As schedules change for summer vacation, Liz Montigny shares her formula for a doable morning routine.
There is a lot of noise about morning routines and that is because they work!
I remember as a kid I was an early riser and usually the first one to appear in the kitchen. My mom was already up, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper or making a list while she sipped her Salada, and Dad was almost done getting ready for work.
When I was older, I asked her why she got up so early, and she said, “it was the only time I had to myself.” Well, don’t I get that now that I am a mom! She was a schoolteacher and mother to six, so if she didn’t make the time for a break ... she didn’t get one.
It’s definitely taken me some trial and error to nail this down and now that our three boys are school-aged, a morning routine is more realistic. When the following things happen before the boys are circling for breakfast, my day, and theirs, is better. When I don’t hit this list, we’re all cranky.
Start the night before.
My best mornings actually start the night before. I set an alarm on my phone so I stop working (or more than likely, dozing on the couch) and get things together. Taking some time the night before can change your morning. I lay out their clothes and mine, take care of my skin, brush my teeth, take a look at my calendar, and read before I go to bed.
Get up before they do.
It’s kind of like the airplane thing: put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you. By waking up early, there I said it, you’re not trying to meet everyone’s needs before your own through sleepy eyes. Typically, 45 minutes to 1 hour before my boys wake is ideal for me. That gives me plenty of time to do items 3, 4, and 5 on this list and put myself together.
No, I don’t work out this early but I do stretch. I do some simple range of motion exercises my chiropractor gave me and I BREATHE. If you're not up to a full workout, at least try stretching. It feels good and it's a simple way to take care of yourself.
I don't look at my phone yet! I sit in silence and get my mind together, this includes prayer. You can pray, meditate, journal, or make a to-do list, whatever helps you set the tone for your day.
I drink 16 oz. of water first. When you sleep, your body uses up some water, so give it a boost before you sip coffee or tea. Do you struggle with just water? Get a fun tumbler and straw, and try infusing the water with fruit.
Maybe you need to do these in a different order, or maybe your five are completely different—but figure out what works for you and be consistent! On the days I’m intentional and get to do this list FIRST, I’m a better wife, mom, and more creative and productive. You can’t control everything that happens in your day, but you’re better off preparing to run your day before the day runs you.
Copyright 2022 Elizabeth Montigny