If your mornings are at all similar to mine, they look a little something like this: ensuring the kids wake up on time, getting dressed, making sure the dog gets fed and let out, making breakfast and lunch (bonus points if it's nutritional), convincing the 3-year-old to actually eat breakfast, and then brushing, braiding, combing and curling hair, locating homework, back-packs, socks and shoes, then sending kids off with a prayer and a peck on the cheek — all before 8:15 a.m.
Sound familiar? It is easy to let our mornings become something we endure, rather than enjoy. Here are five ways to change that:
A successful morning is an early morning, which means you need to start the night before. Give yourself a curfew so that you're sure to get enough shut-eye. Make your bedroom an oasis. Piles of laundry and clutter are not relaxing, so clear it up. Shut off the TV, tablet and phone. Dim the lights or light some candles and unwind. I don't know about you, but just reading this is making me sleepy.
Take care of YOU
Before you can take care of anyone or anything else, you must take care of yourself. Take time to meditate, exercise and get dressed. If you're a slow or groggy waker, meditation and prayer are the perfect ways to get started. Next, get your blood pumping by hitting the gym, running outside or just stretching. It doesn't need to take long. Then take a shower and get dressed. My mother always taught me to be completely ready for the day before anyone else, and I have found that when I am, my morning runs smoothly and I set that positive tone for the day.
Everyone needs a little motivation to start the day. Sticking notes on your bathroom mirror or in the fridge that say, "You got this!" or "Don't worry, be happy!" is a start. Try putting a little more thought into it by creating an inspirational theme for your day. When I find a quote that really speaks to me, I apply it to every action and every thought throughout that day. Keep it simple and remember, you can do anything, but not everything.
TV off, tunes on
We have a strict "no TV in the morning" rule at our house. While it can be successful at entertaining the littles while you get yourself and others ready, it's mostly a time trap — sucking in all who cross its path. It's a distraction. Instead, turn on the radio or your favorite playlist and start moving to the music.
As I was penning one of my many "to-do" lists one evening, my 5-year-old son asked me what it included. I told him things like making a birthday cake, getting groceries at the store and organizing the closet. Without a second thought, my son took my pen and at the very top of the list added, "Snugl Eli." While writing down errands, chores and appointments does help keep you on top of your day, don't forget to add the really important things.
Mornings set the tone for the entire day. If you're not a morning person, then become one! Don't focus on yesterday; start by looking ahead. It doesn't really matter who you used to be; what matters is who you become. So make today count.