18 Sep How To Create A Morning Routine That Reduces Anxiety And Stress
via Huffington Post by Kelsey Borresen
As a person who’s dealt with anxiety since I was a kid, I find that I’m often most anxious first thing in the morning. When I open my eyes, all of the worries and potential stressors that await me flood my mind. The pit in my stomach makes me want to stay in bed as long as I can so I don’t have to face the day ahead.
Of course, this avoidance only exacerbates what I’m feeling. What alleviates it is just the opposite: Getting up on the earlier side so I have time for my morning routine. These days, that’s making an iced coffee, taking my dog for a walk, following a short workout video, writing my to-do list for the day and ― when time permits ― meditating and journaling.
“Morning routines are powerful and set our pattern for the rest of the day,” Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant in Britain, told HuffPost. “A worry-filled morning will often flood into an anxious afternoon.” Conversely, starting the morning with intention creates a sense of calm and confidence that makes the rest of the day seem more manageable.
So how do you create those morning rituals that will quiet your racing mind and stick with them? Below, experts offer some helpful advice.
How to start a solid morning routine
Consider how much time you can realistically carve out for yourself.
“We all have a period of the morning that we have some level of control over,” Chambers said. “For some people, that may be an hour, for others, it may be 20 minutes.”
For example, if you have young kids or a long commute to the office, you may have less time to work with. So figure out what’s realistic for your circumstances.
Waking up earlier may help your mornings feel less frazzled. That said, you shouldn’t force yourself into becoming an early riser at the expense of getting a full night’s rest. Remember that sleep plays a pivotal role in your emotional regulation.
“Often we hear of routines that start in the early hours of the morning,” Chambers said. “For some people, this is a high-energy time and a perfect time to start your routine. But if you’re limiting your sleep or you just don’t function well so early, it is going to be detrimental.”
Experiment to figure out which rituals work best for you.
Finding out which morning routine additions alleviate your anxiety may take some trial and error. What works for your partner, friend or that random influencer you follow on Instagram may or may not work for you.
“Think about your biggest stressors and problems that trigger your anxiety, and then consider what really helps in these situations,” Chambers said. “Then look to those activities and experiment. There are many ways and methods to exercise, plan, journal, listen and read, and some will feel just right for you.”
Make it easy and enjoyable so you stick with it.
You don’t need to come up with some elaborate 20-step process to reap the benefits of a morning routine (but, hey, if you want to, more power to you).
“Morning routines are most effective when we enjoy them and they are easy to integrate into our lives,” Chambers said. “They are not about completely changing what we do, but adding small, positive changes that compound together.”
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
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