Anxiety is like that crazy, drunk friend that is too loud and you just can’t seem to get rid of. Basically, it’s like being stalked by a stage five clinger (sorry, had to with this one). Seriously though, having anxiety issues is a bitch. You feel like you can’t escape it…it’s always there lurking and ready to rear its very ugly head. So how can you live a halfway normal and productive life when you have anxiety?
Let me tell you how I battle it with my daily morning routine.
How you start your day can be extremely important when you suffer from anxiety. I know if I miss out on my morning routine then I am not a happy person to be around. My family suffers because of it and so do I. I know that isn’t what I want for any of us so I am laying out this routine in hopes that it will help you establish your own and help you to have a little less anxiety during the day.
So no one likes to hear this (especially not me!) but getting up early is really important. It’s important to start your day in a peaceful manner. I have two kids under the age of 5 so if I don’t get up early then I wake up to total chaos…I mean who doesn’t like to dump every toy they have on the floor and jump on beds and pee on the floor (yes that really happens)! Since it’s summer time I can sleep until 6:30 am. That changes to an earlier time (5:30 am) when school is in session since I have to get the kids there on time. While it’s hard to roll out of bed that early on summer break, once I am up and in the groove of my routine I really start to appreciate the quietness of the house and the ME time.
So once I am up and in my workout clothes, I make the bed. This seems pretty weird but if I make the bed right when I get up then I am not tempted to lay back down in it. Let’s face it, if I get done with my routine and the kids aren’t but and my bed isn’t made…I will hop right back into that thing and pass the heck out. Then I am setting myself up for an even rougher wake up. So just make the dang bed and head into the bathroom for your hygiene needs. After that I head downstairs into the kitchen. I make my Performance Energize (my pre-workout drink) and I throw a load of laundry into the washer. We may only be a household of four people but the amount of laundry we produce can be astonishing! I have diva daughters who believe the second they change clothes (even after only wearing it for 5 minutes) it’s dirty and therefore gets thrown in the hamper. Then of course I can’t remember what they have worn and what they haven’t so it all gets washed to be safe. Anyway, back to the point….after I start the laundry, I sit down and drink my Energize and listen to a Joel Osteen podcast. Now, I am not saying you HAVE to start listening to this particular podcast (although I do highly recommend it if you are of Christian faith) but you can listen to or read a spiritual book/podcast for 30 minutes. If those don’t fit your lifestyle, then there is always meditation instead. I actually do meditation but I save that for the middle of the day hurtles. Whatever it is that you choose, it needs to be something that speaks to your soul. Something that you can connect with and give you not only a sense of safety but of purpose.
Now, once I have finished my podcast and drinking my pre-workout (which by this time is making my fingers tingle and I feel ready to run a marathon…like that will ever happen ha ha) then I get my workout in. I actually use workout videos which make it super easy to get it done while the kids are still sleeping. Recently I have been using 22 Minute Hard Corps but some of my other favorites are: PiYo, 21 Day Fix, Insanity Max: 30 and Cize. Yes, I own them all and have used them all! Each one has totally been worth the money and definitely help keep me in shape….those videos are NO JOKE!
Anyway, during the workout and even after, I always make sure to drink plenty of water! Staying hydrated is super important to your health and it also helps to keep your skin looking great as well as keeping your metabolism going. A good rule of thumb for water intake each day is to take your weight (in pounds) and divide that number in half. Whatever that final number is gives you the number of ounces you should drink daily. For instance, I weigh 130 pounds. I divide that number in half and that is 65. So I should drink 65 ounces a day to keep my body hydrated. I know that seems like a lot at first but since I drink 35 ounces after working out then I only have another 30 ounces to drink for the rest of the day. I use a liter bottle because I don’t need to drink a lot of small cups/bottles a day. I know once I finish two of the liter bottles then I have made my intake for the day.
