For those of you that are not my Facebook friends, you missed Reagan's sad introduction…
How I De-stressed My Morning Routine
My Old Morning Routine
“Please Reagan, just put your shoes on.”
“Noah, where is your other shoe?”
“I’m not kidding, we need to leave RIGHT NOW.”
“Did you get your lunch? Where is your backpack?”
This is how my morning routine has gone for about 3 years. It’s stressful and no fun for any of us. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Or is it just me? Well, if your mornings are anything like mine used to be, I want to share how I now have mornings that run smoothly, on-time, and stress-free.
Involve Your Kids in the Morning Routine
First, I started with making a list of everything that needed to get done before we left the house. I actually did this with my kids – at least the ones who can talk and do some things. We talked about the things we could do the night before, like packing lunches and picking out clothes. My oldest actually got very involved in planning out our mornings. We worked backward from when we needed to leave the house and started filling in activities until we reached time to wake up. Then we did the same for creating an evening routine that is easy, relaxing and sets up our mornings for success.
Once we had our routines in on paper, we practiced the routine. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I know that kids will buy into the procedure more if they know exactly what’s expected of them and have the chance to practice and feel confident about it. The last thing on our list is what I call “checklist.” Right before we leave, I say “checklist” and each of us has one assigned thing to check, something like bags, lights or TV. We practiced this routine three times, just to make sure that everyone knew their job. And you know what, the next morning it went just as we practiced.
Set-up For Success
Identify the things that cause you stress and make a plan to make those easier. Are you always misplacing your keys? Have a drop spot or key hanger for them. Is one child always missing a shoe? Place a pair by the door before bed. Never have time to eat? Make breakfast a part of your routine. Fight with your kids about getting up or getting dressed? Find out what would motivate them and leverage that. My kids are early risers and like to watch cartoons. Our new rule is that they both must be dressed before turning on the TV.
Once you identify the points that cause you stress, it’s easy to set-up a way to fix it. If you need some help figuring out how to do that, let me know in the comments.
What Can You Do in the Evening
If there are some things that you (or your kids) can do in the evening, make that a part of your evening routine. I resisted this for a long time because I am SOOOOOOO tired in the evenings, but I finally gave in. I made picking out clothes, packing lunches and backpacks a part of my evening routine and my mornings are so much easier to manage. What things can you do in the evening that will make your mornings easier?
Schedule Time For You in the Morning Routine
I highly recommend scheduling at least 30 minutes for yourself to do whatever it is that makes you feel most like yourself. If that is hitting the snooze button 3 times or getting up early for a morning devotional, scheduling “me” time is critical. Make sure it is something that equates to feeling calm and relaxed and not something that will make you feel even more stressed. I also recommend that part of that “me” time should be taking a few minutes to plan your day. I feel like my day goes so much smoother if I take the time to review what I need to do and set my priorities for the day.
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