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Rethink how you ‘do’ your morning

How you start your morning can make or break your whole day. A bad start can feel like you’re trying to run up the down escalator for the rest of the day. Here are ten habits to incorporate that will guarantee you less stressful mornings.

1. Morning starts the night before. Developing realistic evening and morning routines that work for your family is essential.

2. Create a family calendar and spend time on Sunday anticipating the upcoming week to avoid surprises. (The science fair is today???) Make sure everyone adds their activities to the calendar and include extracurricular activities, church and social functions and due dates for special projects. Use a different colored pen for each family member so you can see at a glance who is doing what, and when.

3. Designate a launch pad ’€“ This is where you put everything you need to get out the door. Keys, purses, backpacks, papers for work and school, sports equipment and ballet shoes. Make it part of your evening routine to gather all the stuff you’ll need so you’re not looking for junior’s left shoe when you should be in the car.

4. Select clothing for everyone before bed. I try to do this on Sunday for the whole week. (Notice I say try, it doesn’t always happen.) If you’re prone to changing your mind (I don’t feel like polka dots today), or have kids who are picky about wardrobe, have several choices ready, down to the accessories, shoes, socks and undies.

5. Make morning checklists for everyone. This releases you, as the parent, from being responsible for every little detail. The lists should include each step necessary to get out the door. Feed the animals, shower, breakfast, get dressed. If you have toddlers you can make picture lists, they love being self-sufficient.

6. Use timers. If you’re the Town Crier shouting “It’s 7 o’clock! Get out of the bathroom!” that’s a sign you need timers. It’s easy to lose track of time and timers help everyone stay on track.

7. Make a bathroom schedule if bathroom time is at a premium. You may find some members of the family need to shower the night before or get up extra early.

8. Automate breakfast. I’m a big fan of DIY frozen breakfasts that can be reheated in the microwave. Over the weekend you can make a breakfast casserole, breakfast burritos or sandwiches to prepare for weekday mornings. Or serve the old standbys ’€“ cereal, granola bars and yogurt with fruit.

9. Early to bed, early to rise. You know I had to say it. Bodies need sleep to function and being chronically tired is terrible for your health. Teenagers need as much sleep as toddlers. Enforce bedtimes and wake up with ample time to enjoy a relaxed morning. Personally, I love getting up before the rest of the family so I can have my coffee and breathe before the day begins.

10. Take a moment to be thankful.

With autumn about to start it’s a great time to rethink how you “do” morning. I hope these tips help you create a routine that works for you.

Contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime ’€“ Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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