Now, once I have cooled down from my workout, drank my water and switched the laundry over to the dryer…I head upstairs to take a shower. Again, seems like an obvious one but when you are a stay at home mom it isn’t so obvious. Come on SAHM…we all know that you have gone days without realizing you didn’t take a shower. You just throw your hair up, brush your teeth and tackle the day with the kids and don’t think to take care of yourself. So yes, it’s important to take a shower before getting the kids up. I also recommend playing some music in the bathroom while you get showered. I don’t know about you but good music can change my whole attitude! Once you are done showering, some will say it’s important to get dressed for the day. I am NOT one of those people! I won’t blow smoke up your you know what…on any given day you will likely find me in my husband’s old sweat pants or my Army basic training sweats circa 2002. I am a huge fan and promoter of being comfortable at home. Now if you have a job to go to or an appointment that day then I suggest getting dressed in appropriate attire; however, us SAHM know the struggle is real and I’m not trying to chase after my kids and run around cleaning house in some cute, put together outfit. Nope, not at this house! Oh, and don’t even think about my hair being done. There is a 99.9% chance that it is in a bun or ponytail. What’s that shirt say? Oh yeah, “Proud Supporter of Messy Hair and Sweat Pants”….that’s my motto and I’m sticking to it! (Ha ha, you know you like what I did there!)
For some, this is when your kiddos will wake up on their own. If you are lucky like I am some days, then they will sleep just a bit longer allowing you to eat your breakfast in peace. Either way though, make sure you start your day with a GOOD breakfast. I like to make a couple of eggs (scrambled or over easy depending on my mood) some bacon or sausage and a piece or two of toast is perfect to me. If I am really hungry after my workout, then I grab a banana on the way to the shower but I definitely still eat a full breakfast as well. Don’t skimp. You would be amazed how your nutrition can change your anxiety levels. I know that if I am eating a lot of processed foods or not enough vegetables then I am going to have high anxiety levels. If you are curious about how your food affects your anxiety levels personally then I suggest you keep a food & anxiety diary. For at least two weeks (a month is probably the best) write down everything you eat that day and then rate your anxiety for that day. After you have completed the two weeks (or month) then you can go back and look at the days you had less anxiety and see what you ate compared to days you had more anxiety. Granted, food isn’t the only contributing factor but I know a lot of us with anxiety are emotional eaters so my high anxiety days are days I eat badly due to stress or whatever is going on in my life. You can even decide to keep a full journal of which tasks you completed from this list each day along with your food intake then rate your anxiety for the day. You could really stand to learn a lot about your body by paying closer attention to it. (I know, it’s a hard thing to do…it’s taken me YEARS to get there but everyone has to start somewhere.)
Okay, back to my morning routine. So the final thing I do before waking the kids is positive affirmations. No, I haven’t gone mad. I truly believe that you put out into the universe (or in my case to God) how you feel, how your day will go…pretty much everything. So if you start your day with POSITIVE thoughts and feelings then your day will likely be just that. Something as simple as “I am going to have a great and anxiety free day” can change your whole outlook on the day and send positive vibes out into the universe. I’m serious, just try it and quit complaining. 😉
So let’s recap…
10 Tips to Start Your Day Right When You Have Anxiety:
- Get up early…RISE & SHINE!
- Make your bed…if you want to change the world start by making your bed!
- Put a load of laundry in the wash…don’t be naked tomorrow!
- Make a spiritual connect…read, listen to a podcast, meditate…Whatever speaks to your soul!
- Workout…the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do!
- Hydrate…if you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated!
- Shower…seriously, happiness is a long hot shower!
- Listen to some jams…music is good for the soul!
- Eat your breakfast…it’s the most important meal of the day!
- Positive affirmations…believe in the power of positive thinking!
Please remember that this is my routine that has helped ME reduce my anxiety levels. I cannot guarantee that it will help you. However, as someone who has suffered from anxiety for a LONG time, I don’t think it will hurt you to try these tips out. If you do, then please let me know if they helped you. If you have any other tips then please share those as well.
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