Integrate these (6) tips into your chaotic mornings to start the day off right.
We all have those mornings. Or in my case, everyone morning has turned into one of those mornings. You know what I am talking about – you push the snooze button one time too many (or in my case 5 times too many). I somehow manage to trick myself every morning, “You can sleep for five more minutes and still have enough time to get ready.” Yeah, uh-huh, that’s a lie. But for some reason I believe it. Maybe it is because I think that I am super-women, and I only need 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. Yeah, that’s another lie.
I rush to hop in the shower, do my make-up, pick out my clothes and jewelry, cram something into a plastic bag for lunch, and run out to the car. I say a little prayer as I start the engine, “God, please make all of the lights green, and please don’t have the 7:45AM school bus pull out in front of me.” (Fun fact: who knew buses couldn’t make a right on red?). This just had to end; if nothing else, for my sanity.
Recently, I had an epiphany and decided to get real with myself. I have never been a proverbial “morning person” (as my husband can testify, I don’t think that I form actual words until at least an hour into the day). But in an attempt to simplify my life, and start the day on the right foot, I vowed to implement some changes.
If your mornings sound anything like the above – whether you’re a single women, married women, or stay-at home mom – here are some tips that have worked for me:
Set your alarm for 15 minutes before you want to get up: I wasn’t leaving enough “margin” in my mornings. I needed to give myself more wiggle room, in case I was moving slowly (I think that I have the speed of a sloth first thing in the morning). It was difficult to get up earlier, especially for someone who is a self-proclaimed non-morning person. But it is all about training your body. It will eventually adjust to your new morning wake-up time (of course, as long as you are not burning the midnight oil and at least getting 7 hours of sleep each night). By giving myself an extra half an hour, I am able to get ready at a more relaxing pace.
Pack your lunch the night before: I love to buy in bulk. When it comes to packing lunch for the next work day, I love to pack portioned out snacks. This lets me have the freedom to enjoy my favorite snacks, knowing that I can control my calorie intake. When I get home from the grocery store, I immediately measure out my snacks into individual snack bags that I can just grab. I love to pack some kind of nut (peanuts or cashews in 1 oz. servings) or baby carrots. Also see our favorite low calorie snack mixes for other snack packing ideas! To avoid soggy sandwich messes, make your sandwich with the cheese and meat on each side of the bread, and put the condiments in the middle. This will keep your bread fresh overnight. PB&J’s are great too. By placing peanut butter on each side of the bread and jelly in the middle, you save the bread from a soggy mess. Just grab and go in the morning!
Layout your clothes the night before (including jewelry and any accessories): I know that it seems so elementary, a flashback to the days when mom would lay out your clothes. But this is a huge time saver in the morning! If you are anything like me, my indecisiveness is multiplied first thing in the morning. I would stand in the closet for at least ten minutes deciding which outfit to wear for the day (and of course change my mind at least two times). By having everything laid out the night before, all I have to do is put it on!
Two words: Iced Coffee: Katie actually got me hooked onto this novel idea. Make your coffee the night before, and place it in the refrigerator in your to-go cup. The only thing needed is some ice and viola, instant iced coffee! Not only does this save me ten minutes since I don’t have to fuss with the coffee maker in the morning. But on the days when I didn’t have time to make coffee, I ended up at our local Starbucks, where $5 later, I drove away with my iced skinny vanilla latte. Sweet, $5 in savings!
Eat breakfast at home: My old routine didn’t leave enough time to eat breakfast at home. Instead, I would eat my breakfast (usually instant oatmeal) at my desk at work, while I checked work email. Definitely not as relaxing as making a bowl of cereal, and sitting at the kitchen table reading the morning paper or watching my favorite morning show. By getting up 15 minutes earlier, I am able to take advantage of this time, and just breathe and relax before the day gets rolling.
Spend 15 minutes doing something you want to do: Whether this be sitting on the couch staring into oblivion, or reading a chapter in a book, or putting away the dishes in the dishwasher – take this time to set your mental attitude for the day. It sounds cheesy, but it has definitely allowed me to start the day with the right mind-set. Not frantic and stressed, wondering if the 7:45AM school bus was going to pull out in front of me during my commute.
– Heather @ BloomEveryday
“Let’s do life together.”
Let us know how you simplify your mornings. What tips and routines get you or your family started on the right foot?