an opportunity for a fresh start. Are you ready?

The individual(s) who have written and created the content in and whose images appear in this article have been paid by Teva Pharmaceuticals for their contributions. This content represents the opinions of the contributor and does not necessarily reflect those of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Similarly, Teva Pharmaceuticals does not review, control, influence or endorse any content related to the contributor's websites or social media networks. This content is intended for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered medical advice or recommendations. Consult a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and before beginning or changing any treatment regimen. 

NPS-ALL-NP-00542 MARCH 2022

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