For many families, mornings are something we approach through gritted teeth and held breath. Getting an entire family up and out the door – fed, dressed and friendly – is a feat worth celebrating, yet seldom achieved. I have only one child, soon to be a teen, and yet still we struggle to match morning routines and walk out the door on speaking terms (yelling terms though, this is where we excel).
But over the years, I have spent time exploring how other families handle their mornings, and to my relief, I discovered the madness was not something unique to my little family of two. And to my greater relief, I found some guidelines, some answers, some Hail Mary’s that help me every day in moulding the behaviour of my family to help get us out the door in a friendly manner.
1. SLEEP: Is everyone getting enough?
It seems obvious, but before you can tackle the morning madness and start building a workable routine, you need to look at the night prior and make sure everyone is getting enough sleep – children and parents. A well-rested family will wake happier and have more strength in reserve to cope with the day.
2. PREPARATION: The night before.
A very wise friend once told me, 10 minutes of night organisation can save 10 minutes of morning madness. It’s a rule I now live by. Every night, I take the time to prepare for the next day. It might be as simple as getting out breakfast bowls and cereal, or in my case I encourage my daughter to pack her school lunch and lay out her uniform. Not only is this a tip for the kids, but also the parents – pack your bag, make sure you have everything you need ready to go (including your keys). A calm morning never starts by screaming: “Where are my keys!?”
3. WAKE UP EARLY: Before your kids.
As the leader of the pack, waking up 15-30 minutes before your kids gives you time to quietly prepare for the day. Being showered and dressed before the first sleepy eye cracks open will have you much better equipped to handle whatever is thrown at you.
4. CHARTS: Spell out the routine.
Clearly and concisely spell out a morning routine that suits your individual family needs. Pictures can be used instead of words for families with young children, including all things that need to get done:
• Get dressed
• Brush hair
• Eat breakfast
• Brush teeth
• Put on shoes
• Grab your bag and go!
Once a routine has been agreed on, it’s important to talk about the routine with each member of the family so everyone knows what they need to do.
5. STAY CALM: Be connected.
Kids are more aware of their surroundings than we often give credit for and they know when the house is edging toward morning madness – in the face of chaos they will slow down. So when you feel yourself becoming frantic, stay calm, and reconnect with your child. Get down on the floor, on their level, and talk to your child, ask them for their help.
6. HELP THEM: Understand that you are the adult, they are children.
With all of the above in place, the greatest sanity-preserving tip I was given, is to understand that most of us need some time to shift gear from sleep to activity. If as an adult, we need 15-30 minutes in the morning to wake and prepare for the day, so do the little family members. In understanding that, I can better appreciate that my daughter needs my help in the morning and so I build a little extra time into the morning routine to allow for a one on one chat or breakfast together. If you have younger children, the extra time could be used for a morning cuddle or a fun reward when everyone is ready, early.
Image via Pixabay
Do you sometimes feel so tired in the morning that you don’t even want to get out of bed? If you find yourself hitting the snooze button again and again while wishing you could just wake up with more energy, try some of these small tweaks to your routine.
Get enough sleep
You knew that already, right? Now be honest, are you doing it? Most of us are too busy and too distracted to make sleep a priority. As a result our productivity suffers, our creative ideas stop flowing and we wake up low on energy. Choose a reasonable bedtime that will ensure you get plenty of rest and stick with it – you’ll feel more energetic and more excited about life in no time.
Have consistent sleep and wake times
When you’re waking up at the same time every morning (after you’ve gotten enough sleep), your body gets used to it and knows when it’s time for rest and when it’s time to be active. That’s why it’s best to keep your schedule consistent, even on the weekends.
Do you need your cup of coffee to wake up? Try something different for a while and see if it works for you – have a glass of water instead to help you regain the fluids you’ve lost during the night.
Exercise in the morning
A full workout would be nice if you have time for it, but it’s not necessary. Even just a brisk walk or a few yoga poses at home can help you get a boost of energy.
Let the sunlight in
Leave the blinds open and let natural light be the cue for your body that it’s time to get up and get active. You’ll get even more energised if you’re able to spend some time outdoors.
Have something to look forward to
It’s much easier to wake up with more energy if you have something to be excited about. Every day schedule something just for you that makes you happy.
Image by horjaraul via pixabay.com
It’s Monday morning. You hear your alarm and you hit the snooze button. Then you hit it again. Eventually you manage to get out of bed, get dressed and out of the house. You grab a coffee on the run and start counting the days left before the weekend… Too many. While most of us are familiar with this scenario, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can fall in love with Mondays and here’s how.
1. Get enough sleep
We have a good time until late on the weekends, sleep in, then stay up late again. No wonder getting out of bed on Mondays is a struggle. Treat yourself to an early Sunday night instead and you will wake up with renewed energy.
