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The Importance of Mornings - from the Health and Healing Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces The Importance of Mornings -

What you need to know about mornings - and how to get your day started right.

What You Need to Know

Our first twenty minutes awake is a time of transition - from sleep to the alertness of the day.

Most of us notice that it takes time for our body to adjust to movement - for our muscles to loosen.

It also takes time for our mind and brain to adjust - and to steady us for the day.

Our mind looks to orient itself. It searches for something to grab hold of - to think about.

It looks to the events of the day or night before - or to the needs of the new day ahead.

And where our mind goes - our feelings quickly follow.

Feelings are raw first thing in the morning - particularly for those with conditions of health.

Symptoms of depression may be worst at that time.

The mind is pulled to gloomy thoughts - and feelings of sadness take hold.

Those suffering with anxiety may find that they awake worried or with fearfulness for the day.

Those in active addiction suffer early mornings with guilt, shame and remorse - or with symptoms of physical withdrawal.

And those in early recovery often find their mind restless and scattered.

The last thing that anyone in early recovery is best to do - is to lay awake in the morning - and to give their life a good think over.

Think back to the problems of yesterday - and feel the anger, guilt and shame begin to grow in your stomach.

Think forward to an uncertain future - and feel fear begin to take hold.

For those in early recovery from addiction - a restless mind will usually wander where it is not healthy to follow.

The first twenty minutes of your morning is a time of choice.

Start the day in a frantic rush - or take the time to settle your self.

Jump in with the same habits as always - or get started in new ways.

But first thing in the morning is not the time to decide what to do.

It is best to have a plan - a morning routine - that you can follow - and without needing to think too much about it.

Decide on a routine for the first twenty minutes of each day - and set the stage for a calm and more enjoyable day.

Planning Your Routine

Set a regular time to get up each day.

It doesn’t matter what hour you decide - but a regular time to wake is important to your health - and will very much help your morning routine.

If you use an alarm to wake you in the morning - set it to begin with calming music - playing as loudly as you need to wake up.

Try to wake before others in your household need to be up - or let them get on with their day before you.

Prepare a twenty minute routine to begin as soon as you wake.

The routine does not need to be complicated - but simple and focused.

An excellent way to begin your morning - is to recite the Serenity Prayer as soon as you wake. Say it once or a few times over in your mind.

Grant me serenity - to Accept the things I cannot change - Courage to change the things that I can - and Wisdom to know the difference.

If you think that you will forget - ask for help to remember just before going to sleep at night.

As you drift off to sleep just say - Help me remember to say the Serenity Prayer first thing when I wake up. Do this for a few nights - you will be amazed at the results.

You can also ask for help to wake up at a certain time each morning - seven or eight o’clock. You will gradually find that you do so - without need for an alarm clock.

Just ask for help with these things in your mind - before drifting off to sleep each night. It is a way to plant messages deeply within your body and mind.

Decide how you will spend your first twenty minutes awake. Then just follow your plan.

Listen to calming music or to a favorite relaxation exercise. Say the Serenity Prayer over and again in your head - like a mantra.

If your nature is restless or anxious, you may be best to begin with a stretching or exercise routine.

Many in recovery will begin their day by reading a few paragraphs of recovery literature - a story of recovery or a daily inspirational reading.

It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do - just follow your routine - and let go of anything that comes up to distract you.

Once you decide on your routine - write it down. Post a reminder note somewhere near your bed or inside your washroom.

Make your morning routine a part of your day to day Personal Program of Recovery.

Whatever your plan, you will find your mind pulled to other issues. You will think of a problem that happened yesterday - or that you fear will come up today.

You will wonder if you are wasting time - just relaxing - when the day is waiting for you to rush in. Your mind, body and feelings will pull you in all sorts of directions.

Whatever comes to your mind - just notice it and let it go. It can wait for later in the day. Rest your mind back on the Serenity Prayer - your calming music or stretching movements.

Just bring your mind back to rest on your morning routine - as many times as is necessary for you to do so. Don’t pressure your self - or become angry if your mind wanders off.

Mental habits take time to change. It gets easier with practice - and your skills gradually build.

In Summary

The first twenty minutes of your day - is a time of transition for body, mind and brain.

It’s a time when the restless habits of stress set in - or time for you to lay the foundation to a better day.

Get up at the same time each morning - and start your day with the Serenity Prayer.

A twenty minute routine of activity - will go a long way to a calmer and more enjoyable day.

Rest your mind on the activities of your Morning Routine - and make it a part of your Personal Program of Recovery.

You have now reached the end of The Importance of Mornings.

Look for this and other Learning Seminars at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.