Do you feel especially anxious in the morning, no matter what sort of nighttime rituals and routines you have done the night before? Having a morning routine that focuses on self-care can make all the difference in your day.
There’s a reason why you feel especially anxious in the morning, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with our work, school or our kids.
It’s all about your cortisol-level. Our cortisol-levels (stress hormone) are higher in the morning. Our body uses this hormone to wake us from our deep sleep.
Anxious people especially have high cortisol levels, which means that our body is actually working against us in the morning. How weird is that? If you make certain that you are building an excellent anti-anxiety morning routine, this will help calm your anxiety.
I would like to start by saying that no two people have the same morning routine, and that’s ok. We are not the same, so why should we have the same morning routine? What works for me, may not necessarily work for you.
I’m extremely religious about my morning routine since I do tend to feel extra anxious when I wake up. My nighttime routine helps me relax and unwind before bed to get a good night’s sleep, and my morning routine helps set the mood for my entire day.
The routine/rituals I use in the morning, are how I start my own morning in a simple, gentle, mindful and balancing way in order to avoid anxiety and stress in the morning.
Please note, that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission of no extra cost to you. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
My morning routine starts with the Phillips alarm clock
Phillips alarm clock is very special in a way that can help start your day right. Using an alarm clock with a sunrise simulation in the morning is also called light therapy. This alarm clock from Phillips is clinically proven to improve your sleep quality, energy, and overall wellbeing.
Loud and sudden noises in the morning is also something that can trigger your anxiety. Using my phone as an alarm clock was something that would trigger my stress-levels as the first thing in the morning, which I want to avoid.
The alarm clock from Phillips allows me to set up a sound that is gradual, calm and uplifting. This wakes me up without being startled by my beeping alarm sounds. Sounds pretty great, right?
Just like I turn off all Social Media/electronics 1,5 hour before bed in the evenings, I do the same thing in the morning. I quickly check if I have had any important text messages or calls during the night, but I generally stay completely off Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. for 1 hour after I wake up.
If anything will help you in your anti-anxiety morning routine this is it. Staying off social media first thing in the morning will keep you away from any bad impressions from Instagram, Facebook, etc. You tend to compare yourself with people who are doing better than you in some way or another.
When I have made the choice to scroll mindlessly through Facebook or Instagram in the past right when I woke up, I allow the energy of other people to affect my own energy before I have even gotten out of bed.
If you see some model on Instagram looking exactly you want to look, or you see someone having success with their business the way you want to have success, it sets up anxious and depressive thoughts as the first thing in the morning.
This is definitely something that will trigger anxiety and depression. Stay off Social Media for at least 1 hour after you wake up. Trust me, it works.
Generally, the longer I stay off social media in the morning, the better my day becomes. You should try it.
The very first thing I do in the morning is to open the windows in my bedroom. Ok, I go to the toilet real quick, but no one really wants to hear about that part, right? Letting in the fresh air will help wake me up and energize me.
Then I prepare a special essential oil blend that helps energize me in the morning. I use a blend of lemon oil, grapefruit oil, and peppermint oil. Much like coffee and caffeine are designed to wake up your brain, you can actually get the exact same effect from essential oils. Cool, right? I think so.
There are several essential oils available that will help provide you with an energy boost for your entire day.
My advice? Ditch the coffee as the first thing in the morning and try using essential oils instead. Essential oils with citrus fruit works best in the morning.
Citrus essential oils
Citrus, in general, is your best option for essential oils in the morning. They have a large amount of vitamin C in their ingredients, as well as the ability to boost your body’s production of serotonin, which is a hormone that is designed to elevate your mood and make you feel happier.
Improving your serotonin level will only help reduce and relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, as serotonin also minimizes stress hormones in your body. This is a great start to your anti-anxiety morning routine.
Learn more about why your happy chemicals matter to your mental health in this article.
Lemon essential oil
Have you ever noticed, that whenever you use cleaning products with lemon you feel more relaxed after cleaning? The actual scent of lemons plays a part in this.
Lemon is generally a powerful mood-improving ingredient and also provides relaxation for those who struggle with stress and anxiety. Which is amazing for an anti-anxiety morning routine. Lemon also promotes concentration and can boost your immune system for the better.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint is an extremely refreshing scent and can help boost your morning productivity as well as focus and concentration.
Morning pages/The 5-Minute Journal
Once I have turned on my essential oil diffuser I hop back under the covers in my bed to wake up in a gentle way. I love writing my morning pages and my 5-minute journal first thing in the morning.
Before I start writing I like to drink a huge chunk of water. I keep a bottle with a keep-cold function next to my bed. This way the water I filled in the night before stays cool. I also like to infuse my water with cucumber, fresh mint leaves, and lemon slices (sometimes lime as well).
Morning pages are 3 complete pages you write without thinking about grammar or spelling mistakes. The most important thing is that you write down what is going on in your head. This will help clear your mind of anxious thoughts and makes a wonderful start to an anti-anxiety morning routine.
You can learn more about how journaling can improve your mental health in this article right here. I have also written more about the 5-minute journal.
