Whether you’re looking to improve your productivity, time management, or your sanity, having a morning routine is a must. In fact, it’s been found that having a morning routine can reduce anxiety and stress, as well improve your life satisfaction. Morning routines can also give you the energy to take on the day.
That makes sense. Just imagine how much more chaotic your mornings are when you and your family oversleep. Suddenly those small things, like your kids forgetting where they left their shoes and you not having the time to eat breakfast, can make your already hectic day that much more frenzied.
The problem is that many suggestions for creating a morning routine aren’t really that feasible for working moms. I mean who wants to wake-up at 4:30am when you’ve been attending to your sick child all night? Do you really have the time to exercise, shower, and make a smoothie?
I’m not saying these morning routines are ineffective. They just don’t click with our lifestyles.
There are, however, ways that you can still establish a realistic morning routine. And, here are 7 tips on how to do so.
1. Prepare the night before.
Your mornings will run much more smoother if you prepare the night before. I know that at the end of a long day you just want to relax. But, if you take a couple of minutes to prepare for tomorrow you’ll find that your mornings are more manageable.
What you want to prepare is up to your discretion. But, I would suggest starting with laying everyone’s clothes, making-up the kids lunches, making sure that the kids have completed their homework, and making sure that you’ve signed any forms. You could also review tomorrow’s schedule. This allows you to mentally prepare, make the appropriate plans, and gather whatever you’ll need to be productive. For example, if you have a meeting with a client, but the kids have soccer practice, then you could ask your spouse or another parent if they can take your kids to practice since you’re not available.
2. Wake-up before everyone (if you can!).
I’m a morning person and can’t sleep-in — just like my mom! What I’ve found as a mother is that this usually means I have some quiet time in the morning to do a quick exercise or clean out my inbox when the kids are still sleeping. Even if you aren’t a morning person, you should at least try and get into the habit of waking-up 30 minutes earlier. This way you have some undisturbed time to attend to yourself and prep for the day — instead of jumping out of bed and rushing around to make sure that the kids aren’t late for school.
Have you ever noticed how your children wake up? They usually just don’t jump out of bed. They do a little stretch and yawn before they open their eyes.
Take a cue for your kids and do the same.
Instead of shockingly opening your eyes and leaping from your bed, take a couple of minutes to stretch, like putting your arms over your head. Science has found that stretching first thing in the morning essentially “reboots,” improves blood flow, and decrease stress.
“Stretching can be a great way to center and prepare yourself physically and mentally before the rush of the day,” explains Nicholas Licameli, a physical therapist at Professional Physical Therapy, to Elite Daily. “Too many times, we neglect the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore, physical and mental rest and recovery. We wake up, jump out of bed, rush to the shower, frantically get dressed, and grab a cup of coffee as we run out the door. Add in a stressful commute, sandwiching a hectic work day, and we can see how it is so easy to neglect rest and recovery.”
4. Ask everyone to lend a hand.
Whether if it’s getting your kids to help with chores, like walking the dog while you make breakfast, or having your husband place the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, asking everyone to lend a hand ensures that have a little more free time to take care of yourself and that not everything in your home becomes your responsibility.
5. Divide and conquer.
Let’s say that your focus is on your newborn first thing in the morning. While you’re breastfeeding, have your partner help get the older kids ready. The idea is that instead of doing everything at once, you and your partner can take turns attending to the kids while the other can get ready for the day.
6. Give your kids some space.
Are your children old enough to follow simple instructions? If so, give them some basic guidelines and then let them do their thing. If they like to put on their own shoes or get into the car themselves, let them do it. It may take them longer then you may like, but it’s one less thing that you have to do!
7. Keep it simple.
“The most common elements of the most successful morning routines are their ability to be simple and easy to follow. I’m serious!,” says Benjamin Stall, co-founder of My Morning Routine and co-author of the book, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, in an interview with Forbes.
“That’s not to say the intricacies of these habits need to be simple (your workout routine can be as complex as you want it to be), but what is simple and easy to follow in this situation would be, say, getting out of bed and doing two minutes of light stretching, or sitting down for a five minute meditation.”
Another example could be breakfast. I would to have a beautiful, healthy, and nutritious breakfast for me, my husband, and our children. But I usually don’t have the time to do this each morning. Even if I dad have the time, it would still make my mornings more complex. Instead, I try to keep breakfast simple. Does that mean I give the kids a bowl of smores cereal? Of course not! But, there are other healthier cereal options like Cheerios or Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut Granola. There’s also oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, and fruit.
The point is, try to make a morning routine that isn’t too complex or intense. Keep it as simple as possible for you and your family. It will make your mornings a little less frantic and increase the chances that you’ll stick to your morning routine.
Do you have morning routine? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment.