Do you struggle with morning anxiety?
Have you’ve been waking up in an already anxious state?
Panic attacks in the morning?
Afraid to leave the house?
I feel you. Mornings are especially anxious for me too and actually – for all sensitive people.
Surprisingly, it’s not only about having to deal with your day or going to work / school.
Morning Routine For Anxiety – A Mini Guide
Why Do We Have Morning Anxiety
Turns out our cortisol (stress hormone) levels are higher in the morning because our body is using this hormone to wake us up (thanks, bod!).
Therefore, for the first 20-30 minutes after waking you can feel a noticeable rise in your morning anxiety.
If you’ve been stressed or worried lately, it only adds up, because your body already has enough stress hormones circulating in your bloodstream (source).
How I Came Up With The Best Morning Routine For Anxiety
Through the years, my morning routine has changed many times.
I used to be a wake-up & workout for an hour kinda girl.
I also was a wake-up, grab a coffee and run through the door kind of person because I simply put myself to the second plan.
I am an anxious person already so, unfortunately, this neglect almost always backfired at me with more morning anxiety or health issues. A morning routine of “wake up and go” is NOT the best morning routine, I tell ya.
So I started to adjust and look for healthy morning habits that can help to minimize my morning anxiety and allow to start the day gently. My goal was to find the right balance of getting ready in the morning and lowering those pesky cortisol levels, so I can step out the door calmer.
Why Choosing The Right Morning Routine Matters For Your Morning Anxiety
If you struggle with morning anxiety, it’s important to not go to the extremes with your morning routine.
I know it may feel like you should do so much because there’s a lot of articles about the best morning routine and how successful people start their day, how to be super productive in the morning etc.
And even though those morning routines are indeed superb, they might be something you should actually skip, if you have morning anxiety. They may simply be too much.
Today, instead of giving you another CEO-type-of routine, I will tell you about the best morning routine to soothe and calm your morning anxiety.
It will help you to start your day in a simple, gentle, and balancing way so not only your morning anxiety will be minimized, but you can also feel good throughout the day and be more resilient to stress.
Are you ready? Here we go.
The Best Morning Routine To Soothe Morning Anxiety
1. Choose a softer alarm sound.
Loud, sudden and aggressive noises can add to your morning anxiety for sure.
For the best morning routine, try to set an alarm sound that is gradual, calm and uplifting.
This will help you wake up without a startle, which is very important if you want to minimize your morning anxiety – first minutes after waking up are the most important!
2. Wake up just a little earlier.
In order to have a calm and slow morning routine, you will need a little more time. This means you have to wake up earlier but again – there is no need to go to the extremes.
Try to wake up 20 minutes earlier and if you feel like you need more time, add another 10-20 minutes gradually, over the next few days.
3. Use essential oils in your shower.
I really recommend having a soothing shower in the morning, because warm water is a perfect antidote to morning anxiety. It can calm you down, help your body release tension and adds a nice feeling of self-care to your morning routine. I don’t know why, but my morning anxiety always feels less intense if I feel that I am taking care of myself.
For the best morning routine, make your shower a little SPA session. I like to do that by splashing a few drops of balancing aromatherapy oils on my shower booth floor.
Oils like lavender, chamomile, frankincense help to ease morning anxiety and smell amazing as well. You can get a whole set for a resonable price on Amazon:
While you’re enjoying your soothing shower, take slow, deep breaths and enjoy the smell of essential oils or simply your favorite shower gel. Tuning into your senses (in this case – smelling) will keep you mindful and present in the moment.
P. S. If you don’t like essential oils, I really recommend a shower gel with a lavender scent.
4. Have a slow & healthy breakfast.
Breakfast is very important for the best morning routine and has a straight connection with your morning anxiety.
Our gut has a huge impact on how we feel emotionally and physically so try to choose the food that is generally healthy and skip the caffeine. Eating heavy, hard-to-digest foods (looking at you, leftover pizza) can make it hard for your body to process it and increase your morning anxiety.
Instead, opt for soothing healthy meals like oatmeal & fruits, yogurt, salmon, eggs as it will provide your body with essential nutrients and decrease anxiety. A few pieces of extra dark chocolate in your oatmeal can even lift your mood a little (it always makes me warm and fuzzy inside so can confirm).
Take a few deep breaths before eating, sit straight and chew your food well, without rushing.
I also like to turn on some calming nature videos on Youtube for extra ZEN feel.
5. To minimize morning anxiety, write in a journal or daily planner.
For me, the choice depends on how I feel.
And if I am feeling ok-ish, I go straight up to planning my day and simply list the things I need to do
Cleaning up your mind and having a simple plan greatly contributes to lowering morning anxiety because you’re taking a huge load off of your head. Also, you’re giving yourself actual steps for the rest of the day so you know what and when you have to do.
6. Have a 5 or 10-minute meditation.
The best morning routine is the one that has meditation in it!
Meditation is a great way to relieve morning anxiety and feel braver before your day.
You can get a meditation app, try guided meditations on Youtube or simply turn on some gentle music and focus solely on your breath.
I like to imagine something inspiring and it works wonders when morning anxiety is very persistent.
Here’s a simple, deeply calming visualization you can try right away:
- While slowly breathing and concentrating on your breath, imagine that you are a huge, strong and unshakeable mountain.
- Think about this mountain and visualize it in your head. Many things happen around this mountain – days pass, nights pass, seasons change, storms rage, sun blisters, even people may come and judge the mountain as not pretty enough or ‘too edgy’.
- Imagine your thoughts as clouds flying by the mountain. Situations in your life – as those storms and blisters. In all these changes, in all these tribulations, the mountain doesn’t care. The mountain doesn’t fear… it just sits.
- Be this mountain whenever morning anxiety, anxious thoughts or difficult situations happen. Let them pass by and most importantly – trust that you are strong, you can deal with whatever life throws at you, and you can withstand your morning anxiety just like a strong mountain can withstand anything happening around it. 🗻
After doing these simple steps, I am ready to step out of my door.
And another amazing thing? Stepping out into clean, fresh air adds the last boost your body needs to minimize morning anxiety even more.
A morning routine for anxiety doesn’t have to be complicated!
After doing these simple steps, you will feel your morning anxiety subsiding and once that happens, you can do anything.
You may also incorporate a short workout, a 10-minute book reading session or anything else that helps you feel more balanced and relaxed – just be gentle with yourself.