Dr. Gary McClain Discusses How to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

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Dr. Gary McClain recently published an article for individuals facing chronic medical conditions, “How to get out of bed in the morning.” The article discusses the physical and emotional impact of chronic conditions, and how difficult it can be for individuals facing illness to get started with their day. McClain also offers guidelines that patients can follow get their day started.

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I don’t know very many people who look forward to getting up in the morning. But for individuals who are living with chronic conditions, like arthritis or diabetes, on a bad day getting out of bed can on a whole new meaning.

Dr. Gary McClain recently published an article for individuals facing chronic medical conditions, “How to get out of bed in the morning.” A specialist in the emotional impact of chronic and catastrophic illnesses, Gary McClain, PhD, developed JustGotDiagnosed.com to address a serious need he saw going unfulfilled; namely, a way for newly-diagnosed patients to receive help in coping with their emotional reactions to their diagnosis and coping with the day-to-day challenges of treatment and life management.

The article discusses the physical and emotional impact of chronic conditions, and how difficult it can be for individuals facing illness to get started with their day. McClain also offers guidelines that patients can follow get their day started.

In discussing the article, McClain stated: “I don’t know very many people who look forward to getting up in the morning. But for individuals who are living with chronic conditions, like arthritis or diabetes, on a bad day getting out of bed can take on a whole new meaning.    

“On days when patients are experiencing symptoms of their condition, or medication side effects, or the emotions that accompany illness, they may feel like they have done a day’s work before the day begins. Still, for better or worse, the day doesn’t really get underway until they are out of bed. They may not feel any worse by staying there, but they also may not be giving themselves the opportunity to feel any better.”

McClain offers suggestions for how individuals with chronic conditions can get their day started, including:

1.    Create an attractive incentive. Something to look forward to, as simple as hot coffee, the morning newspaper, a favorite morning TV show.

2.    Focus on an important responsibility. Ideally a labor of love, such as making breakfast for a family member, taking the dog for a walk, or completing a household chore.

3.    Enlist a support team. Accountability through arranging a morning phone call with a friend or family member.

4.    Make a to-do list. A realistic but not overly ambitious list of tasks to accomplish, prioritized by importance.

5.    Talk to the healthcare team. The chronic condition can affect the ability to get a good night’s sleep, as well as energy level in the morning, as can medications.

6.    Avoid self-criticism. Developing a morning routine is a process, and the right strategy for getting the day started develops over time, with some trial and error involved.

McClain concluded by emphasizing the value of making an “intellectual decision” to give oneself an extra push to get started in the morning. “Even on those days when they aren’t feeling like getting up, I encourage clients to give themselves some tough love and try to take even the smallest to motivate themselves in a positive direction. Positive action can help to create positive energy.”

About Dr. Gary McClain and JustGotDiagnosed.com
Dr. Gary McClain is a therapist, educator, and author who specializes in working with individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic and catastrophic medical conditions, focusing on issues that include coping emotionally, gathering information, making lifestyle and treatment decisions, managing relationships, and communicating with healthcare professionals. Founded and developed by Dr. McClain, JustGotDiagnosed.com offers information, guidance and inspiration for newly diagnosed patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals. His program for newly-diagnosed patients, Prepared for the Road Ahead™, is focused on the emotional, lifestyle management, communications, and vision for the future. Visit JustGotDiagnosed.com.

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