Anxiety can creep into your life from the moment you wake up until it’s time to go to bed at night. Even mild anxiety can disrupt your daily activities and make it hard to get through the day. If you want more control over ongoing anxiety, then implementing a daily morning routine is a great option to consider.
Following a consistent morning routine sets a pattern for the day, creating a solid foundation that carries into the afternoon and evening. The goal is to develop a sense of confidence and peace in yourself, helping the rest of the day feel more manageable. Try implementing a morning routine to see how much your anxiety levels come down.
Setting Yourself Up for Success with a Morning Routine
As with any other new habit you want to form, it takes practice to dial in the right strategy for your new morning routine. Even with the best intentions, it’s hard to stay consistent if you don’t design the proper structure for your new habit.
Consider these factors when you are starting your new morning practice:
- Choose the Right Amount of Time: If it isn’t realistic for you to set aside an hour in the morning, then choose a timeframe that works for your schedule. Even 20 minutes of mindfulness and self-care time can be a powerful way to start the day. Consistency is more important than the length of your routine. So, set a schedule that works for you. Don’t over-extend yourself by packing too much into your morning steps.
- Enjoy Your Self-Care Time: When a daily morning routine feels like another thing you need to check off your to-do list, it doesn’t offer the peace and relaxation you need. Instead, make sure you are choosing activities that you enjoy. Do more of the self-care activities that make you feel great.
- Experiment to Find What Works: Each person is unique, which is why you need to find the ideal morning routine that works best for your preferences. Go through a trial period to test different practices and activities in your daily morning routine. Then, look for small, achievable activities you can follow to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually (if desired).
- Don’t Worry About Perfection: Consistency is the best way to make sure you are gaining the most benefits from your morning routine. But don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You aren’t going to be perfect about your morning routine. So when you fall off for a few days, simply get back on track without holding judgment about your break.
Also, consider talking to friends, family, or a therapist about your daily morning routine. It can be helpful to get ideas from other people. In addition, you might find an accountability partner who is also working on their morning routine.
7 Activities for Your Daily Morning Routine
If you are looking to reduce anxiety, then consider using one or more of these activities as part of your morning routine:
- Hydrate First: Your body is lacking water first thing in the morning. Before you reach for a cup of coffee, drink a big glass of water soon after you get out of bed. Water is beneficial to give you energy. It also flushes wastes from the body.
- Stay Disconnected: The moment you look at your phone is when your morning focus will shift. It’s tempting to start scrolling or look at your work email right when you wake up. Instead of reading the news or social media in bed, keep your phone off during your morning routine. Give yourself a little bit of peace and quiet before you start responding to the notifications.
- Go Outside: Connecting with nature is a great way to calm your mind and find peace in your day. So take a walk outside or drink your morning coffee on the back porch. When you get morning sunlight in your eyes, it helps to balance your circadian rhythm. Plus, sunshine is beneficial for boosting vitamin D and stimulating serotonin.
- Move Your Body: A bit of movement can help you wake up and build the energy you need for the day. Choose an activity you enjoy, such as walking, yoga, weight lifting, HIIT training, or trail running. For best results, switch up your routine to cross-train different parts of the body. Not only is exercise important for your health, but it boosts endorphins and makes you happier.
- Focus on Gratitude: Anxiety tends to make people focus on all the bad things in their lives. Shift this thought pattern by including a gratitude practice as part of your routine. For example, speak your grateful list out loud while you are walking. Or, write it down in a gratitude journal.
- Breathe Deep: Pay attention to how you are breathing when you are feeling anxious. For many people with anxiety, their breathing is shallow and fast. This is because the body’s stress response changes how you breathe. You don’t have control over all of these sensations. But it’s possible to help the body calm down by changing your breathing patterns. Use slow, deep breaths to help you create a relaxed state.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast: Skip the sugar and treats. Instead, choose nourishing foods to start your day. The ideal breakfast should be filled with nutrients to support your physical well-being and mood. Create a balanced breakfast, including protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Stay away from anything that is processed, such as cereal, doughnuts, or sweet drinks.
Do You Need Help with Anxiety Management?
Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life. If you are looking for ways to overcome your anxiety, then it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. We take a holistic approach to help our clients find balance and happiness in their lives. Learn more about available services by scheduling a consultation with us at Lifeworks Counseling Center. We’re here to help!