Mornings: for some of us they are the best part of the day, but for others, they leave us well ... frazzled. I have never been a “morning person” myself, though I do enjoy the mornings I wake up early, move through my routine, and set myself up for a productive and stress-less day. Sound like a dream? It doesn't have to be.
Here are a handful of ways to save time and sanity in the morning (because let’s face it; we could all use that support!).
Set a routine
Whether you are flying solo or head of the household for a family of five, finding a morning routine that works for you is a way to streamline your mornings and take the stress of decision-making out of play. Your routine may be 10 minutes or two hours depending on your interest in waking up early and who else you are responsible for, but it doesn’t matter! Take some time to get clear on what you’d like to integrate into your morning so that it’s comfortable and practical.
For me, that looks like journaling, meditation, and making my morning adaptogenic elixir followed by some kind of movement a few days a week. That being said, I have the freedom of working for myself, from home, and without children. For others, it might just be a few deep breaths, a morning shower, making coffee or tea, or helping your kids get dressed and to the bus stop. Once you set a simple flow for the morning, you can move from decision-making to making things happen.
Prepare the night before
Getting ready to tackle your morning the night before can clear away a considerable amount of time and stress. This can include picking out your outfit for the next day, laying out your workout clothes, making and packing your lunch (and your kid’s lunch), prepping breakfast, putting a timer on the coffee maker, or whatever else you need to tackle your morning without extra effort. Stasher bags can come in super handy for your night-before prep: I love a simple freezer smoothie prep in a Stasher — just throw in your fruits and veggies so you can dump them into the blender in the morning. Pre-pack any snacks you want to bring to work in a Stasher, and anything else you might need in your bag like herbal supplements, tea, medications, or beauty products.
Keep pre-filled Stasher bags on hand for your daily needs
I love having dedicated Stasher bags for different things I use throughout my day and week. This may include Stasher bags prepped for getting ready after showering at the gym with your favorite hair and beauty products, the items you need for your zero waste lifestyle (like cutlery and a reusable straw!), or whatever you need to organize your work/school bag (like your chargers, pens, and more). I always have a snack bag of tea and adaptogenic-potions, so wherever I am, all I need is hot water to be a happy camper. If you have these prepped and ready at home, you can grab whatever might be relevant for that day.
Map out your week in advance
To take the stress out of figuring out what needs to get done for the day in the morning, spend 15 minutes on the weekend plotting out your week. Use a calendar to map out events, days you need to stay late at work, kids’ activities, when you will all be home for dinner, and whatever else might be going on that week. This way you can easily reference your calendar during the week to prepare for the next day, and meal plan accordingly as well. Meal prep is also useful on the weekend to alleviate the stress during a busy week!
Get clear on responsibilities
Along with setting a routine in the morning, it’s useful to get clear on responsibilities. Who walks the dog in the morning? Who makes breakfast? If you are managing a larger household, it’s useful for everyone to know exactly what they are in charge of in the mornings, so things move quickly without confusion. Refer to your weekly calendar to divvy up anything out of the ordinary!
Have a backup plan
Some mornings just don’t work out as expected— we’ve all been there when the alarm just doesn’t go off! That’s where a backup plan is useful. Keep a couple of Stasher snack bags in your pantry or fridge with some snacks (maybe from your Sunday meal prep!), or even a couple meals that you can pull out if you didn’t have time to prep the night before. And don’t stress when a morning goes off the rails— tomorrow is another opportunity to get things back on track.
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Written by Sara Weinreb