Mornings can be hard on everyone. Whether you're trying to get yourself ready or you're urging your kids to be ready, it can be a mad dash from the time the alarm goes off until you finally rush out the door.
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You aren't doomed to mornings like this though. There are several ways you can calm down the morning routine so that those early hours aren't something that you dread, but instead become the perfect way to start your day. Here's how.
Do Things The Night Before
Most people will tell you that the little things are what turn the morning into a disaster. To make it easier to handle, do as much as you can the night before. That leaves you more time in the morning to enjoy a meal, get dressed or simply sip coffee while you help your kids prepare for the day.
Lay out clothes for everyone, pack lunches, make sure homework is done and papers are signed, decide what you're going to eat for breakfast and set the coffee pot to start automatically. Doing all of these things before you go to bed might not seem like a big deal until you don't have to do them in the morning. You'll be amazed at how much more relaxed you'll be in the morning.
Choose A Different Alarm
Waking up to a loud beeping alarm is no way to start the day. Being rocketed out of bed to a blaring sound will only leave you feeling stressed and unhappy. Yes, you may have to set an alarm to make sure you're up on time, but it can be relaxing and still get you out of bed.
Try turning your alarm to the music setting so you can wake up to tunes you love instead of a beep. You might also choose to be woken up to the sound of birds chirping, ocean waves crashing or a rainstorm.
Choose an alarm with nature sound settings if this is a preferable way to start your day. Alarms that slowly get brighter and brighter like the sun does are another option if getting up when it's still dark outside is hard for you.
Start The Day With Some Stretching
Stretching is a great way to boost your circulation and get your body awake and revved to go. The experts suggest spending several minutes stretching your various body parts, combined with deep breathing. This circulates blood throughout your body and to your brain, helping your body and brain wake up and be ready for what the day has in store.
Try stretching as soon as you swing your legs off the bed and you'll probably notice that getting the rest of the morning routine finished feels much easier.
Write Something Down
Experts say that the simple act of writing will start your morning off on the right foot. Get up a few minutes early and spend some time writing in a journal. This can be anything from what you plan to do for the day, a list of things you're grateful for, or a plan for your next vacation.
This practice lets you get things out of your brain and onto paper, making it easier to do something about them. Approaching the day from an artistic standpoint will make the entire day relaxing and easier to manage.
The very nature of yoga requires breathing that calms and relaxes your body and mind. When you pull out your mat first thing when you get up, it gives your morning a relaxing feel that carries over into all the rest of the things you have to do before you head out the door. The stretching required during yoga will boost blood flow to your body and brain, helping you feel awake in body and mind.
Listen To Music
Turn off the news, which can heighten stress levels and make your morning feel harder, and cue up your favorite playlist instead. Listening to your favorite kind of music boosts mood and helps you feel better about the start of the day. Choose a set of tunes that are not super-loud or jarring, but are upbeat enough to get your body moving and help you feel energized and ready to go.
If you live with other people who get up later than you, wear headphones so you don't have to worry about conflict when you're trying to create a relaxing morning ritual.
Sip Tea Or Coffee
The simple act of brewing a cup of coffee or tea is relaxing and pampering. If you give yourself a few moments to sit down and truly enjoy your brew, you'll instantly feel calmer and your day will start better. On the other hand, if you have to gulp down your drink in-between dressing the kids and making breakfast, you lose that perk.
If you have to, get up five or ten minutes earlier so you have time to sit and sip. You won't be any more tired, but you'll love those few minutes of solitude to start your day.
Don't Get Online
It can be tempting to grab your phone and check your social media page or see if you have any important emails waiting for you. However, doing so the second you open your eyes just puts you in a stressed out state right away, whether you notice it or not.
Skip any online activities until you get to the office or until you've spent some time doing the other things that need doing. Without that pressure, your entire morning will run more smoothly.
Go For A Run
Running is a great way to wake up your body and your mind and helps you stay in shape and get healthy too. A quick run in the morning revs your metabolism and boosts your energy levels, which will make the rest of the morning seem easy.
If you're not a runner or can't leave the house that early, use exercise videos or run on a treadmill for a similar benefit. People who exercise first thing in the morning report making healthier choices during the rest of the day, so this one is a win-win.
Mom was right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It boosts your nutrient intake and gives your brain and body the fuel it needs to get through until lunchtime. The best morning meal contains a healthy mix of complex carbs, protein and healthy fats.
Greek yoghurt topped with granola and sliced berries or scrambled eggs with whole grain toast and an apple are both wonderful choices.
Mornings can be a dreaded and difficult part of the day, but they don't have to be. Mix and match the ideas on this list to create the ultimate relaxing morning routine that works for you. You may find that some things work and others don't so only incorporate those that fit your lifestyle.
With time, you'll start looking forward to your mornings and relish what they have to offer. Your day has never started so good!