Morning Routines for those with Chronic Illnesses

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Some days, getting out of bed is one of the most difficult tasks. You’re far warmer under your blanket fort and the world is filled with pretty mundane responsibilities. For those living with a chronic illness, there are even more factors keeping you glued to the mattress far past that last alarm. People living with chronic Lyme disease often have morning attacks of joint swelling and pain while those with type 2 diabetes have to start immediately thinking about how everything they eat or drink will affect their body throughout the day. Setting up an effective morning routine can help reduce some of the stress and frustration that comes along with those early (for you) hours.

‘Morning’ Can Be Flexible

If you’ve ever heard that the early bird catches the worm or that high powered CEOs start their days at 3 am, you might be convinced that getting up at the crack of dawn is the way to go. The truth, however, could be that ideal waking hours are quite individual and not necessarily something we can all change easily. If you have the ability with other responsibilities in your life to wake up later, and if your body responds well to that, you might want to start your routine at 9 am instead of when the birds start chirping.

First Moments In Bed

Are you one of those people on their phone first thing before getting out of bed? It’s hard not to be if that little device also acts as your alarm clock. Instead of starting your day getting bombarded by notifications, emails, news stories, and social media accounts try a little morning yoga — and yes, this can be interpreted as some easy stretches while still under those covers. If you’re able to do so without falling right back to sleep, meditation is also an excellent way to start a day mindfully.

Prioritize The Necessities

If you have some things that simply need to get done first thing, it’s important to make sure you’re always setting aside dedicated time for them. For example, it may take you a few minutes to get down all of your medications. Perhaps you need to time pills with when you eat breakfast. Don’t just assume that your mornings will work out without a plan.

With a little bit of forethought and a whole lot of self-forgiveness, healthy morning routines can make the life of someone living with a chronic illness significantly easier.


Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. Sign up for our beta and newsletter today.

Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash

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