For people struggling with their mental health, ensuring that your life consists of routines and structure is a significant part of keeping your anxiety at arm’s length. Anxiety becomes a problem for so many people because of the uncertainties surrounding it. Having a routine can change that by giving you a plan. The plan that you create can provide structure to your day. This structure allows you to take back control by filling your time with things that make you feel successful, confident, empowered and happy.
Mornings are usually rushed and hectic. This feeling of urgency can trigger anxiety. Having a morning routine that works for you can greatly reduce anxiety and stress. When deciding what your new routine will look like, it’s important to take it one day at a time. Being mindful of the present and how you feel is much less worrisome than thinking about the future and all of its’ possibilities. The future is filled with unknowns and that can provoke many anxious feelings. By breaking things up into steps and small daily achievements, you will feel less pressured and more in control.
The following 6 steps help get you off on the right foot in the morning…
- Be present. Instead of worrying about your day ahead, bring yourself to the here and now, in the moment. Focus on what you’re doing at that moment and who you are with. You can’t change things in the past and can’t control the future, so worrying about it doesn’t help you at all. So that leaves you with one choice. This moment.
- Get up at the same time every day. Try and get up at the same time every day and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do some self-care as well as get ready for the day.
- Make your bed. I suggest that you make your bed first thing in the morning. Sounds easy enough and it is. It only takes seconds, but you’d be surprised at how it contributes to a healthy state of mind. You’ll start your day feeling as though you’ve accomplished something. Your room will look less cluttered, which will help declutter your mind.
- Take some extra time… Take the extra time to do things that you wouldn’t normally have time for; such as, eating breakfast, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading the paper, or dare I say, do a quick exercise routine (stretching, pushups, a quick jog). Releasing early morning endorphins through exercise is a great way to start the day.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps give you energy and clarity of mind, so drink plenty of water.
- Gratitude. Instead of waking up with a feeling of dread about the upcoming day, think about 3 things that you are grateful for and are looking forward to; these three things can be small and simple, like: “I’m looking forward to my morning smoothie” or “I’m grateful that I feel healthy and strong today.”
Routines are unique to everyone. What works for one person, may not work for you. What you try one day, may not end up feeling right another day. Don’t give up and keep trying new things. It can take awhile to kick in, but once it does, your routine will help you manage your anxious feelings as you start your day off right.