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Five Ways to Start Your Day on the Right Foot

It would be a sad goodbye to summer, my favorite season, if it wasn’t followed by fall, my second-favorite season. Cooler, busier, and with more responsibilities, fall is like summer’s older sibling. Since my youngest attends preschool year-round, there’s no sudden onslaught of earlier wakeups and packed schedules. Fall mornings are like all mornings.

Eventually this seamless summer-to-fall shift will meet a new season of our lives. With that in mind, I started taking a closer look at our mornings to see what works and where we can improve. I wanted an approach that fits our family style, which is neither laid back nor hyper-organized.

Advice is plentiful— from websites encompassing health and wellness, parenting, fitness, and medicine, I found list after list of how to achieve morning nirvana and they all went something like this: “Make charts. Create a ‘morning prep’ area in your home. Use apps. Set timers.” Who knew achieving a state of lightness could be so heavy? Sorry, gurus, but my aim is a little lower. I want a morning ritual that’s realistic and flexible.

So, if you’re like me, here are a few simple ways to tackle each morning without feeling like you need a life coach:

  • Hydrate. Drink a glass of water with lemon. It replenishes your body after hours of slumber. However, do this after you’ve brushed your teeth because you don’t want to wash those yucky nighttime bacteria down the hatch.
  • Prepare. Lay out everyone’s clothing the night before. This is one piece of advice you’ll find nearly everywhere. It’s easy and it saves you time and stress in the morning!
  • Stretch. It gets blood and oxygen circulating to your muscles. Take five to seven minutes to do a few simple yoga stretches. Honestly, even three minutes is better than nothing, just try it.
  • See. Literally look at your day. I’ve tried alarms and reminders on my phone, but what works best for me is the old-fashioned pen and paper. I write down what I need to do that day and map out in my head how to make it all work.
  • Proceed.  No matter how well you plan mornings, there will always be curve balls: your child will suddenly hate socks, your umbrella will come up missing, your carefully crafted overnight oatmeal will spill on the floor. Don’t waste precious minutes deciding your next step. Go sockless, make a run for it, and eat a boring banana. The frustration will pass, and you’ll be on time.

What are your tips for starting each day on the right foot? Share in the comments below!

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