A morning routine to help anxiety, especially when things are going wrong.
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I normally hate schedules but I’ve had to follow a morning routine to help anxiety because I’m an anxious person.
I really need a lot of inner work to stay grounded so I don’t let fear and worry overwhelm me.
I’m also so empathetic I can pick up what other people are feeling and make it my own. I’d feel angry when it’s actually the person with me who’s angry. I’d feel teary for hours because I was around someone who was sad. And so on.
Disclaimer: Please remember that this post is not intended to replace proper medical guidance or medication. If you suffer from anxiety or chronic worrying, then please see your doctor to obtain a diagnosis. Alternatively, you can get matched to a licensed therapist online who is available 24/7. Get $65 off your first month if you use code ‘APPLY65’ so sign up today!
Despite all that, I only followed my morning routine haphazardly – only when I had time or inclination and with no real desire to follow through.
But when the world started becoming engulfed in fear, worry and anxiety, I really struggled to remain steady.
This morning routine became practically essential. And I’m sharing it with you in case, like me, you’re struggling under the weight of fear.
I hope it helps.
If you need more tips on how to deal with anxiety, please check out the resources below:
How To Not Be Worried – An in-depth post that will teach you how to not be worried when things are falling apart in five simple steps.
How To Stop Worrying: 3 Quick And Easy Tips – When you need a quick and easy technique to pivot from a habit of worrying, try these 2 simple things
Morning routine for anxiety #1: Water.
As soon as you wake up, drink two full glasses of water.
I usually place a full jug and a glass by the bed before I go to sleep so I can just reach for them first thing in the morning.
Your body needs water after being at rest for hours and it has the added benefit of waking you up without the external stimulus that is caffeine.
As soon as I drink water, my mind is instantly clearer and sharper and I feel much more ready to start my day.
Benefits of Drinking Water On An Empty Stomach – 8 interesting benefits your body experiences when you drink water first thing in the morning.
Klean Kanteen Water Bottle – After spilling one too many glasses of water whilst I tried to grope for them in the dark, I invested in one of these – a safer way to make water easily accessible at night.
Morning routine for anxiety #2: Tea.
I’m not really a morning person.
Actually, I’m usually a night owl. But when I became a blogger, I realised that I’m always exhausted when I stay up late because my son always woke up early.
I forced myself to go to bed when he goes to bed at 8.30 PM (usually) and then wake up super early – at around 4.30 AM.
To help me get through the first few weeks, I relied on coffee to wake me up. Unfortunately, the caffeine kept me awake well into the night so I switched to decaff.
But it wasn’t the same. It tasted horrible. I guess when you’ve had really good coffee (and I have), it’s so difficult to like the average stuff. It’s like when I had guacamole in Mazatlan, Mexico and Pizza in Naples, Italy, everything else tasted blah afterwards.
And then, of course, the pandemic hit and I developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Guess what helped?
Ginger tea. Specifically, this one below.
Honey Lemon Ginger Tea – The best ginger tea recipe I’ve ever tried.
Manuka Honey – I absolutely love Manuka Honey, the higher the rating, the better.
Thermos – When you need to make a big batch of tea, you need a way to keep it all warm. This flask is a classic.
It’s supposed to just be good for clearing the sinuses but somehow it wakes me up in the same way coffee used to but without impacting my sleep later on in the night.
I highly recommend it.
Add loads of (manuka) honey, if you want something sweet and less sharp.
If you don’t like tea at all then choose another hot drink.
And then really savour it once you’re drinking it.
In my personal experience, there’s something about the act of pausing to appreciate even such a small thing as the soothing drink you’re tasting as you start your morning that really helps calm anxious thoughts.
Side Note: I am NOT saying that this recipe will cure you if you actually test positive for the virus. I don’t know if I have the virus. I just have some flu-like symptoms that are consistent with it and the tea definitely helped soothe them.
Also, if you were dying for some really good coffee, have you tried Koa Coffee? This is the coffee Forbes called Best in America and which I’ve not been able to find here in Scotland (boo!).
Another alternative for you is getting a coffee subscription. Amora Coffee is fab and you can get your first bag FREE but you have to be in the US (another boo! 😉 ).
I haven’t tried a coffee subscription in the UK yet but I heard Union Club is supposed to be really good. I totally love coffee!
Morning routine for anxiety #3: Meditation.