After finishing The 5-Minute Journal I start my morning pages. I write about everything that comes to mind and I don’t think about the thoughts too much. My handwriting is definitely not pretty when doing this. I just let it flow out of my hand.
We have several layers of thoughts and when you start writing down your thoughts, you realize exactly how many layers of thoughts you have. I normally start writing about the day before, things I have to do that day, what I am worried about, etc.
Eventually, I become more reflective and start writing about my dreams and goals and what I want to get out of today. I write about how I can accomplish those goals and if there are any immediate goals I can accomplish this week or even today.
I love using this colored notebook from ZenART.
Writing morning pages and the 5-minute journal usually takes somewhere between 15-20 minutes. Once I have finished writing my journals, I get out of bed and dress in workout/comfortable clothes. Then I find a guided meditation for energy and motivation on my phone.
Ok, so I don’t completely stay off electronics to be fair, but I don’t go on social media or even stay on the phone at all.
I sit down in front of my bed on a meditation pillow/seat.
Most of them last between 5-10 minutes and I simply enjoy just being in the moment and listening to a calming voice.
Pilates or yoga routine
Once I have meditated, I usually feel like moving and stretching my body to get going for the day. I don’t do a heavy workout in the morning, as I am simply trying to gently wake my body up.
In the beginning, I used guided pilates or yoga routines and even joined some physical classes in order to learn the techniques. To me, techniques are best explained physically and with someone to help guide my movements.
I am by no means an expert today, but I simply spent between 10-20 minutes doing light stretches. I might do the standing half forward bend, head-to-knee forward bend, plank, superman pose, child’s pose, etc.
I like to do a yoga or pilates routine that will help energize me and motivate me for the day. I always feel wrong if I skip this part of my anti-anxiety morning routine.
Going for a walk first thing in the morning
I love waking up early enough for me to be able to go for a refreshing walk first thing in the morning. This has definitely been a game-changer for me in my anti-anxiety morning routine.
I put on some shoes and a jacket, and I go for a 25-30 minute walk outside. I love listening to either an uplifting or motivational podcast or TED talk on my walk. This helps motivate me for the rest of my day.
Of course, I realize that not everyone has time for both meditation, yoga, and going for a walk, as this takes up roughly 1 hour of my mornings. But I find that these steps have made a huge difference in my overall mental wellbeing. If you have time for a short walk, I highly recommend doing this.
I especially love walking in the winter mornings, even though it’s completely dark outside. However, the fresh, crisp winter air wakes me up and energizes me for the entire day.
As I get back from my walk, I like to make a cup of herbal tea with citrus and peppermint. This is also amazingly energizing and is a great way to hydrate your body after doing yoga/pilates and been on a 25-30 minute walk.
After making my tea I move into the bathroom to get ready for the day. I usually shower in the evening, as I love getting into bed all squeaky clean. I know some folks prefer to shower in the morning, and if this is you, go for it.
Korean skincare routine
Since 2017 I have been 150% hooked on Korean skincare routines. I have extremely sensitive skin and I am also allergic to perfume and most parabens. This makes it extremely difficult to find anything I can handle in Europe. Yay me! However, for some reason, I have found that I can handle Korean skincare products.
Especially a brand called KLAIRS. Many of their products are vegan and the brand is completely cruelty-free, which is something I support 100%. Why should animals have to suffer, just for me to be able to use a moisturizer? It’s not right.
Spending time on this skincare routine in the morning feels wonderfully soothing to me and gets my day started on the right track. Having great looking skin without having to use a ton of makeup also gives me a confidence boost.
If you want to learn more about what my 10-step Korean skincare routine looks like, this article explains everything you need to know to get started yourself.
Healthy and soothing breakfast
I start my day with either a smoothie or oatmeal in different variations. Sometimes I make healthy pancakes on the weekends, but I usually don’t have time for this on a normal weekday.
I drink a lot of smoothies and juices during the summer, but once the winter months start rolling in, I find myself wanting something warm and comfortable in the morning.
I also tend to make a cup of ice coffee to go with my breakfast. I really don’t drink a lot of coffee, and I don’t like warm/hot coffee that much, so I go for iced coffee. Even during the winter months, I can drink iced coffee. I’m a very weird person in some ways, I know.
While I eat my breakfast, I go over my daily tasks and see if anything needs any adjustments. I normally write down any daily tasks the night before, as they won’t be in my head when I am trying to sleep.
This works great for me, but some people like to make their to-do lists in the morning, which is totally fine. You need to find, what works for you and only you.
As I finish my breakfast and coffee, I love listening to an inspirational, energizing, and motivational podcast, TED talk or audiobook.
So, this anti-anxiety morning routine is usually how I start my day. It might seem a bit extensive and you can’t just start doing everything at once. It has taken me almost four years to build this routine.
The entire routine takes me about 2 to 2,5 hours to do. I wake up around 6 am and leave for work somewhere around 8 or 9.
Maybe you can do it much quicker than I was able to, but having these nighttime and morning routines has made all the difference to my mental health and I advise everyone to get these routines into their lives.
I would love to know what your anti-anxiety morning routine looks like and whether you do anything different from me. Let me know in the comments below…
Did you find this article helpful or inspirational? Please share and save it on Pinterest and share it with your friends.