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Say Goodbye to Morning Anxiety

Being a natural worrier and over-thinker, I would often wake up first thing in the morning with a dreaded feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Having talked to my girlfriends about this, I came to realise that morning anxiety seems to be quite a common symptom of modern life.

Waking up with the thoughts of a hectic day ahead and a to-do list as long as your arm can make even the most organised of people feel anxious.  However, I have learned that, with a little sensible time management planning, morning stress can be significantly alleviated.

Here are some simple steps that I follow on a daily basis that have really helped to reduce my level of morning stress:

  1. Get organised the night before– iron and lay out your clothes (and children’s uniforms), prepare packed lunches, locate your keys, plan a nutritious breakfast, etc.  These simple tasks will not take a lot of time to do each evening but will save you a huge headache every morning.
  2. Write a (realistic) to do list– every evening, write out a short to do list for the following day, but BE REAILISTIC about what you can get done.  Keeping your list realistic will allow you to feel a sense of real accomplishment at the end of the day when everything gets ticked.  Writing a to-do list the night before also helps you to feel in control and clear your mind of any unnecessary worries.
  3. Get rid of aggravations– for example if you hate the sound your alarm clock makes then change it.  If you can’t stand clearing your car windscreen on a cold morning, then invest in a windscreen cover.  Fixing the little things that aggravate you will eliminate some of that morning stress.
  4. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep– a good night’s sleep leads to a good day and most people need 7 to 8 hours quality sleep each night.  So, try and get to bed at a reasonable time and implement a nice calming routine at least an hour before lights out to set yourself up for a healthy night’s sleep.     
  5. Get up 30 minutes earlier– an extra 30 minutes in the morning can be the difference between peaceful harmony and pandemonium.  As long as you get to bed at a reasonable time, waking up 30 minutes earlier should not be a problem.  Take some ‘me time’ at the start of your morning (ideally before the rest of the household wake up) and set yourself up for a great day – take a little exercise, have some thinking time, meditate, listen to uplifting music.
  6. Drink a glass of water– our bodies are composed of 60-70% water, so it is really important to stay properly hydrated.  Even mild dehydration can cause your blood to thicken which forces your heart to work double-time, resulting in noticeable fatigue.  Your body becomes slightly dehydrated over the course of the night sleep, so make sure to drink a tall glass of water first thing when you wake up.
  7. Do some light exercise– if you feel groggy when you wake up, get your blood flowing with some light exercise.  This will help your body transition from the sleep state to wakefulness.  Although, it may seem like an effort to get moving first thing, trust me you will feel great afterwards.
  8. Take a shower– taking a shower can be one of the most invigorating experiences early in the morning.  That fresh feeling you have when stepping out of the shower will make you feel much more revitalised.  It may sound totally crazy, but I love to take a cold shower first thing in the morning and this has been proven to have amazing health benefits too (this is an entire blog subject in itself so watch this space).
  9. Keep your living space organised– I have a thing about mess and it causes me stress, but seriously an organised home will help to eliminate those unproductive, stress-filled searches for something you’ve misplaced – no more last minute “where are my bl***y car keys!!!” moments and let’s face it we have all had those.
  10. Fill up the car– keeping your car’s fuel tank full is so easy, but if your anything like me it’s a task we don’t particularly like doing.  However, there is nothing more irritating on a busy morning when you suddenly realise your fuel tank is close to empty…arghh!  So, try and get in the habit of checking your fuel level on the way home and, if it’s getting low, pull into the petrol station and fill it up.
  11. Schedule time to do something you Love every day– getting up to face the day ahead is far more satisfying when you know you will have something to look forward to later on.  We all know that life is short and that we should enjoy every single day (yes, even Mondays) so make sure you schedule some time into each day to engage in something you love.

There will always be stressful events that come along to challenge us, but by following even just some of the steps above will help you to conquer your mornings with reduced anxiety and a lot more calm.

Sarah Mac x