If your day is generally started in a hurry, running out of the door, grabbing coffee on the way in and you are generally stressed and rushed, your issue may of course be time (who doesn’t have an issue with this), but it could also be that you’re not scheduling in the right morning habits into your routine.
However it all comes down to priorities and I’ve found that the benefits to my day of getting up a little earlier to fit these things in makes such a huge difference that it’s worth it for me.
Yes, if you were to do all of the following each morning, it could take a while, but I think just by adding in a couple you can massively improve the quality of your day, your work and your peace of mind. Why not give some of these a try. Treat your self like a scientific experiment and track the results using a diary or an app such as ‘IMood Journal’ – then you can really measure if they are working for you.
Lemon and ginger
It’s likely you know already that too much caffeine can exacerbate or even trigger anxiety. Starting your morning with some warm water, lemon and ginger is a great way to wake up the digestive system. Ginger can perk you up whilst soothing the digestive system, perfect if you suffer with anxiety related IBS. Ginger and lemon are also anti inflammatory so could help with assuaging any stress or anxiety related inflammation in the body. Plus it tastes good and could ward off colds and flu!
This is one of my favourites. Spend a few minutes each morning writing a stream of consciousness. As any thought, worry or musing pops into your head, write it down.
Then make a short gratitude list; this can really set up a positive mindset for the day. Make a list of the specific things you’re grateful for; the fact that your back is pain free, that your family are healthy, that you gained a new client at work. Evidence suggests doing this helps us to feel better, be happier and more joyful.
Next write down some goals or things that you want for yourself and state them as ‘I am’,. It could be a specific goal such as ‘I am earning xyz a year by March 2015’ or something else that you want for yourself like ‘I am feeling confident, calm and at peace with myself’. Doing this reinforces your intention and reminds your subconscious mind of the things it should get to work on!
Meditation should be as important for your health and daily routine as brushing your teeth is! It’s a great way to calm and focus the mind and connect with the quieter part of you, the part that knows everything will be ok. Try the ‘Headspace’ app or the book ‘Mindfulness: finding Peace in a Hectic World.’ Look into the classes that your local Buddhist centre run. You could also look into a type of meditation called TM, which I practice. Katy Perry and Jen Aniston are both fans too.
No one ever regrets having exercised after they’ve done it; the results can be remarkable, ranging from lowered stress levels, to better mood, to more confidence and increased energy levels. There is also great evidence that it can help us to manage anxiety. Whether you manage to walk or cycle into work, or head out for a run or to the gym or a class in the morning, trying to fit this in a few times a week can make a huge difference. It can also help to burn off any excess nervous energy or adrenaline too.
Breakfast is really important when you’re managing anxiety, mainly because keeping blood sugar levels steady is an important aspect of feeling calm. If we choose something sugary, we’re going to cause a blood sugar rush and then the inevitable fall later in the day. If we go without, the low blood sugar could cause feelings of anxiety or stress.
Try to incorporate at least a few of these into your morning routine, I’m sure it will make a big difference. Make changes and then track how you feel, that way you can see whether what you are doing is working.
Treat yourself like a scientific experiment and keep refining things until you find the perfect balance and routine for yourself.
I’d love to hear about anything you do in the morning that helps you to manage anxiety – please let me know in the comments below!