Jim Rohn recommends starting your day by saying, “The major key to your better future is you.“
And you can certainly do that but really you can use whatever power statement or mantra suits you.
Sometimes, I just repeat a positive statement or an affirmation (check out the resources below for examples).
Sometimes, I’ll do a proper meditation, which really helps me absorb their positive statements.
These statements help me keep my perspective in place – that even though things are going wrong now, they could be a lot worse but also, that they’re not permanent. One day, this upheaval will end and things will be better.
Alternatively, you can do a more active form of meditation in the form of Tai Chi or Qigong.
When I have time, I go for Lee Holden’s longer sequences but because I often don’t have the time, I just opt for this 10-minute routine that will really wake you up but at the same time, calm you down.
I find it a really interesting experience.
You can also take this opportunity to do some tapping exercises, which I personally have found to be particularly effective.
For a selection of excellent routines, you can look at Brad Yates’ channel on YouTube. I’ve compiled his best videos (based on my experience) in the post below.
The Best Of Brad Yates – A curated list of Brad Yates’ tapping videos for fear, worry and anxiety. These are the ones I found particularly effective.
Meditation for Beginners – 5 short meditation videos available on YouTube. Perfect for beginners as each takes only about 10 minutes.
The Best Of Deva Premal – A list of Deva Premal’s top videos, if you’re interested in traditional (read: Sanskrit) mantras.
Sounds True Presents: Qi Gong for Health and Healing – Lee Holden’s signature Qigong course. Highly recommended if you want to dive deep into this amazing active meditation.
Tony Robbins – Access the mind of the inimitable Tony Robbins via his YouTube channel. When you need an infusion of positivity and hope, you’ll get all you need here.
Morning routine for anxiety #4: Stretch.
I’ve been meaning to add this to my routine for ages but never had the chance until yesterday, day 2 of our self-isolation.
It’s only 10 minutes, which is perfect because my time in the morning is as tight as my muscles and I really need to start working before the wee one wakes up.
Can I just say that this is the best full-body stretch routine for beginners that I’ve tried and I’ve tried a lot.
Even though I’m not a particular fan of yoga ever since I fainted trying to do one pose (I somehow got too busy following the instructor that I forgot to breathe), I really enjoyed this one.
And I felt so much better and calmer immediately after.
Morning routine for anxiety #5: Breakfast.
Obviously, you can arrange this routine to suit your taste and your needs but if you have been following it to the letter, you’ll realise by this time that you’re probably quite hungry.
So, have breakfast.
Make it a part of your routine.
Nothing is as calming and grounding as enjoying the first meal of the day.
If you’re the type who doesn’t have breakfast because you don’t have the time, waking up a little earlier than usual so you can savour it might prove to be a beautiful experience.
I sometimes feel quite decadent when I can savour a plateful of scrambled eggs on toast or two slices of French toast with a glass of oat milk.
It calms me down because (and this is just a suspicion) it immediately makes it seem as if I have more time.
Again, the act of pausing is a powerful thing.
So, before you start your high-powered, busy day, pause. Make time for breakfast. Make time for yourself.
Scrambled Eggs – If you’re interested, this is how I do my scrambled eggs. Gordon Ramsay nailed this one. 🙂
Morning routine for anxiety #6: Journal.
Journalling has long been recommended as a way to help cope with negative feelings such as fear, anxiety and worry.
If you’ve not tried it before, then I recommend doing it now.
You can choose your own format.
And if you can’t go to a shop to get a notebook-style journal, there’s plenty on Amazon. Or you could start an electronic journal.
For a more in-depth look on how to start a journal habit, take a look at the post below.
How To Use A Journal – A breakdown of the lessons I learned from Jim Rohn’s audiobook, How To Use A Journal, this post will explain what a journal is for, how you can start, what you need to do.
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration – An interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. Perfect for beginners or people who get intimidated by a lot of blank pages.
Final tips for your morning routine
As you can see, a morning routine to help anxiety is predicated on the act of pausing, of slowing down, of taking time.
And that is really the most powerful weapon you have against fear, worry and other such negative emotions.
I hope this morning routine can help you navigate the stressful times we live in now with more ease and grace.
It’s not easy and yes, it can definitely be scary but as you watch the news, please remember that people and even governments are now rising to the occasion.
We’ll get through this together.