Psychological Health

How to Reduce Anxiety by Creating a Mindless Morning

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Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Think about that definition for a second and how it relates to a good night sleep.  Does waking up in the morning create a feeling of uncertainty?  When the alarm goes off, do you know the first thing you’ll do?  Do you know what you’ll eat, when you’ll get out of your pajamas and into your clothes, or in what order you’ll brush your teeth and make your bed?

If your answer to those questions is “no”, then chances are you suffer from some sort of anxiety around falling asleep.  You may not even realize it but your mind is racing through “to do” lists and other random topics surrounding your life.  Not because you aren’t tired and don’t want to fall asleep, but because you’re anxious about WAKING UP!  In order to combat these feelings of anxiety and obscurity, you must have a mindless morning routine.

THE TRICKLE EFFECT

If you do not have a morning plan, you are setting your day up for failure.  There is a trickle effect that happens.  Let’s just say you are running 5 minutes late getting out the door.  Now you are rushing to get into the car, out the driveway, and into the hell hole that is rush hour traffic.  Your stress levels are already slightly elevated because you know you have some time to make up.

A car cuts you off on the roadway and it pisses you off just a little bit more than normal.  Stress level goes up more.  Pull into the parking lot at work and it’s slightly more packed than usual.  Stress level goes up.  Walk into work and you’re already 3 stress levels higher than you normally are.  This is a terrible way to start the day before even performing one task at work!  (These are all examples of things that have happened to me!)

FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL

Eliminate the stress, anxiety, and potential frustration by setting yourself up for SUCCESS with a solid plan.  Here’s how.

  • Prioritize what you have to get done.

Think of all of the things that absolutely have to get done before you leave your home.  For most, that includes grooming (brush teeth, hair, etc.), eating, getting dressed, making the bed, brewing coffee, getting the kids ready for school (or just lighting a fire under their butt to do it themselves), and packing a lunch.

  • Create the same routine for every single morning

Now, create a simple plan that you do EVERY morning in the EXACT SAME order.  No bullshitting around.  That way, it becomes second nature and you are literally not even thinking about what you’re doing.  You’re just doing it!  Like a freaking zombie walking around the house.  A productive zombie though.

Here’s my routine.  I wake up at 3:40 am every day for work so I have ZERO time to waste.  My routine starts the night before.  I have all of my snacks and lunch packed in the fridge.  Coffee beans pre-ground, in the filter, and ready to go in my pour over.  Tea kettle on the stove top.  Vitamins and a full glass of water sitting on the kitchen counter.  Clothes and work bag laid out right next to my bed.

Alarm goes off.  First thing’s first, COFFEE!  Start the boiling water, take my vitamins, and mindlessly chug the full glass of water.  Use the restroom, brush my teeth, and get eye gunk out while water is boiling.  Start the first pour on my coffee.  While that is dripping, I slowly start to get dressed.  In between putting each piece of clothing on, I’m walking back and forth, pouring coffee and getting dressed.  Once dressed, I make the bed.  Coffee is done by now.  Pack up my lunch, toss the coffee filter in the trash, pick up my work bag and I am out the door in sub 20 minutes.

In order to save time and be efficient, I pack a convenient breakfast to eat while driving to work.  Hard boiled eggs, fruit, and bread with almond butter.  I recommend if you are short on time, to pack a breakfast that is easy to eat on the go,

In review:

  • Plan the night before by setting all of your stuff out so it’s ready to go
  • Try to multi task, like my coffee brewing/getting dressed dance
  • Follow the same order EVERY time to create consistency

This routine really helps reduce anxiety and clear my head before heading off to sleep.  Since emphasizing this Mindless Morning, I fall asleep in just seconds.  Never in my life have I slept so solid.  It is comforting to know exactly what to expect in the morning.

Do yourself a favor and create a mindless morning.  Let me know if you need any suggestions on how to make that happen.  I’d LOVE to hear from you!

 

3 thoughts on “How to Reduce Anxiety by Creating a Mindless Morning”

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