Many people with panic disorder or anxiety attacks find mornings to be especially difficult. They may wake up feeling anxious and have a panic attack before they even get out of bed. When each day begins with fear, you may not even want to face the rest of the day.
The following are tips for managing early morning anxiety:
*Make sure you are being treated for your anxiety. Keep doctor’s appointments, consider cognitive behavioral therapy, follow your doctor’s advice.
*Keep a log of your sleeping habits. Poor sleep can increase symptoms of anxiety. If you are not able to fall asleep and waking up throughout the night can cause you to have increased early morning anxiety. Talk to your doctor about your sleep patterns.
*Think positive thoughts when you wake up. Many people will wake up and analyze and evaluate the day ahead. You may wake up worried that you will be anxious, increasing the chances of having an anxiety attack. Keep a list of pleasant activities you will participate in next to your bed. When waking up, go over the list of good things rather than focusing on your anxiety.
*Use an alarm clock with your favorite music to wake up rather than a buzzing alarm.
*Have a robe and slippers next to your bed. Sometimes the drop in temperature as you get out of bed can increase the chances of an anxiety attack.
*Set your alarm 15 minutes early so you can slowly get out of bed rather than beginning your day rushing.
*Keep a snack of complex carbohydrates, such as a high-protein granola bar, next to your bed. Low blood sugar can increase the chances of anxiety. Having a snack can level your blood sugar and give you energy.
*Remember symptoms of anxiety are uncomfortable but not harmful. When symptoms of anxiety appear, put on soothing music and go about your morning routine, remembering to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
*Complete some of your morning routine the night before, such as packing your lunch or getting your clothes ready. This can alleviate your need to rush and allow you to relax as you get ready.
*Take 10 to 15 minutes to do relaxation exercises when you wake up. Some ideas to include deep breathing, muscle relaxation, imagery and meditation.
*Talk to your doctor about when you take your medication and if you should change the time of day for taking the medication to help reduce early morning anxiety.
Some of these may work for you, some may not. Try different ideas to
see what works best for you.
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Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.