Have the best day ever and TAKE BACK YOUR MORNINGS! Here are FIVE ways to calm the morning madness, in this post on hassle-free mornings sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company! I remember the days of being a morning person. In fact, I used to get up as the sun rose (or before), head to the gym, make a full breakfast, shower and get ready for the day… all by 8am! But as is goes, the more kids I’ve had, it seems like the hours of shut eye just begin to slip to the wayside. Instead of popping up for an early morning wake up, it’s more normal to wake with slow eyelids as I take in the smiles of my bright eyed little ones.
While I’m not quite considered a morning person anymore, I recognize the importance of a solid morning routine. For me, there were a few points in the day that have always been more prone to anxiety or a mess of stress… and usually it included that morning rush! Since summer is supposed to be a more laid back affair, I have to say, I’ve let the morning routine that has such a catalyst for a productive day for me begin to slip. Now, a month or so later, I’m beginning to feel the effects. The thing is? We’re not in a rush to get out the door for school, and I do want the summer to feel just like that… summer. But I also want to set myself up for a more productive (yes, I still have a business and a household to run, no summer vacay from that!) and happy day!
So here are just a few ways to calm the morning madness, even in the summer months, and in turn avoid stress and increase peace in our home. How has your summer been so far? Are you feeling in limbo as well between wanting to vacation the months away and still trying to fit productivity in as well? Won’t you join me and we can encourage each other as we go?!!
Get Tidy! – I’m not talking about going clean crazy… after all, it IS summer, but just a quick tidy up morning and night! If I wake up and walk out to a semi-messy home I immediately start to feel my blood pressure rise. Starting off the day with a clean(ish) slate makes me feel like I’m ready for the day rather than stuck in the past of yesterday. It’s so easy to let things slide, especially in the evening after you feel like all you’ve been doing is chasing crumbs all day, but in the end, everyone working together to pick up after themselves and waking to a tidied space makes all the difference for a fresh start.
Check out this post: 5 Simple Tips to Fake a Clean Home!
Preparation is Key. – I am just not someone who has been successful at meal planning, at least not in the really planned out, list crossed off kind of way. To be honest, I don’t even like grocery shopping… not even when I can go by myself. In fact, it’s ONE of the chores I really share with my husband and thankfully he ends up doing most of it! (Isn’t he great?!) However, something that can add a level of stress really quickly is not knowing what to make for dinner or waking up to a hungry family with no plan or few ingredients. A quick idea of planned meals (for us a simple list on the fridge helps everyone have better attitudes about what’s for breakfast or dinner as strangely enough, we can just refer the kids to the list and they’ll accept it!)
Since I can easily be the mom who gets everyone else’s meal ready but can forget to feed herself, the key for me is to prepare MY breakfast ahead of time. Waking up and not having to make lots of decisions right off the bat or spend extra time preparing a meal, is a step in the right direction when it comes to beating the morning rush. It’s one less thing to do or think about, leaving more time and headspace for what really needs to happen.
I know that overnight oats are simple (I’ve made them myself before too!) and totally trending right now, but sometimes, I just haven’t even found the time at night to prep it for myself… especially during these summer months when we’re all falling into bed sun-kissed and spent as the moon rises with the blanket of night. This is where Quaker seized the trend by developing an all-in-one overnight oat cup that’s such a convenient and hassle-free way to have breakfast ready when I wake up. Quaker has been an oats expert for 140 years, and in June they launched Quaker Overnight Oats, which has made it SO easy for me to still fuel up in the morning. Each single-serve container is chocked full of flavor and goodness, with 100% whole grain oats (+other grains) and at least 11g of Protein when prepared with ½ cup of Vitamin A and Vitamin D fortified skim milk. It’s a good source of dietary fiber (10 grams of fat or less per container), plus there are no artificial flavors and no added colors. At 300 calories or less per container (need to add disclaimer here), it’s an easy breakfast choice for me in so many ways.
Another way to prepare ahead of time is planning out your outfits the night before. This was something my mom always encouraged me to do when I was in school, and it definitely helps calm the morning as it’s now carried over to me and my own kids!
Think Ahead. – As you’re getting ready for bed in the evening, think about the day ahead. What do you need to accomplish to make it a success? Make a tentative/loose plan on how you see your day playing out. Think of it like a sports game, you’re planning the play out, thinking of multiple scenarios that could arise, allowing yourself to troubleshoot said scenarios and feel more confident in your skills.
Unplug! – For some reason this has been the toughest habit! But for me, unplugging at least an hour before bed is the key to rest for me. Now by unplug, I mean avoiding texts, emails and in general, work. I do love a good read though and that relaxes me, so sometimes, my reader goes of Wifi (to limit distractions) and I’ll get lost in my most current read. Good sleep is a major factor in how my morning is going to look, and turning off all devices allows for time to unwind and settle before my head hits the pillow. Journaling or list writing can really help with the unwinding/unplugging process too, sometimes putting it all down on paper gives perspective to a situation or release from the worry of it.
See the Good. – End your day with acknowledging something good in your life, you can begin the day this way too. I find that reminding ourselves daily of the good things can immediately lift the reigns of disappointment or exhaustion from our shoulders.
I’m sure we’re all in different seasons and stages of life, your mornings may not feel as hectic without four littles running around, and I’d love to hear how you start off your morning! What small ways do you calm the morning chaos in your house or what goals you are setting to improve your everyday life? Do share!
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