In this article, I am going to share with you a way to eliminate anxiety surrounding sleep by creating a stress free morning routine. I call this the “Mindless Morning”.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
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 nights sleep. When the alarm goes off, do you know the first thing you’ll do? Do you know what you’ll eat? When you will get out of your pajamas and into your clothes? What order will you brush your teeth and make your bed?
If you don’t know the answer to those questions, then there is a strong chance you suffer from some sort of sleep anxiety. You may not even realize it, but your mind is racing through the “to do” list and other random topics. You’re not struggling to fall asleep because you aren’t tired, it’s because you are anxious about waking up!
THE “MINDLESS MORNING”
In order to combat these feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, you must create a “Mindless Morning.” This is a morning routine that you can perform on auto pilot. A routine that you can literally do in your sleep. Something that requires zero mental effort. Knowing what to expect when the alarm goes off is the key to helping relax your mind, ease your anxiety, and get a great nights sleep.
FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL
This is a routine that only happens with a solid plan, and it actually starts the night before. Here’s how to customize your plan.
- 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, make-up, 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.
- Do as much as you can the night before. If it doesn’t have to wait until morning, don’t let it! Lay out your outfit, put the coffee pot on auto start, put toothpaste on the toothbrush, put make-up on the bathroom counter, pack your lunch and put it in the fridge, put vitamins on counter, have a glass full of water on the counter, etc. Have as much ready to go as humanly possible so you don’t have to think about it in the morning.
- Create the same routine for every single morning. No matter what, keep the order the same. Every…single…day. The more you do the same routine, the more it will become automatic. The more automatic it is, the less stress it will cause. The less stress it causes, the less anxiety provoking it is. The less anxiety you have, the better sleep you will get!
Now, create a simple plan that you do EVERY morning in the EXACT same order. 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 zombie walking around the house. A productive zombie though.
Here is an example of my Mindless Morning. 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 carafe. Tea kettle filled with water 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 do a once over on my face 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.
REPETITION REDUCES ANXIETY
Once you’ve established a routine, it’s all about repetition. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Eventually, it will become mindless.
You have to start somewhere, so stop wasting time and start planning your Mindless Morning!
- Make a checklist of all the things that must get done.
- Plan the night before by setting all of your stuff out so it’s ready to go.
- 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.
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