5 Ways to Reduce Stress in the Mornings
Before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, getting everyone out of the house each morning was the most stress-inducing part of my day.
The worry over running late or falling behind schedule was sucking the fun out of every interaction with my kids during this time. I was snappy and high-strung. And the thing was, whether we had a smooth morning or a shouty one, we left at the same time.
It was a big moment for me when I realized that the feeling of being rushed was something I had created for myself. So I decided to step back and look at our morning routine with fresh eyes.
A mindset shift and deciding to practice living unrushed were a huge help. But making tangible changes in our habits was also important.
Here are 5 things we do to make a busy time flow a little easier:
1- Set yourself up for success the night before
Take 10 minutes to double-check that bags are packed, clothes are laid out and if you have kids, talk them through the morning routine each night before they go to bed.
Decide on a target bedtime and use an alarm to remind you to start winding down about 30 minutes beforehand.
2- Be consistent
Do things in the same order, at the same time every day.
Consider using reminders to help keep the pace. For example, create a morning playlist so that certain songs act as signals for different stages of your routine.
Young children may benefit from a picture chart depicting the flow of events, or stickers on the clock that help them visualize what tasks they should be doing as time progresses.
3- Simplify breakfast
Reduce options to just two or three variables that are quick, filling, and most importantly, something you are happy to eat.
Keeping the menu simple saves you a decision each morning and makes grocery shopping easier, too.
I find that when my kids know what to expect, there is less debate, which also contributes to a smoother morning for everyone.
4- Leave 10-15 minutes earlier than you have to
When your routine leaves no margin for error, the likelihood of a stressful morning goes way up. It’s inevitable that some mornings you will need to change your shirt at the last minute or run back inside for a forgotten item, so give yourself an ‘oops’ time cushion.
This little bit of expectation management can yield dividends on the mornings that you get out of the house smoothly – even better than starting the day on time, you’re ahead of schedule!
5- Find a way to build in some fun
Do something in the morning that gives you energy.
Rather than creating a system of survival, where you move from one must-do to the next, think of it as an opportunity to set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Even if it is something that takes only a few minutes, prioritize that time and design your routine around it.
This might mean carving out time for journaling, exercising, or sitting down for coffee with your partner. Maybe it’s a family dance party before breakfast or a secret handshake you do with each of your kids before going your separate ways.
Whatever you choose, I hope it’s the kind of thing that makes you smile.
If you’d like a step-by-step process to reduce stress in your morning routine, grab the free workbook below. Would you prefer to work on it together? Let’s schedule a free strategy call to get things started.