I believe that a good morning sets the tone for the day. I think most people do. I like to get up between 5 and 5:30, make a pot of coffee and simply NOT RUSH.
I like to have at least 1 hour in the morning with no one around. This is my time. “My time” is quiet. It’s peaceful. And it’s necessary. I like to stretch in the morning. I’m not a super big work-out person. But I like to stretch and I feel energized after a quiet mindful stretch.
Wasn’t always this way.
I used to have a lot of bad days, super anxious, on edge… like ready to rip off someone’s face at the drop of a dime.
Even though I was doing so much for my mental health I could not figure out why the days weren’t improving, especially my mornings. And then I realized that it was because we didn’t have time.
Common sense for some, I’m sure. But not for me.
I was on edge because I didn’t want to be late for work, like most of America, and kids do not move at record speeds when you express a need to hustle. In fact, they slow down. And then I yell. A lot. Just constant yelling. And tears. And what a shitty way to start the day for both the kids and myself. I felt bad about our mornings so I would think about them during the day. That added another layer of rumination.
Since I’m the adult, the change had to be with me. So, the first change was my wake up time. It used to be about 6:30 which gave me less than an hour to get ready, pack lunches, make breakfast, get the kids up, dressed, fed, out the door and to school ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN.
That was unreasonable… almost comical.
So, I thought I should add an hour and see what happens.
And you know what happens?
I’m happier which makes the kids happier. And happy kids are more responsive.
That hour was tough to add at first. But like anything, it gets easier over time. There was a lot of will-power involved and alarms. And for well over two weeks I was dragging ass and half asleep making my coffee.
Then I changed the company I work for and that added more flexibility. Then my husband and I switched around our shifts. He started going into work later because of the same reason I added an hour to my morning. He likes to get up and work out but he’s a night owl and he didn’t want to get up earlier so he decided to start his work day later. I know not everyone has the flexibility to change their shift. So if you can’t switch your shift then get your ass out of bed earlier.
Now our mornings are like this. I’m up somewhere between 5 and 5:30, have my time and make lunches. I get my shower and get ready at a reasonable pace. This is when my husband gets up and I wake the kids up. Waking the kids up is less jarring then it used to be. Now I wake them up with hugs and quiet good morning whispers. I used to wake them up with flipping lights on and a not so gentle “TIME TO GET UP!” They seem to prefer the new way. But I digress. They get up, get dressed and come downstairs while I’m fixing breakfast. We get a chance to chit chat and its calm. Hugs and kisses and I’m out the door. My husband gets himself ready while the kids finish packing their lunch, feed the dog, watch some ’toons or play. He takes them to school and gets into the office a pinch early. No one is rushing and everyone is more relaxed, the yelling has been eliminated.
On more than most days.
Let’s be realistic. Not EVERY day is this way. Kids wake up grumpy. I wake up grumpy. A kid vomits. You just never know. Nothing is predictable. But this change has been impactful.
I say add 15 minutes to your morning this week, and next week add another 15. Find what works for you. You might not need an extra hour. You might only need an extra 30 minutes. But add it in, see what happens. Even if you don’t have kids, just add some time and see if it changes the day. I think it will.
You run the day or the day runs you.