By Rachel Hill

Mornings can be tough to get a handle on, especially if you’re not a morning person … like me! But one realization I’ve made over the past few years is how vital a morning routine is for helping with my anxiety, as it sets the tone for the rest of my day.

So I wanted to take some time out and share a few things that I do to get the day started off on the right foot and hope you find some of this helpful!

For me, I like to ease into the day. I know not everyone has this luxury, so if you can give yourself just an extra 10 or 15 minutes, or more realistically even five or six, in your busy morning, it can make a huge difference!

So I’ll start by making sure to drink some water, and, while the dog eats his breakfast, I meditate. Meditation is something I’ve been a little off and on with over time. But I am working on being more consistent with it. I like using an app since I usually can’t focus on my own. I’ve previously used Headspace and am currently using one called Shine. I do this for anywhere from six to 10 minutes.

I also tend to journal from time to time in the mornings. I write down goals for the day. And sometimes I will think big picture and write down some goals for the year. Getting my thoughts out on paper helps to calm my mind and helps me focus more on the task I need to complete for my day and be more present.

While these couple of things may seem small, they’ve made a huge difference in my life and allowed me to be able to focus and tackle the day! They also help me take a step back and assess a situation and respond calmly and thoughtfully, rather than reactively. (Although my husband may beg to differ!)