This post was written by Daniel Sherwin, a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, he aims to provide other parents with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.
The holidays can be magical, but that wonder can come with a lot of chaos. One way to bring a little stability to this festive period, and let your family enjoy it without stress, is by establishing a balanced morning routine. Here's where you can start.
But First, Declutter
There's no getting around the fact that clutter can make our mornings more stressful than they need to be. Closets, for instance, can be filled to the rafters with clothes unlikely to be worn again, or leftovers from the holidays. Let go of any clothing you have not worn for at least a year. Clear up more space by putting away those aforementioned seasonals into storage. You may want to add structure to avoid clutter in the future by adding in rods and shelving to increase storage.Organizing your home will take more than getting rid of things. Go through your house and give everything its own place. Convert drawers into designated storage, invest in a makeup organizer, assign areas for essentials like your keys, and reorder your pantry so that breakfast does not become a hassle. Little things can add up to reduce morning stress.
Prepare the Night Before
A good morning routine can be founded with some nightly preparation. Our mornings are full of responsibilities, and they can increase during the holidays. Streamline your day by setting out clothes the night before, especially for your little ones. You could even make breakfast in advance, as plenty of nutritious foods can be prepped ahead of time.
Mornings can also be a great way to help you set the tone for the rest of your day. Each night, think of something unappealing that you could get out of the way the following morning. Dealing with something you were not looking forward to can not only help eliminate stress, but it will allow you to enjoy the rest of your day. You could even encourage your loved ones to adopt the practice, helping the whole family to simply savor the festive season itself.
Create a Schedule
Even during the holidays, there's still plenty of chores to be done. This can be overwhelming, particularly if your attention is pulled in multiple directions. You could make your mornings more organized by having everyone follow a schedule to get various things done at the start of the day. These could be very simple tasks, such as showering or doing some laundry. It's a good idea to get such things done in the morning, rather than put chores off for later in the day. Break tasks down into base components. Does a room need to be cleaned because family members are dropping by in the afternoon? Assign everyone their own specific duty to make things less daunting. You could even make the morning process less disagreeable to your little ones by putting on music and getting the kids to come up with their own playlists.
Building a strong morning routine takes patience, but by making habits a reflex, you could make it as instinctual as getting a glass of eggnog. Start by making your bed the moment you get out of it, and open the curtains to let light in. It helps to give your morning momentum by giving you tasks to quickly complete. Add some rituals, too. After making your bed, you could recite some positive affirmations to motivate you to take on the rest of the day — or at the least put any responsibilities into a more forgiving context. You could also perform minor exercises at your bedside or take a moment to pause and meditate. Encourage your loved ones to adopt similar habits. They may be facing their own stresses instead of enjoying the holidays.
This is a joyous time of year. It should not be overwhelming, and a morning routine may bring peace of mind to everyone in your family. Help make your loved ones the focus of this holiday season, not stress, by creating a fun morning routine.