We've all been there. Early morning light starts peering through the windows as your tiny children run in and jump on you, begging for breakfast and TV shows. You look at the clock and realize it's WAY late. There's no time for a shower or hot coffee or even a halfway decent breakfast. Half asleep and pretty irritated, you get out of bed and run to the kitchen to pour cereal for your starving children. Before you know it, it's time to get ready and race out the door, looking pretty disheveled as always.
The rest of the day continues in this chaotic and overwhelming pattern, leaving you feeling run down and unhappy and like you have no control.
Up until a few weeks ago, this was the story of my life.
Bad mornings turned into bad days, leaving me resentful and on edge, and every part of my life seemed insane and consumed by my children. But then, I decided to do something about it. I decided that sanity was better than a few more minutes of sleep. I decided that a morning shower actually was worth making time for. I decided to take care of me so that I could take better care of my family. And you know what? These simple steps have made a HUGE difference!
Here are 10 ways for a happier, more under-control morning...
1. Set an alarm.
There is really nothing worse than being woken up by whiny children every single morning. Set your alarm to get up even 15 minutes before them so that you have a few minutes of alone time before the craziness starts. Use this time wisely.
2.Take a shower.
With three kids, this is something that was a rarity for me. But after carving out five minutes to take a shower in the morning, I realized how much better I felt, right off the bat. Nothing wakes me up and makes me feel more refreshed than a quick, hot shower before my kids wake up.
3. Put on real clothes.
Getting dressed in the morning wakes me up and makes me feel like myself.
Yes, I was the mom still in her pajamas at 2 in the afternoon until I decided to change my ways. Getting dressed in the morning wakes me up and makes me feel like myself, and not the crazy woman I was used to looking at in the mirror.
4. Drink a glass of water.
Before I eat or drink anything, I down a big glass of water. It wakes me up and helps me get hydrated first thing in the morning. When I drink water first, it seems like I make better decisions about what I eat throughout the day.
5. Make your bed.
Here's another simple task that makes me feel like I've got my stuff together. It takes maybe three minutes and makes my bedroom seem like less of a mess.
6. Light a candle.
Seriously, aromatherapy works. Each morning, I try to light a candle or diffuse some essential oils. With a good-smelling aroma floating through the house, everyone seems more relaxed and less-stressed.
7. Turn on some tunes.
Music makes everything better. And it's pretty much impossible to have a bad morning when your favorite song is the soundtrack to start your day.
8. Jot down a short list.
This will help you focus and simplify your to-dos.
Before I started making a list, I was like a chicken, running around with my head cut off, thinking of every single thing that I needed to accomplish that day. Instead write down three or four things that must get done in the morning. This will help you focus and simplify your to-dos, without adding to your stress.
9. Eat a good breakfast.
I don't know how many times I've had to tell myself that it does matter what I eat in the morning. When I'm racing through our morning routine, I usually either skip breakfast altogether or eat something that drains my energy and leaves me feeling sick just a few hours later. When I eat something nutritious and NOT full of sugar, I have the energy I need to make it through the day.
10. Don't check your phone.
I know, I know. We're all addicted to our phones and I am as guilty as they come. It's so tempting to check email and Facebook before I've even sat up in bed, but nearly every time I've done so, it messes up my morning. Instead I try to wait on doing these things until I've showered, gotten dressed and eaten something.
Believe me, I realize it might not be realistic to do all 10 of these things every single morning. But I do think that doing even one of these tasks will help you have a better morning, and most importantly, a better day.