There is a special place in hell reserved for morning anxiety. We all find ourselves feeling anxious from time to time—it’s totally normal—but since the morning is such a crucial point in the day (start well, and the rest will follow, etc), it pays to understand how to effectively tackle it if the cloud descends first thing. Vogue spoke to the experts to find out their pro tips.
Get curious about your anxiety
Anxiety is part of everyday life. Rather than focusing on eradicating it, try and get curious about it, or even befriend it, suggests Jodie Cariss, therapist and founder of on-demand therapy platform, Self Space. “When you feel anxious in the morning, look at what you might be able to do to move with it (rather than against it), whether that’s turning on a playlist and dancing around the kitchen, or acting on some of the things that you might be worried about,” she says. “Get into the ‘doing’ or ‘moving’, rather than being paralyzed by it.”
Experience the magic of mushrooms
Nothing beats a good morning smoothie and what better way to supercharge it than with a calming mushroom powder? “Functional mushrooms are a great way to help manage stress and anxiety,” explains Andrew Salter, co-founder of Dirtea. “They have adaptogenic properties that can reduce the effects of—and improve your body’s resistance to—stress.” The Dirtea Reishi powder is excellent for balancing the body’s many systems, promoting calm, and improving sleep quality. You can add it to a smoothie or drink it with hot water as tea.
Spritz a functional fragrance
Lift your spirits and soothe your senses via your olfactive—just like inhaling the scent of fresh grass or a lawn filled with wildflowers, a spritz of a functional fragrance can offer benefits for your mood and well-being. Veronique Gabai created a collection of scents, named Aroma, to deliver the ultimate in “perfume therapy.” They harness the healing powers of natural ingredients to simultaneously smell good and do good for the mind too. Utilizing natural aromatherapy oils, the scents are a “way to open your heart with energy and optimism; recentre towards your personal needs and anchor yourself – and connect to – the greater force of the universe,” says Gabai. “You wear them like perfumes, and you feel them like aromatherapy.”
Take your nootropics
“Nootropics are supplements designed to boost cognitive health, whether by supporting emotional health and combating anxiety, or enhancing memory, focus and mental clarity,” says nutritionist, naturopath and founder of Artah, Rhian Stephenson. An array of excellent brain-loving formulas have recently hit the market, including Artah’s Enhanced Nootropics, Noon’s Nootropic Drops, and Heights’s Smart Supplement.
Ritualize your routine
Take time to enjoy your morning beauty routine. Massage your serums, moisturizer, and SPF into the skin while focusing on releasing tension in the jawline and between the brows. And why not up the ante on your morning shower? Make it luxurious, whether that’s by hanging eucalyptus leaves off the shower head to create a relaxing natural aroma, or by using sumptuous gels and oils. We love Ouai’s new St Barts Body Cleanser.
Move, move, move
“Most morning anxiety exists in the absence of any action,” says Jordan Vyas-Lee, psychotherapist and co-founder of mental healthcare clinic, Kove. “Typically, we wake, freeze, and ruminate – this anxious characteristic of thinking in the absence of doing is fundamental, so make sure to get some forward movement going early in the day.” That doesn’t have to be exercise – although a good workout will always make you feel like you’ve achieved something before the day has even begun. Vyas-Lee also recommends making a plan for the day ahead and “trying to get one foot in front of the other to limit the space for too much thinking.”
Try somatic healing
It may sound complicated, but somatic healing is any therapeutic practice that works with the mind and body together. According to breathwork expert Sophie Belle, when you connect the two, “you are able to release suppressed emotions, experiences, and traumas by freeing the tensions you store in your body.” One example of somatic healing is a technique called conscious connected breathwork, where you keep in mind something that you want to release – perhaps a feeling like anxiety—and then use the breathwork to alter your state of consciousness and physically allow the feelings to come to the surface so that they can move.
A simple way to incorporate this technique into your routine is to try a circular pattern of breath, meaning you don’t pause between inhales and exhales, which creates a smoother, more connected rhythm. For a little assistance, Wim Hof uses a type of conscious connected breathwork in his program, so download his app and follow it there.
This article was originally published on Vogue.