5 Things I Do If I Wake Up With Anxiety

Some days I wake up with overwhelming anxiety.
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I talked to Dr. Meg Meeker about anxiety on the Today's Mama Podcast. You can check out the full episode HERE. She's brilliant and you'll get great tips for your kids and YOU. Make sure to check it out!

One of the things that stuck out to me is that "action is the enemy of anxiety".

To deal with anxiety we've got to identify it and where it's coming from and then take action to to deal with it.

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Here's what anxiety feels like for me:

  • I don't want to get out of bed
  • I'm totally overwhelmed
  • I can't focus
  • I feel heavy
  • Impending sense of doom and dread

While some of the stuff I do is backed by science, some of it is simply stuff that just works for me. It might take some time, but experiment and figure out what works for you.

Here's the list of actions I take to combat that anxiety:

Organize My Brain

Meditate: I'll take five or ten minutes to clear my mind and try to regroup. Meditation looks different for everyone. For me, it's simply working to quiet my brain and then feeding it positive statements.

Make Lists: A to do list, or a brain dump on a blank sheet of paper is amazing for my mind. I dump it all out and work to organize it into a plan for the day. I also make adjustments to that plan based on how I'm actually feeling. If I've got stuff on the list that is adding to my feeling of overwhelm I look at how I can move things around and accomplish what is crucial. Which brings me to my next point!

Adjust My Schedule / Expectations For the Day

I usually take anxiety as a sign that I need an adjustment.

I'll take a look at my to do list and scale it back. Focus on the totally crucial aspects. There's a scripture in the Bible that's helped me with this and that I think about every day:

Matthew Chapter 6, Verses 31, 32, 34

Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?

For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Take therefore no though for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

So basically, I approach God and say: Here's all I can do today, can you help me with tomorrow?

Whatever your faith or background is, there's power in handing over the things that you can't influence or impact to someone or something else. Hand it to God, to the universe, to your ancestors that have passed before you.

Take another look at that to do list and see if you can ask for help from the people in your world. We underestimate how willing people are to help us if only they knew what we needed.

Feed My Brain

This piece is HUGE for me.

I start with a solid breakfast with good protein. Typically an egg and an apple with almond butter. I chase that down with these vitamins. They are packed with stuff that's good for my brain.

Here's a great post from Harvard Medical on the foods and nutritional strategies that help. I thought the tie between probiotics and antioxidants was interesting!

Nutritional Strategies to Ease Anxiety

Help My Brain Wake Up

I play scales!

Yep, like when I was a kid. I used to be an excellent little piano player but that seems to have fallen by the wayside in my adult life. But something about playing scales seems to help my brain settle down.

Of course, I Googled for scientific proof that it helps! (Hint: it does, and not just for the elderly)

15 Benefits of Learning the Piano (Backed by Science)

Effects of Music Learning and Piano Practice on Cognitive Function

Wake Up My Body

I'll look for a little help from endorphins. I'll hop on our spin bike for 10 minutes. Do some stretching. Go on a walk or combine all 3.

The Mayo Clinic says so too: Depression and Anxiety - Exercise Eases Symptoms

What do you do to fight anxiety?

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