On your marks…. get set…. GO!
The back-to-school race is on. You’re grabbing school supplies, shopping for new shoes & outfits, buying backpacks or searching for new lunch box recipes to wow the kids. You’re probably even mapping out the kiddos’ morning routine to make sure everyone is up, dressed, fed and backpacks packed just in time to make the bus or carpool line. (Did you catch our post on Tips to Backpack Safety?)
But, have you taken the time to map out your personal morning routine that takes place before your kiddos start their day?
With back-to-school season in full gear, I dumped the frantic morning rush and adopted a calmer routine to take care of me first. As mamas, we have to care for ourselves first before we can care for others.
Right? Can I get an “Amen”?!?
Here are a few tips that are saving my mornings and sanity during back-to-school time.
Five Tips to a Relaxing Morning Routine for Moms
1. Prep the Night Before
You’ve heard it before “preparation is key” before you take on any project. Well, that project is “your sanity”. You set the tone for your morning, and you deserve a morning where you can power up to take on the day with your family, at work, with friends, etc.
- Prep your coffee the night before. Program your coffee (or tea) pot, set out your cup, sugar, etc. so you don’t have to go looking for the necessities in the morning.
- Bag up lunches or snacks in advance. This will save you precious energy and time in the morning. Plus, less time digging through the fridge or pantry.
- Lay out your clothes the night before. Even if it’s your favorite pair of yoga pants or the outfit you’ll wear to work the next day. You deserve to have your clothes ready & waiting for you.
- Set your alarm 10-20 minutes early before the kids get up. (I’m speaking to those morning folks.) You deserve to have the house to yourself for at least 10 minutes before the sound of little feet hit the floor.
- Set the table the night before. No more looking for utensils in the dishwasher or searching for your little one’s favorite cup. I’m not talking fancy folded napkins or placemats. Simply put those items you use for breakfast (bowls, utensils, plastic cups, etc.) either in the middle of your table or set in front of your kiddo’s favorite seat at the kitchen table.
2. Wake Up Your Mind
Over the years I’m better understanding that my mind is a tool that I have to strengthen just like the muscles in my body. A simple five to ten minute morning ritual can reduce my stress or slow down the rushing thoughts of all the things I need to get down during the day.
- Meditate. Take 5 to 8 minutes in your morning to find that peaceful place in your mind before the rush of the day. This short block of time might be using a guided meditation app (I’ve found the Headspace app to be easy and helpful), engaging in a morning prayer or just sitting in silence in a quiet place to recharge your mind and spirit.
- Write It Down. Writing, list making, drawing whatever feels right to you and gives you an opportunity to concentrate on your goals and accomplishments. Pen to paper is a powerful tool, and when you etch out your #WINS, you’ll surprise yourself on how much you have accomplished. Remind yourself what an awesome woman you are! The two journals that are in my morning arsenal are Lara Casey’s PowerSheets and Shonda Rhimes, The Year of Yes Journal.
3. Wake Up The House
I’m NOT referring to waking up the kids, yet. Actually, waking up the house. This practice has made me appreciate my home and how it serves our family. It might sound a bit hokey, but I go to each main room open up the blinds let the sun shine in. Turn on some music (I’ll get to that in the next section). Prep my diffuser with a few of my favorite essential oils to have the house smelling fresh. When the house is bright and smelling good, it puts me a better mood. Plus, it distracts me from knowing I have three loads of laundry to tackle that day.
4. Quiet The Noise
We live in a noisy world filled with screens beckoning us at every corner. My house is filled with beeping cell phones, tablets in every corner, and tv screens in almost all common areas. My morning was once filled with a phone in one hand, the other hand typing on the laptop along with the news channel blasting on the TV. Did I mention I was also trying to make sure that three kids were fed, teeth brushed, bags packed and everyone made it to the bus on time?
Does this morning scenario sound familiar to anyone?
It was complete chaos and causing my blood pressure to rise which wasn’t making for a good morning ritual for myself or my kiddos. Here are a few things I have opted into to quiet the noise during our morning routine.
- Stream the Tunes. Streaming some relaxing music into the start of your morning can set the tone for you and your family’s day. I’ve been trading in my addiction to tv morning news for streaming a classical music playlist on our Alexa. I’m a creature that needs background noise but not so much that I can’t concentrate on what’s happening in front of me. Calming music playing in the background during the morning has given me the opportunity to take the time to listen to my kids versus shushing them when I’m trying to catch up on the latest news headline. Plus, doesn’t listening to classical music make you feel a little bit smarter? I’m just saying….
- Put the Phone Away. Not new advice just advice that has worked for me. My mornings were filled with scrolling through emails, texts and of course the latest Facebook post. I found myself scrambling to respond to a post instead of scrambling eggs for my kids. Phone in one hand. Spatula in the other….this was stressing me out. I started putting my phone in the other room so that I wouldn’t be tempted to check-in. As you know an email or ding from your cell can off balance your morning. Getting three kids out the door to school was more than enough chaos I needed.
5. Reward Yourself
Yes, you just got your family off to school or daycare or maybe just through breakfast. As mothers, we work hard to reward our kiddos when they have accomplished something or worked hard….loving words, stickers on the chore charts, allowances, small trinkets, etc. You just spent two hours getting small human beings off to school/daycare or down for a morning nap. Reward yourself with a second cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop on your way to work, a walk or workout with a friend, some time on your fav social media channels, or if you’re like me, take a listen to a favorite podcast or catch up on your favorite local news station.
We deserve to find those few moments in the morning to take care of ourselves, to be ready to send our precious ones off into the world. These are a few changes I’ve been trying to make in my morning ritual just in time for my kids to return to school. I hope you can find one or two that will help your mornings feel more like a treat than a rush.
Tell us what you do for yourself in the mornings to make sure you’re ready to tackle the day. We always love hearing from our readers!
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