Are mornings tough for you? Do you feel like, no matter what you do, you never seem to have enough time to get out the door? Trust me, I’ve been there! In fact, my mornings often went something like this:
The alarm clock is going off. I roll over and hit snooze, drifting back to sleep. Some time later, I wake up in a panic, unsure of what time it is. I check the time and sure enough, I’m about to be racing the clock again. I get up and race around, throwing on clothes and rushing the kids out the door.
I’m frustrated, my heart’s racing, and the whole while I’m berating myself. “You did it again, Amber. When will you learn? Why can’t you get it together?” That frustration spills over onto my kids, and I’m speaking harshly to them trying to get them out the door. I’m not really frustrated with them, though - I’m mad at myself. Knowing this, I spend the rest of the drive ruminating on how I’m probably damaging my kids. My mind is spinning: “What if this is all they remember about today? They’re going to grow up vowing to never do this to THEIR kids.” Then I proceed to promise myself tomorrow will be different.
Friend, does any of that sound familiar?
I’ve tried so many things over the years to fix my morning routine and stop this awful cycle of frustration and guilt. I’ve gone to bed earlier, set multiple alarms, prepped lunches the night before. I’ve changed my reason for getting out of bed to “be a better mom to the kids.” None of it worked! At least not for the long term.
The Secret to a Better Morning Routine
Here’s what I did that actually helped me improve my mornings: I realized that by waking up in a panic I was setting the tone for my entire day. I finally said ENOUGH, and decided I deserved to start my day in a state of calm. If you already struggle with anxiety, self-worth or depression, starting your day in a panic does NOT help. In fact, it adds fuel to the fire.
I realized for myself that oversleeping and starting my day in an anxious state, then adding caffeine to that as I ran out the door, was not serving me. I knew I deserved more.
I realized it was unrealistic for me to practice being present and still throughout my day if I couldn’t set a calm and present tone for the day. Taking my morning back was something that I had to do for me.
Yes, my family and work have benefitted from this choice, but I’m the one who has changed my whole outlook on the day ahead simply by getting up when I need to get up.
Don’t Let Anxiety Steal Your Morning
Our actions can increase our anxiety. Whether it’s rushing in the morning, saying yes to something that needed to be a no, drinking too much caffeine, eating too much sugar, or under-eating… any of these things can add anxiety and stress to your morning and ultimately to your whole day. I challenge you to take time this week to pause and pay attention to what your body is telling you, and to choose things that contribute to your peace and wellbeing, instead of things that fuel your anxiety.
What My Mornings Look Like Now
Here’s what my mornings look like these days:
Alarm goes off. Instead of snoozing it indefinitely, I take 15 minutes to slowly wake-up. I get up and have my bulletproof coffee or matcha while reading or journaling. I greet my family warmly, cook them breakfast, get everyone ready, and out the door we go. Now, full disclosure, getting ready and making breakfast still happens quickly. We all still have places to be on time, so we’re not relaxing over a leisurely breakfast or trying on multiple outfits for the day. Here’s what we are doing: moving with purpose and intention. And it all starts with the decision to wake up when the alarm goes off, so I can set the tone for a purposeful, calm day.
Tired of feeling anxious and panicked all the time? You CAN take back control of your days. It just takes some intention and effort. If you’re looking for a place to start, I highly recommend anxiety journaling. Check out my free anxiety journal prompts here and start your practice.
The content found on Integrative Counseling and Nutrition Consulting platform is not intended to be a substitute for professional therapeutic advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your psychiatrist, therapist or other qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition.