Living

The Morning Routine

“When you wake up with excitement and create a purposeful, productive morning, you set yourself up to win the day.” – Hal Elrod

I admit that I am not a morning person nor have I even been. It’s it not my favorite part of the day and for many years, I’ve scrambled to get the kids dressed and out of the house in time for school.  This has not only created stress for me but also for them and it’s not how I want to send them off to start their day. It was all getting to be too much so i decided to try a different approach which coincided with my 2019 “no-resolution/life improvement” plan.   Moms can attest to the fact that we always seem to put ourselves last and trust me, I was doing just that.Ii did not want to fly out of the house with wrinkled clothes, an unhealthy lunch, and a bad attitude. So, with a little planning the night before and a definite mindset change, our mornings are looking brighter these days.

Why is starting your morning on the right foot so important? Because good mornings heighten the overall quality of your life. A good morning is where you invest, a good morning is where you captures your ideas that are bouncing about asking to be caught, a good morning is where your good mood begins and what you carry with you throughout the day? A good morning is where you set the tone not just for yourself but for your fmaily.

1.Ease into your morning

One detail that I feel is quite powerful to begin the day well is to ease into the day. For some, that may be silence (prayer, meditation, deep breathing, gratitude, etc.), for others it may be talking or snuggling with your partner (or pets).  How about listening to some classical music while you make your morning coffee?  However you decide to start your morning, I encourage you to find a gentle way to wake up in the morning during those first few minutes before you set the intention for your day.

2. Drink 2 cups of water upon waking up

Before you go to bed each night, have a pitcher or carafe of water next to your bed. While drinking water before bed is a good ideas as well, you will want to drink two cups of water upon waking up. Not only will this begin the process of cleansing your body of the toxins it has worked to rid from your system while you slept, but it will hydrate you and ultimately, help wake you up. My oldest son is great about doing this. I have put juice or chocolate milk in front of him at breakfast but he still opts for water. Our kids can be positive influences on us too and now he’s gotten me into this healthy habit.

3. Shift your mindset about mornings

“People do transform their lives, every day . . . The key, it turns out, is to simply start behaving like the person you want to become.” —Jeff Wise, author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger “Act out the change you want, and day by day, the weight of evidence will become undeniable. Before long, the person you pretend to be becomes the person that you are.”  Set your intentions for your day.  Your mindset when it shifts to seeing the potential and magic of what may become will enliven your eagerness to wake up because this is the part of the day that you have the most control over and, as well, have the most potential to improve your entire day.

4. Write down your thoughts before going to sleep.

Beside my bed is a notepad, and each night, as I am lying in bed when ideas pop up that I do not want to forget, I write them down. It is not a journal entry, it is not long, it is just the idea.  i can’t tell you how many times I have not done this, just assuming that i would remember my great idea or “to-do” the next morning.  But, no. That idea is long gone by now. Whether you make out your to do list for the next day, journal, or just write down ideas, get them on paper.

5. Breakfast- Don’t skip it

It’s not news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My oldest son tends to not eat a very good lunch at school some days due to medication that he takes so for him, breakfast is hugely important. I have to make sure that eats something of nutritional value before he heads out the door. But, my kids are kids and they like their cereal (I do too for that matter). With that bowl of cereal (Cheerios, nothing too sugary) though comes a protein drink, omega 3 gummies, and some vitamins. Some days we will have waffles or oatmeal and eggs. to be honest, it all depends on the amount of time that we have. mine are to the age where they can make their own breakfast but I still need to make sure they are not sneaking candy. As for me, i am a coffee girl. It’s more of a mental prep for my day that it is a need for caffeine. i crave that first sip and it just sets the right tone for me. I usually tend to stick with granola, oatmeal, yogurt, whole wheat toast, or a smoothie. I usually do not eat a huge breakfast but it does have to be healthy.

6. Exercise regularly

Why is it preferable to exercise regularly in the morning? First of all, the exercise need not be extremely strenuous. it simply needs to be regular – a short 7 minute walk if that is all you have time for, but when we work out in the morning we give ourselves an energy boost that we can carry into our day. Personally, I love working out in the morning before I sit down to work fully, but currently, with school and work, that is difficult. I do try to stretch with some easy yoga poses to get the blood flowing, not to mention the ealry morning walks with the dog.  The key is understanding the power and necessity of exercising regularly. When I am not the office, I usually go to the gym or for a run  on a beautiful morning.

