Morning Anxiety/Anticipatory Anxiety

by John

I have a huge problem with morning anxiety. There are mornings I wake up clothed with physical sensations best described as having the chills. The longer I lay there the more uncomfortable I feel.

Thoughts flow through my mind that I find unable to put into words. I struggle getting out of bed cause I have little motivation to start the day, but staying in bed keeps those negative thoughts rolling through my mind.

I'm just wondering if morning anxiety is a problem for anyone else out there and if so how do you handle it.

The other issue I have to deal with is anticipatory anxiety. Now that I have the time in retirement to do whatever I want, has soon as I plan something I begin to ruminate about it and overthink the actual event and convince myself that what can go wrong will go wrong, knowing all along the thoughts aren't real.

Yet all this overthinking is preventing me from enjoying the years I waited 50 years for.

Distraught in CT.

Comments for Morning Anxiety/Anticipatory Anxiety

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OMG you're me.
by: Patricia

I was forced into retirement due to a cancer related disability. I have yet to find anyone who feels like I do, until you.

Same morning anxiety; it's so awful I have days where I just don't know how much longer I can stand it. And the talking myself out of doing things outside of my home.

What have you tried to control this?

I'm taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication but it simply doesn't work.

I've also tried to go back to work but 60 years old with one arm doesn't make me a desirable candidate.

Anxiety taking fun out of retirement
by: Mark / New England

I deal with Post Excertional Malai, so I get fatigued out of the blue. I might do some heavy chores around the house and then a few hours to 48 hours later I am done. Complete with brain fog. And this plays into my anxiety as I feel I need to accomplish something everyday.

Be it a major outdoor task in gardens or indoor cleaning but I need to do something. Some days it would be nice to just do the dishes!!

But then when I do chores I get really tired and can’t. So then I shy away from doing things so I can stay awake for the day. I didn’t retire to sleep it away.

But then when I don’t do anything as to give myself a break, anxiety kicks in as I feel I need to do something but am physically unable to. It is an awful circle. Also this makes it hard to have a proper sleep schedule.

As I pass out for hours at a time throughout the day. Already ordered the book you mentioned a few replies ago. And any other advise would be appreciated.

Thanks Mark

Thank you
by: John

Every single reply is appreciated. I’ll be re-reading each comment as the days go by.

I don’t want to do things to fill the day, I want to fill the day with things I want to do. Those things are things that make a difference. Things with a purpose. I lack the motivation to find that purpose and that’s on me. I don’t live alone but my wife figured retirement out. She’s always doing meaningful things to keep busy. I am envious of her.

I make it to the gym 3 days a week. I joined a mindfulness meditation group twice a week. I bowl one morning a week. In season I even play softball 3 days a week.

So even with all that I wake up in a state of uncomfortable sensations. Can’t stay in bed cause I’ll ruminate about what I’m feeling. I have to push myself to do those things I listed above.

Feeling like this makes it hard to face the day and do those activities in fear of losing control. I know that they are catastrophic thoughts but thoughts are so hard to control. It’s not normal to feel like this.

I will checkout that recommended book at amazon and I’ll google "solution to anxiety complex".

I do have a new therapist that I’m ready to start working with. Looking forward to a new voice.

by: Anonymous

I'm not happy that anyone should suffer the debilitating effects of anxiety. I never new what it was or meant until I retired.

I found a full-time job again and that has helped tremendously but makes me so sad that I am unable to enjoy "freedom," which I fantasized about for decades. What a fate.

This Has Solved or Helped Many with Anxiety
by: Ben, KY

Hello John,

I'm a little late with my comment but hopefully, you will still see it. Your problem is very common and even more common is those who have this same fear at nighttime-especially bedtime. Anxiety has fuel and it is called fear. Many times that fear is not recognizable.

Wait you say, I'm not afraid, but in fact, it is an inner fear you feel. Then you feel that you will always be like this-that it will consume you.

I want to recommend a book (the book you have already been recommended will also help, but the book I'm recommending I think will address your problem a little better. The above book doesn't cover as much of the psychological side of your issue.

Look for "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes on Amazon. It's about $6. I'd give it a 90+% chance of helping you or anyone dealing with anxiety IF you read and follow the advice given.

Hope this helps you.

Take care, Ben

Short time
by: Lynn, Western Australia

When my anxiety bites I remember something I read somewhere : you only have to get through the next two minutes . Usually that helps . I repeat if I need to.

Also when I was a little girl and leaving my parents in India to return to boarding school, my Dad told me : don’t look too far back or too far forward.

Think I have had a lovely holiday . I have a new doll in my luggage. And when I arrive in London Grandma will be waiting for me . It has helped me often through my life .

Very best wishes to you . I hope the goodwill here comforts you . You are not alone as you can see .

I am not making light of your anxiety but just offering things that helped me. I take sertraline too which helps.

kindest regards Lynn

I Feel Your Pain
by: Jayna from Ohio

I too have been dealing with morning anxiety ever since I retired from teaching 6 years ago. My anxiety was so extreme that it lead to debilitating depression.

Thankfully, with the help of therapy and medication, I am no longer depressed, but still deal with some anxiety when I wake. Here are some strategies that might help you:

1. Don’t lay in bed. I think it causes overthinking which increases the anxiety.

2. Meditate. There are many apps and Youtube videos to guide you.

3. Journal.

4. Make a list of what you are going to do the next day before you go to bed each night. Not just a list of tasks. But also things like taking a walk, reading, etc.

