How many times do you hit the snooze button before you drag your body out of bed to start your day? Are you constantly rushing through your morning routine so that you can get yourself to work on time? When was the last time you had enough time to sit down to eat breakfast, much less accomplish other tasks within that first hour you get up in the morning? A bad first hour of the day can easily lead to a no good, very bad day that you’ll want to forget. With a little planning, however, you can give yourself an opportunity to have a great first waking hour to set up a productive day filled with happiness.
Here’s how to do it:
Make sure you get enough sleep at night. When you’ve got kids, sleep is at a premium anyway as a parent. Parents often leave some time after the kids go to bed for themselves, but what if that got switched around and you took time for yourself before the kids get up for the day? If you don’t have kids, are you staying up late to stream new releases off of Netflix or going out a few nights a week? Most people need between 6 to 9 hours of sleep every night to operate at their best. Make sure you’re taking the time to get the sleep you need so you don’t have to drag through a day.
Get everything ready for the next day before you go to bed. Instead of rushing through a morning routine, take some extra time before you go to bed the night before to plan out the next morning. Select the clothes you’re going to wear and lay them out if that’s possible – with pets, that’s not always the case! Find your keys, work badge, and anything else you might need and put them together in the same spot. If you take lunch with you, have it ready to go in the refrigerator. Every little bit you accomplish the night before will give you extra time in that critical first waking hour in the morning.
Take time to meditate. Whether you take time to study the Bible, pray, meditate, or exercise, make sure you take some time to get your mind prepared for the challenges that you’ll likely face during the day. Even just 20 minutes of “you” time can help provide a good shield that will help you deflect stress, remain calm, and even help you problem-solve issues that may come your way.
Make every moment count. That first waking hour shouldn’t have any wasted time in it. From the minute you wake up, make each moment count in some way. Take some time to go take a jog or a walk around the neighborhood. Make a healthy breakfast. Listen to your favorite music. Have a cup of coffee while you check Facebook. Whatever you do to treat yourself when you’ve got extra time, do it during this first hour. The rest of your day will thank you for it later.
Being happy is a choice that we each can make. That choice is easier to make when we’ve prepared for our day in that first waking hour that we have. How could you change your morning routine to relax more?