How we start the morning sets the stage for how the rest of our day will go. Yet mornings can be among the most chaotic and stressful times, and it seems there’s never enough time for everything that needs to be done. There are ways to make mornings less crazy, however, and salvage some precious minutes for yourself. Here are five suggestions for getting a great start to the day:
• Start the night before. Take a few minutes before you get ready for bed to take some simple steps that will save time and stress when the alarm goes off. Lay out clothes for the next day (or, at least, figure out what you’re going to wear). Are they clean? Ironed? Ready to go? This is especially helpful when you have an important meeting or appointment, but it’s equally time-saving on casual days and weekends. No more staring blankly into the closet trying to come up with an outfit while the clock ticks.
• Plan for breakfast. If you’re a coffee drinker, set your coffee machine the night before to start brewing at a pre-set time first thing in the morning. Just as with your clothes, have an idea of what you are going to eat for breakfast. Even if it’s just cereal, set out the bowl, box and spoon so you’re ready to go and not tempted to skip this important meal
• Get up a little earlier. Easier said than done, I know. But the key is “a little” earlier. Making a resolution to get up an hour and half earlier every day is ambitious, but it probably won’t stick. But if you work in 15-minute increments, you might find you have an extra 30-45 minutes to begin the day in a matter of weeks. You can put that newfound time to good use with a quick walk, a short exercise routine, or even a few yoga stretches.
• Shorten the shower. A long hot shower may seem like a nice indulgence, but the fact of the matter is it’s not good for the environment or your skin. Set a timer if necessary so you’re not tempted to dawdle. You may well pick up an extra five minutes right there.
• Embrace gratitude. We are often so focused on the tasks ahead of us that we don’t acknowledge how lucky we are to wake up to a new day full of possibilities. Setting aside just a couple of minutes to jot down what you are grateful for today can greatly shift your attitude into a happy day of gratitude! Give your morning routine a makeover, and you may find the benefits lasting all day long.
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