3 STEPS TO CUTTING OUT MORNING STRESS WITH A ROUTINE

Apr 29, 2016 · 3 minute read

By: Colleen Valles

Let’s face it. Getting up in the morning is hard.

Especially if you’ve got to go to a job that doesn’t really speak to your soul, somedays it can be difficult to figure out why you should get out of bed at all.

Once you expend all that willpower actually rising, you still have to figure out what to wear, make breakfast, pack lunch. If you have kids, all that work gets multiplied. Before you even leave for your 9 hours of soul-sucking hell, you’ve already put in a full day of decision-making and work. (Yes, I said 9 hours. Who works 9-5 with an hour lunch?)

You can make it easier on yourself, with a little practice. All it takes is a routine.

I know, all you creative people out there are thinking “Routine?! Routines are what boring people have.”

Maybe that’s true. I don’t know many boring people. But creative people can benefit from routines because they save your brain power for what really matters.

You probably have some sort of a routine going already. Maybe you hit snooze three times every day before you get up. Or maybe you start by drinking a big glass of water. Routines don’t have to be elaborate. They can be as simple as “Get up, brush teeth, get dressed, leave.” I, however, recommend you eat breakfast.

When setting your routine, follow a few guidelines to make sure you land on one that works for you:

Start the night before.

Your whole morning doesn’t have to be filled with work and preparation. Save yourself some time by starting the night before. Lay out your clothes for the next day. When making dinner, make the kids’ sandwiches for lunch the next day. Set aside some leftovers for your lunch, so you can just grab and go. Work these things into your nightly duties, and your mornings can be more streamlined.

Include everything you need to get done.

Spend a couple of mornings figuring out what you do each day after getting up. Do you have some kind of routine already in place that you can build on?

If not, get a feel for all the tasks you do before heading off to work. If you’re always late, try timing the tasks to see how long they actually take. We often underestimate the length of time it takes to do something. Once you know, you can plan your rising time accordingly, or cut out any unnecessary tasks.

Also note what you’d like to do that you don’t have time for. Exercise? Meditation? Adding an important activity to a routine can help you develop a good habit because it becomes a consistent part of your day. That makes it easier to accomplish your goals without the effort of trying to squeeze things in sporadically if your morning schedule fits it.

Take notes so you don’t forget stuff in your morning fog.

Do things in an order that makes sense for you.

Once you’ve got an idea of the things you want to do, need to do and don’t need to do, figure out what order makes the most sense for you. Maybe it makes sense for you to get lunches made last and hand them out as the kids leave for school. Maybe you do them first and then you can take a nice, leisurely shower (under 5 minutes if you’re in California. Conserve water!) Follow the order that works best for you.

Now that you’ve got your routine all set, you’re not done. It’ll probably need a few tweaks before you really start reaping the benefits, so be patient. After a while, though, you’ll find yourself almost on auto-pilot for a lot of it.

A routine helps your brain be fresh and ready to focus on the important things, the things you love to do that bring value and beauty to the world. You may also find your 8-5 job isn’t quite as awful as it normally seems. Maybe.

What do you do to enjoy a nice, chaos-free morning?

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Colleen Valles
I'm Colleen, a writer, mother, knitter, pet mama and tiny house enthusiast who truly believes that everybody should slow down and simplify to make room for the things that are most important in their lives. I'm on a journey to do just that, to be able to spend more time with family and friends, riding my bike and working in the garden. Sign up to get awesome content right in your inbox, or follow me on social media.