The MRL Morning Show

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Teen woman with headache holding her hand to the head

I had pretty bad anxiety when returning to work after maternity. Here is how I’m combating those feelings and it’s based on an article I recently read in the Huffington Post.

Take a moment and think about your life if instead of rushing to get out the door in the morning, you were calm, cool, collected, and even spending some quality “me” time. This may seem like morning person propaganda but getting into a healthy routine first thing in the morning can lead you to have a much better rest of your day. Here are some tips to get your AM hours back on track.

Experiment to figure out which rituals work best for you. Just because a random influencer you follow likes to start their day with a 20-mile hike doesn’t mean that’s right for you. Finding what does a lot of experimenting. Try some different things and track what really helps your stress levels.

Make it easy. Well-being consultant Lee Chambers says “morning routines are most effective when we enjoy them and they are easy to integrate into our lives.” In other words, don’t try to implement some 20-step get-out-of-bed ritual that starts with yoga and ends with artisanal coffee. Start small and easy.

Walk outside. If the weather permits, a walk in the fresh air is a fantastic way to get the day started at a biological level. Chambers explains getting outside “gets sunlight into our eyes, stimulating serotonin, which boosts our mood.” All the sights, sounds, and smell of your neighborhood also fires up your senses and grounds us.

Practice gratitude. Psychotherapist Renato Perez recommends starting “your day with a grateful heart before you even get up from bed.” Before you rip off the covers, take a moment to think about all the things that are good in your life. Write down a few in a journal or take turns going back and forth with your partner.

Try to avoid checking your phone first thing. Those emails aren’t going anywhere. Wait until you’re in the office to get to them. Psychologist Gina Delucca explains the problem with making your phone the first thing you look at in the morning is that it automatically puts you into “work mode” and triggers your anxiety about the day. Nothing like a big glass of panic in the morning, right?