No matter how busy your life gets, you still have a routine you can anticipate every day. It might mean you wake up at the same time during the night to feed your newborn or drop your kids off precisely 30 minutes before school starts. Your family operates on a schedule, so it’s easy to feel like you can’t change what you do in the morning.
Even if you have a system that works for you, there are always ways to improve. Most people could use a little help to make their days smoother, which you can do by changing what you do after you wake up.
Keep reading to discover how to create a healthy morning routine without throwing your current one entirely off-balance. With gradual, minor adjustments, you’ll improve your everyday life and start each day with positivity and renewed energy.
1. Reflect on Previous Routines
From the moment you brought your first child home, your life became all about taking care of them. You woke up to hold them in the middle of the night and restructured your entire life around their needs. It’s what a good parent does, but it also means you might have forgotten what you needed too.
Before you get a new regimen, you should know what you enjoy doing. Reflect on what you used to do before you had kids. Did you enjoy sipping coffee at sunrise or making fresh muffins before work? Rediscover your previous loves to think about what your day could look like now.
2. Spend Five Minutes Journaling
Another way to reconnect with yourself is to spend five minutes journaling after you get out of bed. Write down your stream of consciousness to see your thoughts in front of you. You’ll learn about what’s the first thing on your mind and how you can address your needs.
Studies have proven that journaling improves your mood and mental health because it encourages you to recognize negativity and replace it with positive thoughts. It’s a simple, quick way to learn about who you are apart from your kids, enabling you to start your morning with self-care. A lack of self-care leads to burnout, which is easily avoidable with the right tips.
3. Enjoy More Exercise
Chasing kids around all day counts as a form of exercise, but you can always find a few minutes to get moving in more challenging ways. Turn on a yoga video in your living room while your children nap or push them in a stroller while you jog. You can exercise early or late in the morning, so it’s a flexible adjustment to your current schedule.
4. Try New Breakfast Recipes
Eating the same thing every day might be comforting at first, but it’s better for your health if you include variations in your diet. Think about what your kids love to eat and try new breakfast recipes that won’t cause you to restructure your entire morning around cooking. Replace sugary cereals with healthy foods, and you’ll feel the difference before you’ve cleared your plate.
5. Prioritize Your Organization
If your day feels out of control before it’s even started, it might be time to prioritize your daily organization and come up with a new schedule. Every night, plan out what you’ll do the next day. Structure your to-do list by each hour of your day or by sections, depending on the errands and job responsibilities you need to handle. It’ll help to know what’s coming up next, which saves you time.
6. Remember to Hydrate
When you want to improve your schedule without adding anything time-intensive, just drink an extra glass of water. After you hydrate, the water will make you feel more alert and awake, improving how you feel. Skip the energy drinks and encourage your family to sip water with you so everyone can benefit.
7. Avoid Hitting Snooze
You might feel like you can’t have an early-day routine because there’s no time, but is that because you love hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock? Tomorrow morning, hide it on a dresser or shelf away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. You’ll get your blood flowing and feel less tempted to slide back under the covers.
8. Forget the Electronics
Electronics make it easy to forget to hang out with your family. You might browse the news on your phone in the morning while your kids watch cartoons. Try to put down the devices sometimes to incorporate more family moments into your daily regimen. Your kids will love the extra attention and bonding opportunities, especially if you eat with them or sing along to their favorite songs on the way to school.
Do What’s Right for You
You may admire a blogger or Instagram star for their daybreak routine, but you should find what works for you. Try out some of these tips to make your mornings healthier for everyone. Experiment with new recipes, spend time with your kids or organize your schedule so you can find more free hours. You’ll learn what works best and discover a new way to enjoy the morning with your family.
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and the founder of Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @ JenniferELandis.