I am not a morning person. Never have been. Never will be. I’m convinced the person who invented the snooze button wasn’t a morning person either. Unfortunately, when you have a family that depends on you, there’s just no way to avoid dealing with mornings.
The one way I’ve managed to deal with mornings is to make sure I have time to start my morning slowly. If something unexpected happens that thrusts me head first into my day and I can’t warm up to it slowly, I have a hard time dealing with it.
I can’t always control how my day will go. There are sure to be countless interruptions, work to do, and plenty of noise. But I can decide how my day begins.
More Tradition Than Routine
For as long as I can remember, our days start the same. After the alarm goes off, I get up and make coffee, and my husband and I take 30 to 45 minutes to enjoy our coffee time. We enjoy the quiet and the early morning light coming in through the windows. The coffee is served piping hot so you’re forced to sip it slowly. The silence doesn’t usually last the entire time.
One by one our kids join us in bed for coffee time. One of the joys of homeschooling is having a relaxed pace to our mornings. No one is running around looking for their homework or a clean pair of pants. We start our day as a family. Two parents, three munchkins, and the recent addition of a new puppy. It’s not roomy and it’s not always peaceful, but it’s what we do.
Family coffee time goes beyond our daily routine. It’s a daily family tradition. My husband and I look forward to it and our kids love it. When we let them sleep in and they miss coffee time, they’re disappointed. If our day has to start earlier than normal for an appointment or something else out of the ordinary, we simply get up earlier instead of cutting coffee time short.
How to Start Your Morning Slowly
1) Give yourself plenty of time.
Maybe one day I’ll enjoy a life that doesn’t require an alarm or I wake up when my body tells me it’s time to get up. Until then I create a time buffer in my morning. Even if you are a morning person, creating a time buffer to ease into your day will benefit you. It gives you time to think about what’s in store for the day and gives your body a chance to warm up.
2) Create a morning tradition.
Even when I don’t drink coffee or periodically go off caffeine, I still sip something hot in the morning. It’s a good excuse to sit still and wake up a little bit at a time. Don’t like coffee? Try hot tea or even hot chocolate. I’ve had friends who start their day with a soda but that just doesn’t have the same appeal to me.
3) Protect your morning tradition.
Once you’ve figured out what works for you and your day, protect it. It may take awhile to tweak your schedule until you have the time frame figured out. Once you figure out the optimal amount of time to start your day, you can move it earlier or later while still keeping the tradition intact.
4) Prepare the night before.
Being proactive the night before will help you ease into your mornings. This is not new advice, but it’s often something I forget. Programming the coffee pot to be ready when you wake up, laying out clothes, and packing lunches the night before can all bring an element of calm to your day. No one likes feeling rushed or unprepared.
What tips do you have for starting your day? Do you like the sound of a slow start to your day?
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Article originally published on 01/16/2012