Getting Back Into A Morning Routine Can Help Anxiety

morning routine

How a morning routine can add normalcy and balance to your life

I used to suffer from crippling anxiety. I didn’t know how to manage my anxiety for several years. This anxiety would often lead to equally debilitating periods of depression. I spent most of college struggling in various aspects of my life.

My self-esteem was totally shot. My social life was somewhat nonexistent due to my inability to connect. My world was closed off, narrow and dim. 

After working with a therapist, I learned that there were methods that could make me feel less like a nervous hermit. Developing a morning routine was one of them.

During the winter, I used to be consistent with my morning routine because I became hyperaware of the fact that it helped make me the strongest version of myself. Upon waking up, I would exercise for an hour, return home for a cup of tea and plan for the day.

Although my morning routine didn’t keep anxiety at bay completely, I didn’t seem to have the triggering thoughts as often. When I did, I found it easier to tell myself that I am more capable than I give myself credit.

As of late, it has been more and more difficult to be as consistent with my routine while trying to balance working late nights and helping our new dog adjust to the apartment. With the lack of my morning routine, I’m more prone to react to the triggers within the world of my anxiety.

I’m currently taking steps to get back into my morning routine. Returning to my morning routine will help me regain the stability that I need to feel productive and safe. Many of you who have experienced this will understand.

By nature, I am a morning person. I enjoy the feeling of being productive by starting my day early. Waking up early can feel like death most mornings, especially after I’ve worked my restaurant job the night before. I am learning that if the specific time I wake up is of great importance, then I can take a short nap throughout the day to keep myself refreshed.

As I get back into my pattern, I am also realizing that an hour of exercise every morning is great, but not necessary. The purpose of going to the gym is to feel energetic throughout the day, not tire me out. Allowing exercise to serve its purpose would mean I need to monitor the time so I don’t get burnt out.

During the temporary departure of my morning routine, I learned that it may have fizzled because I was being too militant about it. I started my morning routine to be kind to myself. It is important it continues to serve that very purpose.'

Ji Hyun

Ji Hyun is a New York-based writer. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as a Dramatic Writing major with a concentrate in television writing. She continues to explore her love for sitcoms and Korean culture.