Do you dread your workday the minute your alarm goes off and feel some anxiety?
While most of us feel stressed at work occasionally, prolonged stress may lead to anxiety. Mornings can feel particularly difficult – and there’s a scientific reason behind it. Our body’s level of cortisol, a hormone associated with anxiety, is highest in the first hour of waking. Feeling stressed upon waking can intensify our unease.
How can you face the day with a greater sense of calm? Here are some tips:
How Can You Stop Anxiety From Ruining Your Mornings?
If you wake juddering with nervous energy, find a way to release it. Exercising in the morning – even just a quick 15 minutes – can reduce your cortisol levels and help bring your anxiety under control.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Drinking a big mug of caffeine only increases morning jitters. Skip the coffee – as well as foods high in sugar. Eat healthy and try to get a good night’s sleep.
How do you sleep when you’re anxious? Deep breathing techniques can be helpful in soothing your stress at any time of day but may be particularly helpful in preparing your mind and body for sleep.
At work, self-care can be as easy as listening to your favorite music at your desk, socializing with coworkers, packing your favorite food for lunch, and documenting your workplace accomplishments, notes Indeed.
3. Manage Your Time
If you feel like you can hardly keep up, maybe a little organization can provide a calmer start to the day. Get up a few minutes earlier to avoid a frantic dash out the door – or to beat rush hour traffic.
A few time management strategies can help your workday go more smoothly. For instance, instead of answering emails continuously throughout the day, set aside a specific time to read and respond. Make a list of high-priority tasks you must do today and those that could wait until tomorrow and try not to become distracted.
4. Practice Mindfulness
When anxiety sends your mind flying in every direction, being mindful can help you regain control.
“To bring yourself back to the present, try these five senses exercise,” advises the Cleveland Clinic. “Hold your fist out and extend one finger at a time as you name: 1 thing you can taste; 2 things you can smell; 3 things you can touch right now (your skin against the chair, a soft sweater); 4 things you can hear; and 5 things you can see in the immediate environment.”
5. Write it Down
It might help to about the things that are making you anxious. “Some people keep a ‘worry journal’ for this purpose,” Dr. Gail Saltz, an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital, told Well and Good. “Once they write it down, it’s out of their mind and they can move on with their day.”
6. Take a Break
Whether at home or work, when you recognize yourself becoming anxious, breathe deeply, take a walk or do something else to distract your mind from fixating on negative emotions.
Take a mental health day from work when you need it. Accomplishing tasks at home, like housework or errands, or doing things you enjoy, like visiting a museum, taking a bike ride, or connecting with friends, can help improve your mindset.
Occasional anxiety in our lives is normal, but if your anxiety lingers or worsens, don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional for additional guidance.
Ready For a Peaceful and Less Anxious Day?
And if the only way to relieve your anxiety is to work somewhere else, the experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services can help with your job search.