How a morning ritual can save your anxious soul

2017-08-01T07:13:06+00:00 Anxiety tips, Health, Research|
woman meditation

Take me there! And also, gimme that hair!

 

Do you have a morning ritual? Something you do no matter what your mood?

Let’s ignore the fact that some of the most successful, influential people in the world do (many of whom attribute their success to their morning habits). And focus on why every anxious bunny needs one:

Because if it weren’t for my morning routine, I’d have had a full-blown breakdown. Maybe two. Make it ten.

Honestly, no joke. My morning routine has saved my soul, many times over.

When you’re anxious, your nervous energy builds up. It bubbles beneath the surface. You think you’re functioning just fine…you’re managing to go to work, pay your bills, cook dinner, see friends, plan holidays, then BAM! BREAKDOWN.

Anxiety is like that. It creeps up on you. Distracts you with a magic trick, and then pulls the rug from beneath your feet. No rug? It’ll still find a way to get you falling on your butt.

Enter the morning ritual

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my ‘breakdown brink’ happens whenever I abandon my morning ritual.

Say, I start sleeping in. Or neglect my meditation practice for a few days. Or stop journaling my worries. I let the ball drop on my self-care and wonder why I’m frazzled and freaking out by the end of the week.

What is a morning ritual?

It’s a daily practice of your favourite things. So if the rest of the day goes haywire, at least you did the things you love. The things that calm your mind. The things that rebalance and renew your spirit.

And by favourite things, I don’t mean sprawling on the sofa with a Netflix marathon and family-size pizza (although damn that sounds so good!)

Instead, it’s the little actions that help build your resilience. The things that set you up for the day – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

A morning ritual also reminds you that life isn’t just about going through the motions. Or reacting to the things that arise in your day. Or just surviving. It’s about managing anxiety, while still striving to be your best and create a life you love.

My morning ritual

Looking for a few ideas? Here’s what my morning ritual looks like:

  • Wake up one hour earlier than I need to: this gives me an extra hour to focus on me, before anyone or anything can distract me
  • Splash my face with cold water to wake up (1 minute)
  • Meditate, using the Headspace app (15 minutes)
  • Make a pot of herbal tea (2 minutes)
  • Journal my worries and thoughts (10 minutes)
  • Read an inspiring book (10 minutes)
  • Stretch with a short yoga routine, or do a short weights circuit. I have two adjustable dumbbells and an 8kg kettlebell that I use, as well as some core exercises on a mat. (10 minutes)
  • Smile, thank myself for showing up. Then go have a warm shower and make a delicious, nutritious breakfast!

Your turn!

So, what will your morning ritual look like?

Have a think about the little practices that can nourish and build your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical resilience. Choose things you’ll enjoy doing – and don’t be afraid to try different rituals until you find what works.

At first, I didn’t like the idea of having to do exercise first-thing. But I really look forward to getting my heart pumping and my body energised. And it’s only for 10 minutes, so it’s not a big scary commitment!

I would love to hear how you get on with your morning ritual. If you need help or support, feel free to comment below.

You might also like to read The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod. I stumbled upon it and found his book useful in refining my ritual. He even has a 30-day challenge you can join to keep on track.

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