How many times have you heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm?” Society seems to reward people who are early birds. In fact, I have read that people who are early risers are perceived by others to be smarter and more productive than their night owl counterparts. There are countless articles and books that tout the importance of the morning ritual.
I’m not a morning person – never have been and never will be. I love to sleep and I LOVE to sleep in. If I had to pick one thing, I’d say for me the hardest part of being a parent is the lack of sleep. I can tolerate the crying, the diaper blow-outs, the whining, the tantrums (barely), but the lack of sleep is HARD. Unfortunately, being a night owl mom of two early bird kids does not bode well for me. I have tried going to sleep early, only to find myself lying in bed, frustrated and annoyed that I was not falling asleep. I have tried to wake up early, but when the alarm goes off, I have the most awful feeling of grogginess and fatigue. As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, I never had to drink coffee until I became a mom.
So I have decided to not fight my natural night owl tendencies. I stopped caring about being the early bird that gets the worm – I don’t like worms anyway. Every night after the dishes are washed, toys are put away, lunches are packed, I relish the little extra bit of time to just relax and decompress. I read, I write, I binge watch Fixer Upper or live vicariously through other people’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Although I feel guilty that I should be sleeping instead of “wasting my time,” I just need a little bit of me time to feel like my old self again. Does anyone else feels this way?
So how does a morning zombie function in a society driven by early birds? I have found that doing a few simple things – an abbreviated morning ritual of sorts – help me to feel more centered and ready to face the day.
Simple morning ritual: 7 steps to a happy and productive day
1. Avoid snoozing the alarm clock
I’m guilty of this one. How many times have you set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you need to get up, only to snooze through that time? I have learned to just set the evil device to the actual time I have to get up to get an additional 30 minutes of uninterrupted sleep.
2. Breath deeply
While still in bed, breath in and out deeply five times before getting up and out of bed.
Even if it’s just for one minute, stretch your body out and get the blood circulating.
4. Good thoughts
While stretching, you can spend one minute thinking about things that you are thankful for. Alternatively, you can think about your intentions for the day. It can be as simple as:
-reminding yourself to breath deeply during stressful situations at work or home
-aim to have fun with the kids – you can always clean up after they go to sleep
-be mindful and focused on the person you’re talking to or the task you have at hand
-don’t just survive the day – look for ways to thrive by trying to see the good side of things
5. Drink a tall glass of water
Chances are, your body is dehydrated after a night’s sleep. Rehydrate your body immediately by drinking a tall glass of water.
6. Create a good ambiance
Our mood is affected by the environment. Think about your favorite spa or restaurant – the lighting, music, and scents all add to the enjoyable experience. You can quickly and easily create a pleasing ambience by tapping into your senses of sight, sound, and smell. I open the shades and windows to let some natural light in. While getting ready, I put on some music. Classical is my favorite genre for the morning.
Perhaps my favorite ritual lately has been using scents to lift my mood. I bought a diffuser recently and have been using it daily. In the morning, I fill it with four drops of lemon and one drop of peppermint oil and the entire bathroom smells like a spa. After my shower, I put on a body oil and it has the most delightful lavender and orange scent. After I finish applying makeup, I use a rosewater spray to set my makeup and later to refresh myself throughout the day. Even though these products are small indulgences, they really help to enhance my morning routine.
7. Eat a healthy breakfast
I never leave the house without eating breakfast first. If I’m in a rush (which is almost always), I will grab a whole-grain English muffin with peanut butter or greek yogurt with fruit. I try to drink my tea or coffee in a teacup or mug while I’m getting ready because I think it tastes better than it does in a travel mug. I did a little research an apparently the coffee cup material does affect the taste of your drinks. See? There is a reason for my madness!
Do you have a morning ritual? Are you a morning or night person?
Happy Chic Mom, a blog for moms
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