Some mornings, I feel like I’ve run a marathon by 9 am. The amount of juggling involved in just a couple of hours can leave any parent exhausted before getting started with the day!
Although I’m homeschooling two out of the four kids in the house, the other two still need to get out of the house and have food to eat before I can begin setting up schooling.
A few days ago, I told you about my little morning ritual that is helping me gather myself each morning and be more mindful. I am committed to letting go of the stress-triggered worry that often fills my mind. To help me reset my mind and habits this month, I’ve partnered with Aetna to participate in their #Mindful30 program.
If you have kids, you know how important having a morning routine can be. But sometimes, no matter how repetitive our morning ritual is, something that throws it off gets us back to that “rushed” state of mind. Whether you work inside the home or outside the home, we can all agree that we all could use a little help to make mornings less hectic.
Today’s Mindful tip:
Instead of rushing around multitasking in the morning, see if you can slow down and do one thing at a time. Whatever you’re doing, see if you can be as present as possible. Whether it’s drinking a cup of coffee, stretching your body, packing a lunch, or driving the car. Simply set up one thing you want to accomplish today. You’ll feel more focused; you’ll feel energized — and you’ll meet the demands of your day with more ease.
I have to admit that I’m terrible at doing one thing at a time. My assistant in the office joked a few minutes ago that I am incapable of working on one project at once, let alone at home. So clearly, this is something I need to work on.
In the last couple of days, I’ve taken a closer look at the things that bring the most stress into my mornings and the thing that they have in common is that I can control all of them.
I’m often rushed because while the coffee is brewing, I check Instagram and spend a few too many minutes on it. Or, instead of getting all the breakfast items ready at once, I make breakfast for one child and grab his or her clothes. Instead, what I should do, is finish breakfast for everyone and then get all the kids ready at once.
In the end, it leaves me with less time to get myself ready for the day and then I’m rushing to get everyone in the car to take the little one to daycare and start the day with the other two. Laura-in-a-hurry is never a good thing in the morning.
The way I’ve implemented this simple tip this past week is to do one thing at a time, and whenever I can, do it ahead of time.
My rule of thumb is that everything that does not have to be done in the morning (like making coffee!) should be done the night before. Prep clothes at the foot of the bed, pack backpacks and office bags, and even prep breakfast ahead of time.
And lunches? Office and school lunches get prepped the night before when the kitchen already looks like a tornado swept by. One of the things I’m often asked is that if I pack lunches for my homeschooled kids, and the answer is yes. A lot of time is wasted prepping lunch and cleaning up during the day. If I can avoid cleaning up one more time, that’s how we do it.
And now, instead of getting other things ready my kids have begun to get dressed first as well. Since their clothes are on the bed, they can get themselves dressed, teeth, potty, and hair brushed, (or I help when needed) but by the time they get out of their room they could walk out the door.
The bonus, I’m doing this too! And I’ve found that by focusing on one thing at a time I am more prepared to focus on the day without distractions. I’m feeling better about the start of my morning and I’m getting more done. Most importantly, my attitude is better, and that makes me a much happier and better mom.
This post was sponsored by Aetna, who believes health is about the body and the mind. Stress can affect emotional and physical health, and reducing stress can boost wellbeing. As part of their #Mindful30 challenge, the views and opinions expressed in my posts on the topic of mindfulness are my own, not Aetna’s. To learn more about mindfulness, visit aetnamindfulness.com.