Hi, lovelies! Happy Friday! 💖 I hope you’re having a great day! Wow, so I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been affected by morning anxiety. When I was in high school, I especially dreaded Monday mornings and worried about the week ahead. Even in college and during my first year of work, I’d wake up sweating, and sometimes experience dizziness, headaches, and a fast heartbeat.
As I get older, I’m starting to get better at predicting my anxiety levels, and have noticed that it gradually fades as the day goes on. Throughout the years, I’ve found new ways to help ease anxiety during the mornings. Little things like drinking a glass of water or taking a few deep breaths go a long way.
So, what is morning anxiety, exactly? What symptoms do you experience?
According to Calm Clinic, “most people define [morning anxiety] as anxiety either immediately after waking up or anxiety that tends to build over the first hour or so upon awakening.”
As far as symptoms go, everyone experiences anxiety differently, but here are just a few signs of morning anxiety listed by Healthy Place:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling a loss of control
Morning anxiety is caused by many different factors. For example, we produce higher levels of cortisol– which is a stress hormone — in the mornings. Aside from an increase in cortisol levels, Health Line adds that things like environmental factors and low blood sugar can contribute to morning anxiety.
Although waking up with these symptoms is devastating, there are steps you can take to relieve morning anxiety and still have a good day. Here are just a few. 💖
1. Wake up at least 30 minutes earlier.
Some days, this step seems nearly impossible. But it truly does help. Let’s say you set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier — you’ll get to wake up slowly and your mind won’t automatically go to “I have to get x, y, and z done today” mode. Instead, you might enjoy a cup of coffee, read a few articles, or watch a video or two on YouTube.
I mentioned in my self care routine post that I’ve been waking up a little earlier as of late, and it’s been great for reducing anxiety! Usually, I’ll read magazines and have my morning coffee. Establishing a little morning routine makes all the difference.
2. Drink a glass of water every morning.
If you’re dehydrated, that will only aggravate your anxiety symptoms more. On the flip side, dehydration can actually cause anxiety. Sigh, I know. It sucks. Before you start your morning routine, make sure you drink a glass of water and remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Personally, I bought a big tumbler from Starbucks and fill it up with water and ice.
3. Eat breakfast. If you’re in a rush, make a healthy smoothie.
Eating a balanced breakfast is another great way to combat anxiety. According to LifeHack, “Enjoying a healthy breakfast as part of your morning routine can set an excellent tone for the rest of your day. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast has the potential to improve your mood.” On busier mornings, try making a breakfast smoothie! Pinterest has the tastiest smoothies like Banana and Peanut Butter Oatmeal.
I used to skip breakfast all the time, and that made my anxiety symptoms so much worse. Lately, I’ve been eating breakfast every day and have noticed a huge change.
4. As you’re getting ready for the day, listen to a podcast that focuses on anxiety and stress relief.
A few months back, I was dealing with some really intense anxiety. I looked up “podcasts to help relieve anxiety” and found The Anxiety Coaches. Gina Ryan has such a soothing voice, and I learned so much about anxiety in just one episode.
A little blurb from their site:
With 2 shows a week Gina, along with the other coaches and special guests, help you overcome anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD while living a healthy lifestyle all in a relaxing, informative, and inspiring show.
5. Create a relaxing playlist on Spotify.
Time and time again, music has calmed my fears and lifted my spirits. Maybe I’m feeling down or anxious? Hey, nothing a LIGHTS song can’t fix. Do I need a good cry? Let me turn on Band of Horses “Part One.” What about if I want to unwind? Alicia Keys, “You Don’t Know My Name,” of course.
When CDs were super popular, I used to make playlists for my best friends. Last night, I created a “45 Relaxing Songs” playlist for y’all. These are songs that I find help most with stress and anxiety. Hope you like them! 💛
6. Think of one thing you’re looking forward to later.
There was one point in my life where my anxiety got so bad that I’d have to plan out my schedule hour by hour. Whenever I got really stressed, I’d close my eyes and think about the one thing that I was looking forward to that afternoon or evening. It could have been reading a good book, chatting with my friends, catching up on my favorite blogs and Youtube videos, a movie night with Alejandro, or hearing my little brother’s laughter.
If you’re anxious in the morning, close your eyes and think about how great your evening is going to be. Maybe you’re hanging out with friends after work. Imagine the setting: you’re sharing a yummy meal and chatting together. The image of their smiling faces will definitely make you feel a little better.
7. Divide your day into small hourly blocks.
Since we’re on the topic, try planning your day in smaller segments. Don’t feel like you have to get everything done all at once. Create a realistic checklist and just do the best that you can. If there’s one thing you have to get done that’s stressing you out — like a final paper for your literature class or a presentation at work — make that your first priority and if possible, schedule other things out for the next day.
Reward yourself when you’ve completed that task. If you’re feeling drained, remember to take some time out for yourself, whether it’s taking a much needed nap or writing in your journal!
I hope that you enjoyed this post, lovelies! Have a wonderful rest of your day and an amazing weekend! x 💓
Do you experience morning anxiety or stress? What helps you with relieving anxiety during the morning?