7 Ways Parents Can Ease the Morning Routine Chaos
There’s avocado in your hair, toys all over the floor and a toddler who just discovered how “fun” it is to play in the pantry. Deep breaths. Here are six easy ways to help calm the chaos of your morning routine.
1. Give Your Face a Spritz
Groggy? Start your morning with a two-second fix. When your alarm rings, stumble to the bathroom, brush your teeth…and mist your face with rosewater. This fragrant concoction is made by steeping rose petals in water, and it’s been scientifically proven to have a calming effect. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants, so it’s great for your skin.
2. Include Oranges in Your Breakfast
You give oranges to your kids for the boost of vitamin C, but did you know that they can also reduce your stress level? That’s because the smell of citrus is a natural mood booster. Smelling the rind or fruit of a lemon, grapefruit or orange for as little as ten minutes can have a major calming effect. (Braving rush-hour traffic? Grab another orange for the road.)
3. Use Your Morning Coffee to Transition Your Day
Chances are, your days look a bit different than they used to. For many of us, that means working and homeschooling from our kitchen table. In order to make your mornings feel more structured (vs. jumping from cleaning off the high-chairs right into your inbox), use your morning cup of coffee to signify a transition. It can be a transition to email, school work or even some quiet time just for you. Whatever it is, we recommend you rely on Folgers® Coffee to get you there. The smell of their smooth Black Silk blend will immediately signal to you that you’re ready to start the day.
4. Devote Five Minutes to Your Makeup
PSA: Yes, you have time to take care of yourself, even if you have kids. Narrow your makeup routine down to the five most essential steps (for us, it’s concealer, tinted moisturizer, mascara, brows and lip gloss). Save the fancy highlighter and bronzer for those weekends. Time yourself to see if you can finish each step in a minute or less—we believe in you.
5. Keep a Gratitude Line Journal
No, we’re not talking about a dramatic, detailed diary like you had in middle school. A line journal is a great way to jot down brief thoughts (key word brief—and it doesn’t have to include any info about BFFs or crushes). Every morning, take five minutes to write down a few things you’re thankful for. It could be the health of your family, being fortunate enough to be able to feed your kids nutritious food, or that you were able to use the bathroom for five glorious minutes without tiny fists banging on the door.
6. Swap the News for Music
It’s important to know what’s going on in the world, but when your morning routine is accompanied by all of the terrible things happening right now, it’s not exactly going to keep you calm. Set an alert for any breaking news on your phone, turn on some classical music or jazz, and maybe have a quick impromptu dance party before the kids start school.
7. Instead of Multitasking, Try Goal Shifting
Hey, you, checking work emails with one hand while Velcroing your kid’s shoe with the other. It can be tempting to multitask in the morning when there’s so much to do, but if you focus on one thing at a time, you’ll get out the door so much faster. According to research by the American Psychological Association, mindlessly switching between tasks (or doing two tasks at once) takes extra time because it takes your brain a few moments to process what’s going on every time you do it (and those precious seconds can add up). Instead, try goal switching, where you make a conscious decision to attack the most urgent task first, before moving on to the next one. (“First, I will put on my kid’s shoes and then I will respond to my boss’s email.”) This tiny mental shift can make a big difference.