2. Have a morning ritual
Do something in the morning that helps you feel the way you want to feel – whether it’s calm and grounded or excited and wanting to take on the world. Your morning ritual could include exercise or meditation, but it can also be as simple as singing loudly along to your favourite song on the radio.
3. Schedule something fun for Monday
Why do we leave all the fun things for Friday nights? Why not have fun every day? Schedule a lunch date with a friend or a dance class after work and you will have something look forward to.
4. Appreciate your work
No work situation is perfect and it’s easy to let our attention go to all the things we dislike. If you notice yourself going down the negative spiral, stop and remind yourself of all the things you appreciate about your work, instead. Maybe you’re working on a new and exciting project. Or you have a client you always enjoy talking to. Or you get free coffee. At the very least, you have an income that pays your bills. There’s always something you can appreciate.
5. Plan for change
If none of the above ideas help you fall in love with Mondays, you probably need a change. Spend some time figuring out what’s working and what’s not working for you in your current situation. Brainstorm things you can do to make your work more enjoyable or start looking at other opportunities.
Image via Pixabay
We are all guilty of working late and cramming way too much into one day. Only have 5 minutes to get ready before heading out the door? Leave the house feeling polished and get ready in a flash with beauty expert and Nad’s brand manager, Natalie Ismiel’s 5 tips to get ready in 5 minutes.
Get the most out of your beauty products and save time and money by opting for multi-tasking products. BB and CC creams are perfect time savers in the morning as they moisturise, even out your skin tone and protect your skin with SPF. Makeup tints that work on cheeks, lips and eyes are easy to use and also great for those short on time.
Time taken in the morning = 3 minutes
Say goodbye shaving and hello waxing
Don’t waste precious time in the morning with time consuming shaving. The quick and easy option for longer lasting, hair free skin is waxing. Unlike shaving, which leaves unsightly stubble, the hair regrowth from waxing is actually softer and finer with each waxing session as the hair is removed by the root. An added benefit is that the long term effect of waxing is less hair growth overall. I recommend Nad’s Body Wax Strips (RRP $10.95) for those looking for an easy way to remove unwanted hair anytime and in just minutes. The specially crafted natural beeswax formula effectively removes hair gently and moulds to all your curves, making it easy to reach those tricky areas.
Time taken in the morning = 0 minutes (your legs are already silky smooth!)
Dry shampoo is a miracle product for when you are too busy to wash and style your hair. Not only is it great for soaking up excess oil, it can add volume, leave a nice fragrance in your hair and can lengthen the life of a blow dry.
Time taken in the morning = 1 minute
Don’t have time for a full face of makeup? A simple slick of brightly coloured lipstick can instantly pull together your whole look and have you looking and feeling polished. Corals, pinks and reds freshen up your face and are on trend for Summer.
Time taken in the morning = 1 minute
Organise the night before
Take 5 minutes out the night before to choose what you’re going to wear and store everything in an easy to reach place for the following morning. Organise your makeup and beauty products and streamline your routine so that you know where everything is and are not having to spend time trying to locate things in the morning.
Time taken in the morning = 0 minutes (it’s already done the night before)
Total Time Taken in the Morning = 5 minutes
Image via thejournal.ie
Sometimes my days start like this. I hear the alarm. The baby next to me is still sleeping after a wakeful night, so I press the snooze button. Then I press it again. Finally, the older kids wake me up, because it’s nearly time for them to go to school. I rush into the kitchen struggling to get their lunches ready while checking my phone. I feel stressed out and ready to go to back bed before the morning has even started. And as the day goes on, it doesn’t get any better. Am I the only one or does this sound familiar?
While I wish I had a relaxed morning routine that included meditation and exercise, at this time in my life it would be a big stretch for me. But there is one simple morning ritual even the busiest mum can do. It only takes a minute and it can completely transform your day.
This ritual is setting a daily intention.
Daily intentions are short statements to capture the essence of the day you want to live. To choose your intention, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and ask yourself, ‘What do I want my day to be like? How do I want to feel?’
You can choose a word to describe a feeling – for example, ‘peace’ or ‘joy’. Or your intention can be a short reminder to yourself like ‘Slow down’, ‘Be present for my children’, ‘See kindness in people’.
Once you’ve chosen your intention, write it down. It makes you feel more committed to it and it also helps you remember it. Then every time you find yourself stressed, upset or angry, you can take a few breaths and come back to your intention for the day. How can you bring more joy into what you’re doing? What can help you feel more peaceful?
The best time to set your intention is first thing in the morning, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do it as soon as you remember. At any moment you can choose to shift your focus and invite more of what you want into your life.
Image by Greyerbaby via pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova