How would you describe your mornings?
I used to describe ours as 0-100 mph in 5 seconds flat. No kidding, it was (and occasionally still is) insanity. I, for one, don’t care much for insanity, I do not like to be in a hurry, and I especially do not like to rush my children, it makes them irritable and sets a rushed tone for the day. Perhaps this is why we homeschool, and perhaps this is why my partner and I both work from home. I think we have structured our lives to reduce the morning rush because no one in the family thrives that way. However, every family is different and working from home and homeschooling isn’t an option for every parent. But perhaps we should take a look at the following question:
Is a chaotic morning routine bad for your health?
If you take into consideration the rapid increase in blood pressure, the direct external input, the possibility of not getting a healthy meal before starting your day, then yes, I would say a chaotic morning routine may be harmful to your long-term health.
Let’s set the stage; You wake up to the beautiful chaos you call life. Within seconds of a seemingly peaceful morning, the kids are pulling at your blankets, wanting snacks, and asking for things that you can’t even comprehend yet, all while the dog is yapping at the door to go outside. As you rub your eyes and try to gather your wits and courage to plant your feet on the floor and get to it, you are thinking “why does it all have to happen so fast?” Life, in general, happens fast. Kids grow up so quickly, life changes in the blink of an eye and we are left wishing we had the ability to slow down time. Well, I for one have no clue how to slow down time. If I could, I would. I can, however, give you some strategies and rituals to implement first thing in the morning to help take you from 0-100 mph in 5 seconds to a steadier and slower morning routine. A routine that will leave you feeling empowered, grounded, energized, excited, healthy and happy to have a whole day of beautiful chaos ahead of you!
As with anything, you are going to have to commit to this. You are going to have to be consistent and want this relaxed and healthy start for you and your family.
First and foremost, evaluate your sleep. Why is sleep important? Sleep is a necessity for our bodies ability to function optimally. You may think that your body lay dormant while you are in dreamland but this is far from the truth. Your body is hopefully busy repairing itself. According to The National Sleep Foundation our bodies repair muscles, consolidate memories and release hormones that aid in growth and appetite while we sleep. A night of uninterrupted sleep will result in our bodies feeling rejuvenated, healthy and more capable of handling stress the next day.
So sleep, sleep, sleep, for heaven’s sake sleep!
The second thing you will want to do is wake up 30-60 minutes earlier than your children. I know, I know, I just said sleep, but you are going to have to figure out that routine based on what works best for your family. I put the kids to sleep, spend 1 hour doing whatever I have the energy to do and then it’s phone on airplane mode, deep breathing and I am out like a light until my nursing toddler wakes for his next “milkies.”
I say above that you will want to do this whole early wake-up thing, because, trust me, after a morning or two of following this routine you will be addicted to your new found Me time.
So yes, set that alarm for 30-60 minutes ahead of your family’s typical wake-up time. For me, that is 6 am. If I can get up and out of bed by 6 am I am amazed by how much easier, it makes my mornings. I understand this may not always be realistic so make this a habit for the days that it is and don’t put pressure on yourself those other days. We are realistic here, after all!
Morning rituals (aka routines) are known to be an excellent way to start your day. In fact, the most successful people, especially parents have a morning ritual in which they wake up before their kids. Before I get to the specifics, I want to tell you why this is important. Giving your brain and body time to wake up before having external input is crucial. If you wake up and go to that 100mph right away you are not getting the time to reset your mood from sleepy to alert, stretch your body, wake up your brain and therefore you will meet your kids with a less than enthusiastic attitude. Kids, look to adults to set the tone for the day. Whether kiddos know they are doing it or not; they need the adults they love to lead the way. Enthusiasm is what stands out the most to them. They see it as happiness, excitement, love and joy. They will, in turn, reflect these emotions. We are a mirror of each other. Especially those with whom we share a home. So here are some steps you can take to wake up, reset if not already reset from a good night’s sleep (wishful thinking), energize and nurture your body and set your intention for the day ahead.
1. Get out of bed! It may sound simple, but most of us know that this is the hardest part! If I do this slowly, then I am more inclined to hit the snooze button on my alarm. So what gets me out of bed? Well, lately it has been the beeping of the coffee maker telling me the delicious goodness is brewing! I make prepping the coffee and setting the brew alarm part of my before bed routine. I also add 1tsp of turmeric and ½ teaspoon cinnamon with a sprinkle of cardamom to my morning drink for the extra health benefits, and it tastes incredible! If you use a French press (my favorite) you can do this same thing, just with no timer and if you are a non-coffee person then have your morning smoothie, juice or tea prepped before bed so that the task is easy in the morning. Also, you can brew those loose herbs in a coffee maker just like you make coffee.
2. Once you are out of bed and you have your favorite morning “Pick-me-up” in the works get yourself the following items:
Your favorite mug- A mug that brings you joy, warms your heart and makes you smile!
- 1/2 Of an Organic Lemon
- 4oz warm water
- 1 tablespoon local raw honey (or your favorite non-sugar sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne (based on your heat tolerance, I can’t tolerate a lot of cayenne, so I use a tiny pinch)
- You will also need a white candle and a lighter or matches. I suggest beeswax candles due to their vast benefits! (cream or yellow in color is ok too)
3. Mix all the above ingredients (to taste) in your favorite mug. Set an intention and say a prayer for the day either aloud or in your head.
My favorite one is the Metta Prayer of Loving Kindness:
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
– Metta Prayer
Light the white candle as you say the prayer. Consider this your tribute to the greater good of humanity, earth, yourself and your children and all children everywhere. We walk together, and we are all intricately connected. By doing this, you are connecting to the divine light. Your divine light may be the universal energy, it may be God, it may be your guides and angels. Whatever, whomever and wherever it is, consider yourself connected.
4. After lighting the candle, sit near it and drink the infusion you have just created. Take this time to do whatever it is that will bring you peace and joy. I will usually read emails, check Facebook and Instagram, schedule my social media posts for the day, and write out my “to do’s” I then carefully pick through the news headlines, I enjoy Skimm for their sense of humor and breakdown of the headline news. Some mornings I skip my worldly obligations and just watch birds from the back porch and take in all the beauty nature has to offer. This is YOUR time; You can do whatever you want. It is magical, and YOU deserve it. Modify this step for your enjoyment, and have fun with it! By doing so, you will be setting the intention for the day to coincide with how you are feeling in these moments.
5. I often will incorporate some stretches during this time. I am not a huge structured fitness fanatic, and I do more intuitive flow exercises. Whatever feels right at the time, I do it. No pressure, just make it feel right.
6. One by one my kids will begin to trickle out of our bedroom in which we sleep in our family bed. I receive them each with open arms, a smile, a warm heart, courage, strength and unconditional love. Asking them how they slept and what dreams they remember. Of course, some mornings it isn’t quite a trickle but more so resembling a flash flood of wild hyenas or hungry squirrels and this is when you will use your new found strength and clarity to adapt to the situation. With gratitude for my 60 minutes of alone time, I put on my mom hat and giddy up to join the circus!
From here on out it is somewhat a ping pong game of children, work, housework, and play. However, I had my 60 minutes of health, rest, peace, quiet and intention or meditation. I listened to the bird’s chirp, I replied to those important messages, and I even caught up with my best friends social media posts. I am ready for today, whatever it may bring. Now go and enjoy that “Pick me up!” whatever it maybe I hope it brings you joy and nurtures your soul.
YOU ARE WORTHY OF 60 MINUTES
YOUR KIDS ARE WORTHY OF YOUR 60 MINUTES
THE WORLD IS WORTHY OF YOUR 60 MINUTES
NOW GO THRIVE, and take your kiddos with you!
Endless love and gratitude,