In this article, we will be answering the question: does having a routine help with anxiety? We will examine the benefits of developing and maintaining a routine and how it helps in coping with your anxiety.
Does having a routine help with anxiety?
Creating and maintaining a routine can sound like a tedious task. Especially if you are someone who suffers from frequent anxiety bouts or gets lost in thoughts most of the time. However, a routine does have its perks.
Establishing a routine, while you are suffering from anxiety will help you immensely in steadying your mind and thoughts and also gives you the confidence to deal with your overwhelming emotions when they arise out of the blue. This will naturally make you feel a lot more in control of your daily affairs.
Especially creating a morning routine is a great way to gain relief from your anxiety and keeping away your automatic negative thoughts from harming your peace of mind, while at work.
When you change your morning routine intending to reduce your stress, it greatly helps you in coping with your anxiety during the start of the day as well as for the rest of the day. Try to develop a routine that you find comfortable following and which addresses your genuine needs and concerns. The routine must help you to deal with your stress and in alleviating your anxiety to a certain level as you expected.
Ideas for a morning routine
Start with a cup of tea
While having your morning tea, try to keep away from any other kind of activity such as reading the newspaper or talking over the phone. Keep aside tent o fifteen minutes to sit at a spot and enjoy your warm cup of tea peacefully. Do not indulge in anything else during this short period. It will help you to articulate your thoughts and be in the moment, without worrying about the rest of the day.
Make a list of positive affirmations that hold the power to calm your anxiety and make you feel more confident about your day. Let this list be the first thing you go through, before starting your day. It aids in keeping your current anxieties and insecurities away from your periphery of mental space.
These affirmations could be in the form of coping statements that helps you to deal with your anxiety. It could be statements such as “it is okay to be anxious sometimes. You are human, like all those surrounding you!”. These statements help you in building your self-esteem, gradually and ease your overwhelming thoughts about your future.
You can modify the statements according to your wish and also come up with powerful statements that cater to your specific triggers and insecurities. This helps in shifting your mood to a more positive tone.
Create a personal playlist
Music is widely known to soothe anxiety. It helps to calm you down and to remain grounded. Kickstarting your morning with music is a great way to start your day. You can sing along to your favorite tracks or even dance to keep away your blues.
Whenever you feel you need something peaceful and slow, go a step further and create your playlist with a few soothing tracks. You can start your morning with these tracks.
You can try out nature sounds or peaceful instruments and melodies. It will help you to gently shift your focus to make you relax instead of causing anxiety.
Breathing exercises and meditation
One of the best remedies for anxious thoughts is starting your day with meditation and mindful breathing exercises. Try focusing on your breathing from the start of the day and learn to regulate your breathing to help you feel calmer, especially during times of anxiety.
This also helps with activating your body’s response system which will, in turn, help your nervous system and in balancing your mental well being. If you observe that meditation helps you to calm your anxiety, try to incorporate it into your routine, and start your morning with a session of mindful meditation.
Perils of lack of structure
People react to the thought of routine in different ways. Some people cannot stand the thought of routine while others love to have their day sorted out from the beginning. When you are stress out and anxious continuously, it is good to have a structure and organize your day meticulously, which will help you feel more in control of the day.
Especially during the current times where several disruptions have been caused due to the pandemic which has drastically altered many people’s normal routine which makes it harder for people to deal with the stressful situations that arise in a day. In these situations, creating a routine to inculcate healthy habits and break the cycle of anxious thoughts can feel particularly helpful to be more grounded and mentally secure.
For those people working from home, the sudden lack of structure can be really taxing and boring as well. They have to deal with the distress of working from their laptops and other forms of electronic media and the lack of physical contact and communication with their workplace and co-workers. All of these issues cause increased stress and anxiety as well as a lack of focus and concentration on work, in general.
Merits of having a routine
Developing and maintaining a routine can help you in:
- Decreasing your stress level and in turn lowering the intensity of your anxiety.
