A new day dawns... Wouldn't it be nice to wake up refreshed, energized and anticipating the day??! The image of sunrise is inherently hopeful... But for those struggling, feeling down or depressed, mornings may be dreaded. In fact, mornings may be the toughest time of the day. Consider nighttime "activity" (if you can sleep when depressed!) Okay--you are asleep; your defenses are completely down; you are immersed in your unconscious state--the place of nightmares, of bizarre, out-of-control fears and images. The key is: totally immersed in your unconscious; defenses totally down. So, upon first awaking in the morning we are especially vulnerable to attack by whatever painful feelings are haunting us--depression, anxiety, overwhelming sadness of a recent loss, shame... The gnarly feelings just come rolling in, leaving us wanting to groan, pull the covers over our heads, and do anything but face the day. What to do?? The #1 tip for dealing with tough mornings... have a structure prepared ahead of time for your day--something that you have to or want to get up for--your job, volunteer work, breakfast at Starbucks with the New York Times, meeting a friend at a gym; a phone call with someone who understands or cares; setting the timer on the coffee maker :-) with a fav book on the breakfast table calling to be read... I call it "structuring up." When we're in tough seasons of our lives, structuring up (planning your morning the night before) can hold at bay the haunting feelings that can quickly overwhelm in the mornings and give us a much needed kick start to the day.