Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rise and Shine! (How to Make Your Morning)

When you hit the ground running the moment you open your eyes in the morning, you often set the tone for a very hectic day.  

I could never start my day the way my man does!  I dont live with him 24/7 but when I do stay with him I am slightly concerned about his morning routine.  He sets his alarm to go off ten minutes before he actually needs to leave for work.  It's somewhat understandable; he only needs to brush his teeth, drag a comb through his hair, pull on a pair of jeans and he is ready to go.  He is like a mad man barking commands as he tries to assemble everything he needs for the day in a matter of moments.  He always forgets something.  He never has time for breakfast and is still half asleep and too grouchy to accept anything I offer him to take and eat on the way.  He just grabs the coffee mug from my hand, take a big gulp, and growls, "I love you" as he races out the door.

Does this sound the least bit familiar to you?

We all have morning chores we must do before we can actually start our day.  There are lunches to pack, showers to take, breakfast to prepare, pets to care for, and all sorts of last minute details.  If my mornings were anything like my man's, I would be in a bad mood every day!

There are a few ways to make your mornings less hectic!

Get a good night's sleep. 
That's right! We need at least 8 hours of sleep to feel rested and ready to face the next day.  Get to bed at a decent hour every night.  Turn off the television and go to bed.  Do you have trouble falling asleep?  Most of us  try to fall asleep right after watching the news and our minds are filled with mostly bad, unpleasant, depressing reports.  Watch the news earlier in the evening and get into bed with a good book.  Read until your eyes get heavy and you will slip into a peaceful slumber. If you can't relax, take a warm bath before bedtime, or put on some soothing music to unwind.  I fall asleep every night to soft meditative music and sleep peacefully.  If you don't get enough rest you will wake up tired and keep hitting that snooze button repeatedly for ''just another 5 minutes". Before you know it, all those extra 5 minutes have made you half an hour late!

Do as much as you can the night before.
Anything that possibly be done in advance; do it.  Pack lunches for the next day while you're preparing dinner. You will only have one mess to clean up in the end. If the kids are old enough, let them fix their own lunches.   Review assignments, sign permission slips, load up the back packs and brief cases before you retire for the night.  Set your coffee pot on automatic timer so it's ready the moment you open your eyes.  You will only need to reach into the fridge for milk and juice in the morning if you set out the cereal boxes, bowls, silverware and glasses in advance. Mix your eggs or pancake batter ahead of time and store in the refrigerator overnight.  Does your family love Sunday morning pancakes? Always prepare a double batch, cook them all, and freeze half. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave for an instant mid-week breakfast.  Leave your kitchen as neat and clean as you possibly can before you go to bed. Nothing is more frustrating or time consuming than waking up to a sink full of dishes or crumbs left behind from the night before. 

Do you really need to shower and wash your hair every day?
Unless you dig ditches for a living, how dirty do you really get in one day?  Most of us are just addicted to the morning shower routine.  A shower helps me wake up in the morning but I will often bathe at night and hop into a shower for a minute or two in the AM to perk up. My hair is long, curly and dry so unless I go the beach or participate in activities that cause me to work up a real sweat, I only wash it every other day.  On non-shampoo days, a spritz with a water bottle and a quick blast of my diffuser and I am good to go.  Dry shampoo will help freshen your hair and absorb excess oil between washings. If your hair takes too long do every morning, you might have the wrong style.  Ask your hairdresser to suggest a cut that requires less maintenance. 

I have so many clothes but nothing to wear!
Go through all of your clothes.  Donate anything you have not worn in a year.  Those old size four Levi's you wore in high school- unless they still fit you and you actually wear them- give them away!  Special outfits such as gowns, little black dresses, Halloween costumes, items with price tags that you just had to have and are saving for "right time" should be stored someplace else.  If you don't have enough space at your place, ask a friend or your parents to store them for you.  Stream-line your closets and shelves and organize your drawers so you know exactly what you have.  Keep your clothes neat, clean, pressed, and folded or hanging in your closet. Decide what you are wearing to work the evening before and make sure it is ready to go.  How many times have you put on an outfit and discovered a missing button or loose hem?  Now you  will need to repair it quickly or take time to choose and change into something different.  Invest time on Sunday evenings to plan your entire wardrobe for the week. Arrange everything in your closet according to what you will be wearing daily (skirt, jacket, and hosiery on one hanger, slacks and matching blouse on another).  If you have everything separated into outfits, you will not waste time hunting in the morning for the perfect sweater to wear with your new skirt.

A little organization, please!
Create an area near the front door to keep everything you and your family will need for the next day.  Car keys should be on hooks or in a bowl on the table in your foyer.  Gloves, hats, scarves, and umbrellas can be kept in an attractive basket.  If all those items are tossed into the basket the night before this will eliminate the last minute scramble to find that missing glove when you need it.  You can do the same with mail or paperwork that needs to come with you the next day.  Store back packs, tote bags, brief cases, gym bags, boots or the shoes you plan to wear right near the door so you can't miss them and nothing will be left behind!

Set your alarm a half hour earlier each day.
Plan to rise and shine a little earlier.  There is something about being the first one up in the morning.  The house is quiet, no one is calling you, no one needs you! How sweet it is to have thirty minutes all to yourself! You can exercise, go for a walk, sip your coffee or tea in peace, read the paper, pray, meditate, or write your "To Do" list.  This is your time and no matter how tired you feel, try and set aside time for you. You will be peaceful, centered, and ready to begin your day by the time everyone else opens their eyes.  

All it takes is a bit of organization and discipline to stream-line your morning routine.  It will set the tone for your entire day. I can't guarantee you will not have upsets, stress and disappointments, but at least you will be able to face them in a better frame of mind.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

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