5. Exercise daily if possible - take a short walk or get on the treadmill for 30 minutes each morning..

I have found that I don’t do well with a lot of unstructured time - it makes me more anxious. I ended up getting a part time tutoring job because I could not deal with all that open time.

I am hoping that some day I will be ready to enjoy being completely retired, but I am not there yet.

I wish you the best!

by: Leaking Ink

Perhaps try a support group for people with anxiety. Most 12-Step Programs are either free or for a small donation, and they have them for Anxiety, Depression, or whatever you’re struggling with. I personally go to the 12-Step Program called, Celebrate Recovery.

You can google 12-Step Programs online. Darlene Lancer has also written several books that you can look-up and get through your local library.

Best wishes in your journey to freedom from anxiety.

Anxiety (GAD)
by: Canadian Retiree

Hey John, I can relate. I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). Which means any situation can bring it on. It sometimes hits when I am driving- not a good time or if I have to make a decision.

My husband has to cheer me on or I would never conquer my anxiety. He sometimes has to go places with me even when he doesn’t feel up to it. I also at times have to force myself out the door.

I took Ativan for about a year last year but quit taking them. I saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist which helped. For some reason I’m feeling my anxiety at times but I’m fighting through it. Eventually it passes. It’s hard to get up out of bed and get going but I have to. Exercise helps.

Get medical help if you need it. Best of luck.

Talk it over with your doctor
by: Michael D. Bell, REALTOR®, Venice Florida and the Catskills in NY!!

John, you have waited too long not to enjoy your retirement. First, schedule a visit to your doctor for a complete physical checkup. Your doctor can recommend the best course of action to take - including medications and discussing your issues with a therapist.

I have found that having something scheduled for each morning is helpful. This could include something as simple as taking a walk, doing morning shopping, meeting a friend for coffee, etc.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.


I also have morning anxiety. I am not an advocate of pharmaceutical anti-anxiety meds--just creates dependancy. What has given me a lot of relief is cbd oil. But the regular cbd oil I tried from several vendors really did nothing.

I had to upgrade to a more potent cbd oil. Most cbd oil is about 12mg/cc. I upgraded to an extract that is about 50mg/cc and I use one dropperful under my tongue in the mornings- takes about an hour to work. I get mine from either Lazurus Naturals or Charlotte's Web. "Full spectrum CBD extract 50mg/cc" you can repeat if necessary.

Kinda expensive but it works and does not create other problems like dependancy.

by: Rachel

John...I am going through the same thing. I retired in September and have spent most every day second guessing my decision. Crying panic the whole thing.

Morning Anxiety/Anticipatory Anxiety
by: Anonymous

You know you don't have to start your day like that.

Here's my mornings. My clock radio comes on at 7:00 to a station I love, I listen to it and maybe drift back to sleep for a few minutes, but mostly as I'm listening, I put on my glasses and reach for my SmartPhone. I check my e-mails, check Facebook, check Twitter, sometimes Pinterest, I think of some things I'd like to do this radio goes off at 8:00. Sometimes I get up then, ready for a new day, sometimes I hit the radio for another hour of music. Hey - I'm retired! I can get up when I want to.

After working a lifetime, what a luxury. Heck, enjoy this time. So many people never make it to here.

by: Lee

I identify with all of this. Mornings can be excruciating with worries. It gets me in the stomach more than anything. I'm trying to meditate in the mornings now.

solutions to anxiety complex
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

Hi John

I don't suffer from anxiety myself, so I was intrigued with your comment.

So I searched online for "solutions to anxiety complex" and there's heaps of support there.

Go there, and you'll find more answers to your query.


Bernard Kelly

Morning Anxiety
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MAYour Name/Location


Winter in New England can be a challenge, no matter what your issues are .Do you live alone or are any family members near you or in your state?

I was just telling my daughter and three sons that if they didn't live nearby or if i didn't have a curious mind that has to research so much on the computer and write letters to the editor \that I would probably be having a fit when the snowstorms hit..

But 90% of the time I love living alone...being able to do anything I want.

I bet you have talents and experiences that you could share Your mind is probably eager for adventure and learning. I love taking classes in things that challenge my mind. And once you feel you can help others in some way, your life takes on real meaning, ready or not.

Many Blessings.

Our Mind
by: Sherry/ NC

Hi John, our mind controls us. Think productive and good
thoughts, just practice and it will become natural for you.
I always try to be ever mindful of what I am doing what I need to get done and enjoyable things to do.

Morning Anxiety
by: Carol, Canada

I get morning anxiety, afternoon anxiety and then evening anxiety, ha, ha. No, just kidding, I don't get it that much in the morning because I look forward to my coffee, breakfast and walk with the dog.

When I'm back with my walk, I get anxiety, so just eat my lunch and go for a long, long nap. Then I get up and wait for dinner. After dinner I get anxiety again until I go to bed. It seems I live for breakfast, then my nap, then my afternoon snack, then dinner, then my night time snack. Sigh!

I looked forward to retirement and all the things I would do and get caught up on. Haven't done hardly a thing in a year. Not sure what to do to get motivated.

by: Donna, Augusta, Mo

Hi! John,

Yes I have anxiety as well. However, years ago one of the smartest people told me to listen to my anxiety. Then, allow myself to ponder on the what if. So what happens if the situation cakes true. Think of the worst case scenario and realize that our worst fears almost never come true.

We have gotten this far in life now we deserve to enjoy our retirement.

Congratulations and celebrate your new life

retire happy wild and free
by: mark/ottawa canada

maybe what you can try is get this book very helpful ...

how to retire happy wild and free by ernie zelinski

I find that the more I know about something the less anxiety causing it it,,,good luck!

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