Anxiety in the morning can impact your entire day. When you feel like life is overwhelming as you look at your to-do list for the day, and your family is hanging on you with random needs, you can suddenly feel as if you’re sinking. If the morning rush is getting you down, we have a few ways you can combat the feeling of panic.
What Is Morning Anxiety?
The term “morning anxiety” is not a medical term. It’s just part of the normal anxious feelings many people feel. The issue is that some people feel overwhelm that hits them like a wave in the morning. They stress about all that is going to happen during the day. They worry that only bad things will happen.
What if they cannot get everything done? What if they’re late to work? Or what if the sky falls?
Then this worry turns into more stress that leads you to think you just can’t even appropriately face the day. The good news is that you’re not alone. Sometimes your hormone levels are off. Sometimes you’re just simply stressed. At other times the way you sleep (or don’t sleep) can lead to higher anxiety levels. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help ease these stressful feelings.
13 Ways to Cope with Morning Anxiety
Mental health professionals suggest you try some of these natural methods to cope with morning anxiety.
1 – Go For A Sunrise Stroll
Change your cloudy outlook in the morning with a sunny walk. Circadian rhythms can be altered by everything from your phone to your television. This disruption can cause us to wake up in a bad mood. You can reset this rhythm by taking a morning walk.
Your cortisol levels will rise, helping your mind and body get back on track. You’ll also feel a lot better after a nice walk in nature by getting your blood flowing and your mind going.
2 – Exercise
Along with a stroll, you can combat anxiety in the morning with gentle exercise. Get your blood pumping with some jumping jacks, a few push-ups, or a few yoga stretches. You’ll notice your mind isn’t so bogged down. Exercise helps get your body going by burning calories as well as waking you up.
If you exercise outside, the fresh air will give you an extra boost. Your body stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain during exercise, so all of your chemicals can balance, leading you to have a much better outlook on the day.
3 – Don’t Fight It
Anxiety in the morning, at times, is just going to happen. Don’t fight it, but try to limit it. Sometimes you’re going to feel overwhelmed with life. The best thing to do is to figure out the things you can do to calm yourself down.
Give in and understand life is going to be tough, but you don’t have to stress out. Let yourself feel the anxiety in the morning for a few minutes, then turn it off. Do the things that make you feel better.
4 – Think Positive
If you wake up with negative thoughts, your day will be surrounded by these thoughts. Even if you aren’t a person that quickly turns negatives into positives, you can change your way of thinking. Identify your negative thoughts. Develop counter-active statements.
If you wake up worrying about all you need to do, then worrying about traffic, then worrying about the pile of work on your desk, change it. Tell yourself that you’re in control. You can face the traffic. You can get through the collection of work on your desk. Remember, you will take action once you get to the point where you need to face each obstacle.
5 – Write It Down
Get those anxious thoughts out of your head and on paper. Write down everything each morning that causes you to feel stress. You can even create a worry journal where you place all of your fears and worries of the day. By getting it out of your mind and on paper, you’re releasing the anxiety out of your body.
Besides a journal, try a to-do list. It helps many people to have a to-do list, so everything is written down, and not just stuck in the mind overwhelming them.
6 – Create A Morning Routine
You can cut down on anxiety in the morning with a good morning routine. If you’re on schedule, it’ll help you stay on time. If you wake up late scrambling to get life together as you run out the door, the anxiety only amps up.
It doesn’t have to be a hardcore schedule, but something you follow to help get you out the door on time and with everything you need for the day.
7 – Eat A Well-Balanced Breakfast
Don’t indulge in a massive bowl of sugary cereal in the morning. Eat a well-balanced breakfast that includes protein to get your day started. If you hit the sugar, you’ll feel the sugar crash later. This meal will only lead to higher anxiety levels throughout the day.
If you’re in a hurry, sometimes you’ll find yourself grabbing a banana or a tiny granola bar on the way out the door. Choose wisely. Don’t starve yourself either, or you might dive into the donuts at a work meeting later.
8 – Laugh
It might seem silly, but laughing is a great way to fight anxiety in the morning. Watch something funny instead of the news in the morning as that only brings you down. Watch your children do funny things before school.
Be around people that just make you laugh. It’ll lower your stress and anxiety levels and get your day started on the right foot.
9 – Set Your Clothes Out The Night Before
One of the last things you need to worry about while rushing out the door is your outfit. Sometimes you find yourself staring for half an hour into your closet. Getting dressed in the morning may seem like a simple task, but sometimes it’s stressful. Set it out the night before, so you get it out of the way.
You don’t even have to worry in the morning about your outfit if it’s already hanging up and ready for you to run out the door.
10 – Meditate Or Pray to Eliminate Morning Anxiety
Start your morning with a time of quiet reflection. The world is going to scream at you all day. It’s good to start your day in prayer or meditation. It’s a time just to think. You can logically think through the day.
You don’t need to be in a rush to get everything figured out, but you have time to think it all through. Time to yourself is so important because once you walk out of your house into the world, you’re going to be hit with the day’s activities in the face. It’s essential to be able to arm yourself to face the day.
11 – Be Careful With Caffeine
Many people love to start the day with a cup of coffee. That’s great if you can handle it. If you find yourself jittery and shaking after caffeine, turn down the dial. Some people feel more anxiety after they drink caffeine as it pushes the blood to pump a little faster. It’s waking you up, but you don’t want it to wake up your anxiety levels.
It isn’t fun to crash from caffeine or run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Know your limits. Drink a cold cup of water to wake you up in the morning if you get jitters from caffeine. Don’t drink it too late in the day either, or you might not sleep as well.
12 – Disconnect Before Bed
If you’re used to checking your phone every time you wake up during the night, you’ll start to feel the stress. If every beep from your phone wakes you up, turn it off at night. It’s best to keep it away from you, so you’re not tempted to check it at every turn.
You need to disconnect to get a peaceful night of sleep. The blue light on many of your screens knocks off your circadian rhythm, leading you to have a tough night of deep sleep anyway. It’s best to turn it off early and keep it away, so you get a good night of rest.
13 – Reallocate Your Time
It’s okay if you cannot get everything done in a day. You may wake up throughout the night, worrying about your to-do list. You wake up stressing out that you have a million things to do. Tell yourself that it’s okay to reallocate your time.
You don’t have to do everything. You aren’t procrastinating, but practicing purposeful procrastination. You’re just pushing your tasks to the next day. You have to give yourself permission to do this or lose your sanity, trying to be perfect.
The morning rush can leave you feeling stressed throughout the day. It’s normal to have anxiety in the morning, but it’s best you have ways to handle this stress. Start the day off on a happy note, and you’ll feel the world lifted off your shoulders.