- Forming healthy, important, required, and desirable patterns of habits
- Taking good care of your physical, emotional, as well as mental well-being
- Increasing your level of productivity and making you feel more energized and motivated to pursue your day to day goals.
- Enhancing your attention span and strength of focus on details of your tasks.
- Finding more time to indulge in your favorite hobbies and activities without fretting about your work or the next day.
- Spending time with your family, friends, partner, and other significant people in your life.
- Gaining insight into the value of time and efficient time management.
- Working on your weakness and enhancing your strong qualities of character as well as behavior
Maintaining a routine (things to keep in mind)
While developing and planning out a routine can look like a simple and quick task, maintaining the same is the real deal. Here are some things you should probably be aware of while trying to maintain your routine:
- Remember that there are things in your life you can control as well as the ones that are not in your control. Keep your focus on the factors that are manageable and under your control. For instance, your behavior and your response towards situations. Make a routine that adds structure and predictability to your day. Avoid worrying excessively about the rest.
- Follow a routine that is beneficial to your health and well-being. Make sure to eat your meals on time and get enough rest while at it. Take out time from your schedule to exercise and keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- Find what works for you and makes you comfortable. Make shortlists to remember things and the plans you make in case you tend to forget. Give more importance to the high-priority tasks and make use of your motivation to get things done. Practice your routine consistently, and modify if required.
In this article, we answered the question: does having a routine help with anxiety?. We discussed the advantages of having a morning routine, the demerits of lack of structure, the merits, and benefits of developing a routine, and tips to maintain a routine.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
FAQs: does having a routine help with anxiety?
Is having a routine good or bad?
Creating and maintaining a routine cannot be expressed as a bad thing. It is indeed, good to have a routine. It helps you stay organized, productive, and also aids you in finding meaning in the structure of things. It helps you stay focussed and intentional, align with maintaining your spirits to achieve your goals high. It also helps you to strategically deal with boredom or loneliness.
What is a good daily routine?
A good daily routine is the one that you plan, implement, and follow through on according to your needs and comfort. It should be able to incorporate your highest priorities and help you in achieving your short-term goals. Given below are some useful tips for developing a good daily basis routine:
Ample amount of sleep. Ensure this at all times
Do not compromise on healthy and wholesome food
Engage in mindful meditation at your own pace and comfort
Indulge in physical workout consistently.
Take short, refreshing naps when required.
Keep your breakfast protein-rich and fulfilling
Do not waste time on electronic gadgets, unnecessarily
Find time to go out for brisk walks and talk to your loved ones
Why do I struggle with routine?
The most obvious reason for struggling to maintain a routine is not being able to stick to your habits. Once you’ve made up your mind on following certain habits, you must be able to stick to them and not change the pattern in between, unless it is harmful to your health. Trying to incorporate too many habits at once is not a good idea as well. Go one at a time and be aware of yourself during the day.
How do I stick to a morning routine?
Below given are some ideas to help you stick to your morning routine:
Be patient and gentle with yourself
Try to shift your perspective and mindset regarding how you start your day
Keep a consistent track of your morning habits and what is involved in it
Try to develop some intrinsic motivation
Give yourself rewards for following your morning routine without fail.
Appreciate and acknowledge your determination continuously
Take breaks and change your routine, if needed to suit your needs
Is routine good for mental health?
A routine helps to create a positive impact on your life. It also helps in bringing about a healthy amount of stress, otherwise known as eustress which helps in keeping you focussed and determined in achieving your goals. Routine also sometimes, helps you in discovering your hidden potential and capabilities which you might have not noticed, otherwise.
How do you get into a sleep routine?
Follow the given steps to develop a healthy sleep routine:
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Se a bedtime for yourself, keeping in mind that you need seven hours of sleep a day
Do not go to bed before your bedtime.
If you find it difficult to sleep after going to bed, get out of bed immediately and go back once you feel sleepy
Establish a peaceful and calming bed routine
Stay away from your gadgets once you’ve been to bed.
Drink enough water before you go to bed
Keep your mind calm and devoid of unnecessary thoughts while you go to bed.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.