I began experiencing anxiety in my late 20s and can still vividly remember the first time I had a panic attack in public: The accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, and panicked thoughts alerted me that something was off. Anxiety takes many forms, and it’s been a long journey for me to understand how mine works.
At first, I didn’t pay attention to my body or intuition. I stayed in toxic relationships and settled for a life that wasn’t motivating for me. But over time, I started to see my anxiety as an urgent call from my body, telling me something wasn’t right. For me, the call was to rest and remember how to say no instead of people-pleasing and draining my own energy.
Today, I remain dedicated to honoring myself, which starts every morning with a focus on my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being—with a special emphasis on balancing the chakras. Here’s the go-to morning routine that helps me start every day in the right headspace:
1. I get a full night’s sleep.
A good morning starts the night before. Since I’m self-employed, I have the luxury of waking up when my body wants to wake up. I’ve found that it’s so important to get enough quality sleep each night—especially when I’m feeling anxious.
I keep my yoga mat right next to my bed so that when I wake up, I step directly onto the mat and have absolutely no excuse for doing anything else. I find that chakra-balancing meditations help me start the day on a calm and positive note.
Next, I go through a chakra-opening visualization exercise. Starting at the root and ending at the crown chakra, I work my way through the body, releasing old energy—similar to a body scan. I ask the universe for guidance and am sure to write down any messages I receive and thank the universe when I’m done.
4. I get some movement in.
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Exercising after you’ve opened your chakras is a great way to keep all that life-force energy flowing. So every morning, I try to quiet the thoughts in my mind and reconnect with my body. I’m usually not concerned by how many calories I burn or how far I can push myself; I’m much more interested in the feeling I receive. I don’t give myself rules, which I’ve found really helpful because it ensures that movement never feels like another drill or something on my to-do list (read more about intuitive exercise, here).
I find that listening to music as I move lifts my spirits and completely changes my mood. For me, tennis is the perfect exercise that incorporates mindfulness. When I play I forget all about my problems and only focus on one thing: hitting that fluffy yellow ball across the net!
Since I live close to the beach, in a hot climate, I either go into the sea or into a swimming pool after my workout, but taking a shower or bath with Epsom salts works too. Naturally, it feels good to freshen up after working out, but water is also connected to the sacral chakra, which governs our creativity and sexuality.
6. I check in with myself and express gratitude.
Finally, I take a moment to check in with myself before starting the day. This is when I take stock of where I’m at in life and consider the areas that might be dragging me down or making me anxious.
I try to remember that life is constantly presenting us lessons, whether they are through relationships, surroundings, situations, or emotions. I finish my routine by thanking the universe for the many lessons that it keeps on sending me.
Then, at night, I gather my hands and pray to thank all the good forces for giving me a meaningful life. Even though life can feel complicated and stress-inducing at times, I find that connecting with a higher power reminds me that I have a story to tell, and I shouldn’t let anything—especially not bouts of anxiousness—stop me from doing so.
While this is only my individual experience, I’ve found my anxiety to be so much more manageable when I listen to my body, trust my intuition, and keep a consistent routine every morning that prepares me for the day ahead.