7. Read something inspirational

With many recommendations for how much we should read a day, the most important part is what you are reading. Read something thatinspires you and teaches you something, that deepens your understanding, stretches and challenges your mind and asks you to broaden your perspective, improves your communication skills which will improve your relationships. This could be your Bible, an inspirational book, poetry, whatever is uplifting yet calming.

8. Meditate or Pray

Perhaps your moment of meditation takes place as you ease into the day, first thing in the morning. I prefer to go through most of my morning routine and following breakfast, once my mind and body are fed, sit down for morning meditation of 5-10 minutes. The calm moments I have leading up to this moment, and then the actual moments engaged in meditation further solidify a positive tone that I wish to carry with me throughout my day. 

9.Get the kids ready for the morning the night before.

The worst thing in the morning is having my son yelling from his room that he has nothing to wear. Or, that I was supposed to fill out some form for school that is due “today” and we are already late for school. You get the picture. My stress level instantly rises and then we start the arguement of having to wear somehting in your closet that is clean. this just makes any morning that was otherwise pleasant, tank very quickly. this crcus act was retired pronto when i finally sat there one day and let my son get a tardy for school because I got tired of runing around trying to fix the clothing issue. therefore, the new rule in our house is to have your clothes ready for school the night before. that mean, pants, shirt, socks, jacket, and anything else that needs to go with them in their backpacks. I also make a habit to charge their ipads and computers, check through school forms, and have everything signed the night before.

10. Think about lunch before bedtime

I still pack lunches for my kdis. My oldest has some dietary restrictions and can’t always eat what the school serves. As for my other son, I pack his lunch 3 days a week ad he buys luch at school on WEd and Fri. As for me, when I am in the office ( 3 days per week), i bring my lunch every day. this is a lot to cooreidnate most mornigns if you have not given it some thought. I do not want my kids to suffer with an unhealthy luch because mom was frazzled and didn’t know what to pack for them. I will say that the preson who usally had the worst lunch was me. I have been running late and resorted to (gasp… sigh) a potato chip and cheese sandwich. Yes, it’s true that I have had those days. But clearly, this is not something I can do  everyday.   So, with a little planning the night before, I can ensure that we all have a healthy lunch ready to go.

11. Give Your Body A Stretch

Softly nudging your body to wake up with a simple routine of stretches is a morning routine that only takes 5-10 minutes and is free. Choose to run through a few yoga poses or Pilates’ movements and punctuate with a few minutes of quiet meditation.  

11. Have a Moment with Nature

To live near the ocean and smell the sea-salt air would be ideal each morning, but not everybody has such a luxury (soon enough though). However, whether you live in a cement jungle or next to an open field, take a moment to step out side, feel the air and remind yourself of your priorities. We recently got dog and my fiancé and I take turns each morning, sometimes in the dark, to take our beloved pet for his morning walk. I do not like getting out of bed early, in the cold, to strap on boots, and my coat to walk the dog. However, once I shifted my perspective, it’s actually quite nice. We’ve been out there when the sun is coming up. we’ve seen deer in the park behind our house. the beauty of the snow can be inspiring. The beautiful sounds of the birds firs thing the morning is peaceful. Once I am out there, i don’t quite mind it. Starting my day, thanks to my dog, with a breath of fresh air sets a good intention for my day.

12. A Restful Night’s Sleep

This is perhaps the most important step to a quality morning.  having awoken from a restful night’s sleep is the beginning of a potentially amazing day. go to bed at a decent hour. turn off the TV. Put the phone down and back away slowly.  Sleep in luxuriously soft cotton sheets. Spritz your sheets with a lavender scent for relaxation. make sure the thermostat is dialed down. Open that book you’ve been trying to read 1o times.  Make time for your partner. In so doing, you are that much closer to a blissful night’s sleep.

Mom, Travel Junkie, Amateur Chef, Beach Bum, Disney Fan, Tennis Player, Green Thumb Gardener, Voracious Reader, Health Coach, Autism Advocate, and Seeker of New Adventures.