A Routine for Your Mornings

Hello Readers!  I want to take a quick moment to fill you in on my grandmother’s surgery.  She is due for her followup today after her mastectomy this past Monday and we are praying for news that more treatment won’t be necessary.  While I have no doubts that she would be fine, she is past eighty and treatments are harder for the elderly than for us young Spring chickens.  I will keep you all up to date with the news as I receive it.  Now, back to our routines.  Well, I hope by now that you have all managed to get back into your old routine after the holidays.  I know I sure have!  I’m back in the routine of my daily cleaning tasks, my weekly cleaning, my to-do list, my blog writing, and the projects I have for the year.  Even though I’m back on my old routine, my morning routine has been slipping somewhat.

Now, maybe you’re like me and you have just struggled to get back into your morning routine.  Or, you may be the type of person whose morning routine is hectic and crazy and you’ve never nailed one down.  It may seem impossible, but you can get into a good morning routine quite easily.  And, since this is my new focus for this month, let’s talk about some good tasks to have in your morning routine.

1.  Make the beds.  Okay, I’m sure you have probably heard this a million times, but starting your day off by making the bed is a great way to motivate you to continue with good habits.  Why is this?  Making your bed each morning does a few things for you.  To start, it’s a subliminal message to your mind and body that it’s time to get moving.  By seeing your made bed and making it, you’re ten times less likely to climb back into your bed.  Second, it is a great way to boost your mood and continue cleaning.  Once you make your bed, you will instantly see a cleaner room or you may start to see what else is out of place against your made bed (which is what I do).  It sends this message to your brain to see what else needs to be cleaned up and it gets you going.  And finally, a made bed will mean better sleep at night and more comfort at night.  I don’t know about any of you but sleeping in a made bed is much easier than an unmade one.  And I feel like I wake up more refreshed!  So always start your day by making the bed.

2.  Get dressed and ready.  This may sound like an oxymoron, but this step in a morning routine can be difficult for a stay at home mom like myself.  Remember hearing about my pre-Capsule Wardrobe mornings?  Yeah, it isn’t always easy to feel motivated enough to get dressed each day, especially when you have nowhere to go and no one to see.  That’s why getting dressed is actually important to having a more productive day.  When you get dressed and comb your hair, you feel more alive and refreshed.  And that, in turn, leads to a more productive you.  Fun story about this:  During my pre-Capsule days, I would often spend all day in my pajamas, and I often felt lousy.  I felt dirty, and lazy, and low.  And I can remember my mother in law coming to visit one day when both myself and our son Sean were in our pajamas at two in the afternoon.  I was so embarrassed!  And I instantly started getting dressed each morning in case my in-laws or anyone else came for a visit.  And I suddenly started to feel better about myself.  And I was more productive.  And my morning routine suddenly changed from being a wish to being a big part of my life.  So, even if you aren’t feeling it, get dressed each day.

3.  Take care of the dishes and trash.  Okay, I have a confession.  I hate doing dishes!  Even loading them into the dishwasher is a pain for me.  I feel gross after doing dishes, and I hate dishrags in the sink.  They seem to get smelly after awhile, and it always turns my stomach.  However, I do empty the dishwasher every morning so it’s ready to load dishes into it throughout the day.  And I try to remind my husband Ryan to take the trash out each morning when he leaves for work.  Starting my day with a ready dishwasher and an empty trash can has an immediate affect on my mood.  I feel like my kitchen is ten times cleaner with those tasks done, and I tend to keep my kitchen cleaner throughout the day as a result.  So, even though I hate our current kitchen, I tend to feel better about it when the dishwasher is empty and the trash can has a new liner in it.  I highly recommend doing at least these two chores each morning.

4.  Eat a sensible breakfast.  You may have heard the famous saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is actually not a scientifically proven fact.  It was a tag line created about eighty years ago by stockyards and ham companies as a means of selling bacon to the general public in the United States.  Hence why we love bacon and why it’s always associated with breakfast.  However, breakfast is still an important time of the day, and eating a sensible meal is important.  Most of the time, your body has not received any nutrients from food in ten to twelve hours, and it needs fuel to create energy.  Thus, a sensible meal of 200 to 400 calories is a great way to kick off the day.  It should be balanced and low in fats.  Personally, I love a small bowl of homemade granola with low fat milk and a cup of fresh strawberries, or a hard-boiled egg, one half of a large banana, and a piece of whole grain toast and peanut butter.  Whatever you choose to do, try to maintain a low caloric intake first thing in the morning.  If you do go to a restaurant for breakfast, try to make healthy choices with your food.  I personally like to get a veggie omelet with whole wheat toast and a bowl of fresh fruit instead of potatoes or hash browns.  Most of the time I don’t eat the toast, but I get it for a little extra fiber.  But wherever I am, I try to eat a sensible breakfast to keep my energy up without consuming too many calories.

5.  Have a plan.  This is something I try to do every night before bed, but I will sometimes do it first thing in the morning while I have my breakfast.  I make a plan for the day.  Each day comes with a list of items to do.  Besides cleaning and laundry, I typically include working out, blogging, researching, and projects.  And I also have my baby duties for Sean: getting him dressed, feeding him healthy meals throughout the day, reading to him, snuggle time for at least five minutes each day, and a bath if needed.  Even if I don’t get everything on my to do list done, I try to get at least half of the duties done and I always make sure my important tasks are completed each day.  If I can get half of my to do list done, then I don’t feel so bad when I take a break and forget to return to the rest of my to do list that day.  But not having a list makes me lazy and unproductive.  On days when I don’t have a list, I’m liable to spend all day on social media sites or virtual window shopping for my dream Capsule Wardrobe.  And I’m sure I’m not alone.  While I do feel that we moms and parents should have a lazy day here and there, I do believe it’s important to plan for the day most days and try to get as many tasks done as possible.  Being productive can actually lift your mood, especially if you’re a SAHM.  I know that I sometimes feel like my life is without purpose since I don’t contribute financially to our household.  But when I tackle the to-do list, I feel like I am contributing in my own way.  And that’s why it’s important to keep a to-do list and have a plan for every day.

So these are five tasks that should be a vital part of your morning routine.  If you only get these five things done before noon, then at least you have a morning routine in place.  Now, some people would argue that there are more tasks that we should do in the mornings, but I say that these five are all tasks we can all do every morning.  And, as for others, my days tend to fluctuate based on the events and our moods.  Some days, we like to spend the day just relaxing at home, and some days are crazy filled from sun up to sun down.  But, if I get these five tasks done each morning, then I know I am destined to have a good day.

Until next time,

-BBM

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