When my kids were babies, establishing a nighttime routine was surprisingly easy. But now that they are “big” kids, that’s another story.
I have to admit that the lack of nighttime routine is often my fault. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (LauraSFuentes), you often see that at night I am prepping our meals for the next day. This often leaves my kitchen in a disarray, as if a small tornado just breezed through it.
Then, if you listen closely, you’ll hear my boys in the living room playing with legos, blocks, or race tracks. The washer and dryer are also going nearly every night since a house with six people dirty a lot of laundry.
At a first glance, you might think that I have it all under control, however, internally I’m often stressing that it’s already 8 pm and my kitchen is a wreck, toys need to be picked up, and piles of laundry need to be folded and put away. I should add, that my youngest has already asked “just ten more minutes” five times.
A few days ago, I told you about my little morning ritual and how I’m trying to create a morning routine. Both of these are 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, even in the evenings. To help me reset my mind and habits this month, I’ve partnered with Aetna to participate in their #Mindful30 program.
Studies show that doing too many things, especially when you’re feeling emotional or preoccupied with something else, decreases the brain’s ability to process what you’re doing and leads to frustration. So today, try focusing on one task at a time. Fold the laundry and just think about that. Your mind will feel less “busy”, and you’ll feel less frazzled.
I have to admit that the evenings are pretty rough. My youngest, who just turned 4 a couple of days ago, is tired by 7:45 pm and his older siblings still have another hour or two of energy left.
His tired fighting with the siblings often aggravates the situation, and in my mind, all I can think about is “I don’t have enough time in my day to get it all done.”
Lately, I’ve been trying to juggle less, even in the evenings. To actually complete one task in a shorter amount of time, I’m taking my phone to my bedroom and leaving it there; to eliminate all forms of distractions and constant social media interruption.
Before tackling the laundry and kitchen, I make sure the boys are entertained with toys for a good 30 minutes while I do one area until completion (usually first the kitchen, then laundry).
Once those are done, I move on to the living room to tidy up (with the kids) what seems like an entire toy store. After that, I put my youngest in bed.
What I love about focusing on one thing at a time, is that I am much more efficient at getting things done -especially without my phone around. And, I have more time to do the things I love, like sitting down next to my daughter while she reads me her book or talk.
Do you struggle to get it all done in the evenings? What are some tips that work best for you to eliminate the end-of-day overwhelm?
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.