What To Do Each Morning When You Feel Depressed & Powerless

When you feel like you don't know what to do next, start here.

Woman waking up in the morning and feeling hopeful instead of depressed Rachata Teyparsit via Shutterstock | PiixyPeach via Canva & Roobcio via Getty

As hard as they can be, at times, mornings are, arguably, the most important time of the day. What you do when you first wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. A solid morning routine ensures that you are prepared for the day ahead of you and gives you the mindset needed to achieve your goals.

Author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson swears by the practice of setting the tone of your day when you first wake up. Without a conscious awareness of how your day begins, you set the stage for a disjointed, disorganized day with no clear focus. Worse, you can set yourself up for feelings of depression, anxiety and hopelessness. 


In the latest episode of the podcast Open Relationships: Transforming Together, Williamson and host Andrea Miller discuss exactly why it is important to take back your mornings and, by doing so, put yourself back in control of your life.

Take control of your mornings 

It’s easy to feel like we don’t know what to do in life. Everyone gets stuck from time to time. In those moments, a natural response is to think that we don’t have the knowledge or the tools needed to move forward. This mindset feels comfortable, but it can be dangerous.


Williamson said, “Let’s stop it with, ‘I just don’t know what to do.’ We do know now. We know how the brain operates. Most of us do, and we need to stop coddling that in ourselves and in each other.”

We are, essentially, allowing ourselves to coddle ourselves instead of taking any real responsibility for our actions. We’re telling ourselves that it’s okay to not know what our next steps should be when they are actually already apparent.

So, how do we reclaim control and responsibility? The key is to start with our mornings.

As soon as we wake up, our brains start absorbing everything around us. We each must make a conscious choice about what it is that we want our brain taking in. If we choose to scroll through social media, we’re opening ourselves up to a world of anxiety and confusion.


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On the other hand, if we choose to do activities that center us, we will be better prepared for the day ahead.

According to Williamson, “If you wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is go to social media, television, news or whatever, and download all that stress, it becomes very difficult if that’s how you start your day, without meditating, without praying, without reflecting, without aligning.”

@yourtango Slow your scroll in the morning! Author @Marianne Williamson says how we set our intentions first thing when we wake up can have a massive impact on our day. Hear more from the presidential candidate on the latest episode of our ‘Open Relationships’ podcast, available now #socialmedia #morningroutine #podcast ♬ original sound - YourTango

Scientific research agrees, your mornings set the tone of your day.


It might not seem like a big deal to go on social media or check your phone first thing in the morning. But, according to science, it actually is. Forbes said that by doing so, you push your brain into skipping the theta and alpha stages of your brain waves. These waves occur when you are more at ease with the world, and even feeling “daydreamy.” These are creative stages of thinking that allow a more open flow of ideas to take place.

This open idea flow can give you the space that you need to determine what it is you should do. If you skip these stages of thinking, it’s much easier to lull yourself into a sense of complacency and truly believe that you are not prepared to handle your life. Having this more open brain time allows you to realize that you do know what to do.

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Setting yourself up for success in the morning is all about being able to make smarter decisions throughout the day. If you neglect yourself first thing, the rest of the day will be harder. It’s like a practice in opening your mind up and preparing it for more.


“If you don’t pray, meditate, reflect, do something in the morning to set your consciousness, then don’t be surprised that you’re depressed by noon,” Williamson said.

Opening up the chance for a more depressed mood by numbing your brain early on is the perfect way to prevent yourself from being able to think through decisions thoroughly and decide that you can in fact handle them.

It’s important to prevent yourself from freezing. If you become paralyzed by fear and an inability to make decisions, then you’ll fall right back into the trap of coddling yourself and saying that you don’t know what to do.


Trust that you do know what to do. You have everything you need within you. And, when you start your morning off on the right foot, you’re cultivating even more power within yourself to know what needs to come next.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.