Have you ever read any blog posts or articles about putting together the perfect morning routine?
They always sound almost idyllic. Getting up bright and early and enjoying peace and quiet to meditate and exercise and enjoy a coffee all by yourself.
The thing is, I don’t really know how workable most of these routines are for parents. Especially parents with babies and young children.
I do think though that there are definitely a few do-able things that us busy parents could work into our mornings to set ourselves up for having a great day.
1. Let the light in
This might not be possible in the depths of winter when you’re up for the day at 6. But in the summer months try and get those curtains open as soon as you can after waking up to let the natural light in.
It helps reset your body clock and feel more with it and ready for the day .
2. Allow more time than you think you need
Mornings can be so stressful with so many things to remember and so many pairs of feet to get into shoes and out the door.
So don’t add to your stress by not giving yourself enough time for everything.
The best approach is to know how long something should take to do, then add on a buffer of extra time in case of any issues like lost shoes or heavy traffic on the school run.
3. Plan something nice for someone else
This might not be an every-single-day thing, but now and then spend a few minutes in the morning thinking of something nice you could do for someone else later on in the day.
It might be planning on taking a little treat for the children to have as a snack on the way home from school. It might be offering to take some work from a colleague who you know has been overwhelmed recently.
Doing nice things for other people has been shown over and over again to give us, as well as them, a boost in happiness.
4. Drink some water
Even if you were up half the night with the baby, have a glass of water before putting the kettle on for a coffee
It’ll re-hydrate you and help you feel more awake and alert. If you’re feeling fancy you can put some lemon in it, but really plain old water will do just fine.
5. Play some music that makes you smile
Instead of listening to the news on the radio or hearing the theme tune from Paw Patrol on the TV for the millionth time put together a play list of upbeat music that makes you feel happy.
It’ll put you in a good mood for the day and might even get your children moving a bit faster if the songs are uptempo!
6. Check your calendar
And your to-do list.
Make sure you know what’s going on today and if anyone needs anything in particular for school or work. If you want to feel really organised then put a white board near your front door and each night write on it what you need before you leave the house the next day. So each morning you can check you have everything before you head out.
7. Make your bed
It takes seconds but will make your bedroom feel so much tidier. Making the bed has also been found to make people feel more in control and even happier for the rest of the day because they feel like they’ve already completed a job nice and early in the day.
8. Hug your family
No matter how frantic things are in the mornings.
Take the time to give everyone in the family a hug. You’ll all get a lovely boost of oxytocin which makes you feel more relaxed, more empathetic and more bonded to the person you’re hugging. I’m not saying it’ll mean you won’t still get frustrated when your children take an age to get their shoes on, but it will hopefully balance things out a bit more. And if you leave the hug till last then you’ll end the morning on a lovely positive note to carry into the rest of your day.
Which of these things do you already do in the mornings? Which do you think would have the biggest impact on the rest of your day?