Do you wake up feeling anxious?
Does your day regularly start with feelings of stress and overwhelm almost immediately?
If so, you may be experiencing morning anxiety.
Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious after waking isn’t uncommon. However, there are strategies that you can implement to help reduce morning anxiety.
If you’re ready for actionable ways to start feeling less stressed in the morning, read on for my list of 10 simple strategies to reduce morning anxiety.
If you’re able to wake up without an alarm, you should do so! However, you need an alarm to get up every morning if you’re like most people.
Rather than being jarred awake by a blaring alarm, consider using a calming sound to wake up if possible. You can accomplish a calm wake-up routine with a soothing song, nature sounds, or even a podcast.
*Pro-tip: If possible, try to wake up without your phone to reduce morning anxiety. Countless alarm clocks allow you to customize or even use Bluetooth to stream content as your alarm. Not using your phone as your alarm helps you avoid scrolling your phone, answering text messages and emails, or reading the news first.
The goal is to avoid the stress of waking up in a panicked state and instead ease into your day as calmly as possible.
After waking up, your natural inclination is likely to hop out of bed and immediately start your day if you have morning anxiety.
Instead, try to combat this instinct by slowing down and spending a few quiet moments alone. Taking the time to gather your thoughts, reflect on your sleep, and picture the day you want to have are great ways to reduce morning anxiety.
The key is to spend time with yourself before you look at your phone, start working, or take care of loved ones.
You can take this further with a formal meditation session if you’re so inclined. But, just being still and paying attention to your thoughts goes a long way when attempting to reduce morning anxiety.
Music has the power to make you smile, laugh, cry, be motivated, dance, or even be introspective.
To start your morning off on the right foot, harness the power of music by using it to set the tone of your day. The music that you select can be from your favorite genre or artist. It can also be songs that inspire the types of emotions or attitudes you want to have.
To feel calm during your morning, consider jazz, lo-fi beats, or classical. To feel energized, consider listening to pop or hip-hop music. Whatever you choose, make sure that it relieves stress and promotes positive emotions.
Consider creating a playlist tailored to how you want to feel after waking and reserve it for morning use only. Having a set playlist for your morning will help you get into your desired mindset and help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
Okay, so this tip is a bit cliché, but it works! Making your bed first thing in the morning helps by giving you a small win before your actual day starts.
Believe it or not, studies show that making your bed in the morning promotes feelings of accomplishment, helps to reinforce other habits, and enhances positive emotions overall.
Additionally, the repetitive nature of making your bed is a great time to relax your mind, collect your thoughts, make plans, and even do breathing exercises before moving on to the next part of your morning.
I am a huge proponent of writing first thing in the morning. It helps you clear your mind, reflect on your sleep and prepare for the impending day. If you regularly wake up feeling like an anxious jumbled mess, consider doing a brain dump!
Brain dumping is an excellent way to organize your thoughts, declutters your mind, and can even help to boost creativity. To do a brain dump, all you need is a blank piece of paper (physical or digital), a pen, and a few moments to write freely.
You can complete your brain dump similarly to a journal entry where you write freely. Alternatively, you can brain dump in list form.
The goal is to write without editing yourself or withholding what you’re thinking and get potentially stressful or recurring thoughts out of your head and onto the page. Try it a couple of times, and you’ll be amazed at the effectiveness of the practice to reduce morning anxiety.
Did you know that exercise helps to improve your mood and reduce morning anxiety? Studies show that physical activity is a great way to lower stress, enhance brain function, and even enhance sleep quality.
Additionally, including physical activity in your morning routine contributes to a feeling of accomplishment and helps you feel like you can take on whatever the day brings.
The type of movement that you choose should suit your preferences. Yoga is a fantastic choice if you seek a calming yet challenging workout. If you want to boost your energy levels and release endorphins with your activity, consider going for a quick run. Even taking a walk around the block or your neighborhood has physical and mental benefits that will help to reduce morning anxiety.
Have you ever rifled through your refrigerator before work or school and felt anxious over the idea of making breakfast from scratch? Do you plan to pick up breakfast during your commute only to be stressed by a late start or traffic? If so, this tip is for you!
Please do yourself a favor and prepare breakfast for the future ahead of when you need it.
You may underestimate the amount of anxiety that arises from having to make choices. Making sure that you have breakfast covered is one less thing you have to think about in the morning.
This tip takes a little planning, but preparing breakfast meals ahead of time can help to alleviate anxiety and stress in the morning. There are countless breakfast recipes for meals, like overnight oats and burritos, that are easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive. Many recipes even allow you to prepare the meals and freeze them for future use.
Once you’ve started your day with some quiet me-time, exercise, and music, it’s time to start planning for the upcoming day. Knowing what you have to look forward to is a great way to reduce morning anxiety.
Take a few minutes to look over your planner and survey the tentative plans for your day. Taking a glance at your projects, appointments, and errands can help to prevent you from being surprised by surprise tasks.
You can also reduce the potential of overwhelm by penciling in any changes or switching items around as needed.
Consider narrowing down the essential action items before your day starts to reduce overwhelm. To ensure that necessary tasks, errands, projects, and other things are priorities, create a short to-do list for the day’s most important items.
In many cases, anxiety stems from being overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list. Try to narrow down your list to 3 – 5 critical items per day to combat this feeling.
You can also prioritize your short to-do list by level of importance to ensure that your “must-do” items get done to help reduce morning anxiety.
It’s time for a bit of multi-tasking! Try listening to podcasts or audiobooks while you do your daily morning tasks, like grooming and commuting, to reduce morning anxiety.
Listening to content that motivates you, makes you smile, or provides encouragement is a great way to start your day on a positive note subconsciously. Additionally, since you would likely get ready or commute while listening to something, why not use that time to listen to content mindfully and start your day on a positive or calm note?
The podcasts or audiobooks can be personal growth, comedy, or self-help. The goal is to fill your commute or morning routine with information that helps you feel better and less anxious.
It can be easy to feel like you’re doomed to feel stressed immediately after waking when dealing with morning anxiety.
But, this isn’t true! There are simple ways to reduce morning anxiety and start your day feeling calmer and more in control.
The ten suggestions provided here utilize actionable steps and practical changes that you can implement in your life to reduce morning anxiety quickly!
Let me know if these strategies worked for you! Also, have any tips for reducing morning anxiety? Drop them in the comments below!
Writer’s Note: Morning anxiety can be a moderate to severe type of anxiety that may require medical assistance to alleviate. Treatment options can include therapy and medication. If you find that your symptoms of anxiety and stress aren’t letting up or are worsening, please don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist, counselor, or doctor.
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