Minful Morning for Busy Moms
Mornings are critical.
There is no better word to aptly describe this stage of day in a working household. As a mom, it's my job to set the foundation for each day and make sure my family gets off to the right start.
I make my morning tea in my favourite insulated tea mug so when I'm packing lunches, unloading the dishwasher, shoving laundry in machines, and chasing my 4 year old around to get him dressed…My tea stays hot. NOBODY deserves a cold cup of tea.
After I get the kids out the door to their early bus, it's time to put on my "work hat" which remains halfway on my head sharing space with my "mom hat" as I continue the hustle - cleaning up, organizing equipment, uniforms and snacks that will be needed at various points throughout the day. Only then, can I get myself out the door. No such thing as "restful" weekends - for many working moms, this is life - seven days a week.
I recognize how important it is to balance my energy correctly and little things and moments make a big difference to my mental capacity and sense of well-being.
Here are a few tips to set the tone for a manageable morning amid chaos and responsibility we have as busy moms:
Morning Routines start at night
An evening routine has a big impact on how we sleep and how we feel in the morning.
- Start your nighttime ritual one hour before bedtime. Simple things like turning off the TV and putting all screens away and taking a herbal tea to bed can really help the quality of your sleep. I find opening the window for fresh air and reading a few pages of a book with a cup of chamomile fusion is the perfect wind down to any day.
Carve out ''ME'' time.
While kids jump out of bed at 6:30 every morning to snuggle and be served breakfast. I actually wake up at 6:00am and silently sneak around the house to start the day MY way. This is personal time to focus on myself, savour the quiet moment to set positive intentions for my day.
Stretch, Breathe, Meditate
I start my day with simple sun salutations (it's become second nature), then I choose two to three stretches that open up stiff areas. This isn't yoga - I just move slowly to the beat of my own drum, taking time to listen to my body, stretch deeper and clear the cobwebs from my mind. This is both physically energizing and mentally calming (cheaper than a cup of coffee!)
I end my 15-20 minute session with 5 minutes of peace meditation. I set the timer on my phone and let go of all obligations and responsibilities for a full five minutes. Ahhhhh…
Mindful writing and the power of gratitude
I have a Mindful Mornings journal, each page gives space to answer the following questions: Minutes of meditation, Five things I am grateful for, Five Goals I am working towards (these stay the same all year or until each one has been completed), and finally my daily intention. What shocks me is the power of repetition. Repeat writing the same five goals every day crystalizes your daily priorities. You can’t cross off this goal that is a dream until you have achieved it. This exercise simplifies your daily intentions and offers a moment of reflection on where you are at.
For those who want to keep it simple - rip out a page from Oprah's playbook. Her morning routine starts with opening her eyes and simply saying “Thank you”. Jot down five things you are grateful for, be specific. This is easy and bonus, it subconsciously fills your cup. My answers are often things I experienced the day before or something I am looking forward to. A regular answer of mine “My Home”, this safe warm space that is our families daily refuge.
Make yourself a good cup of tea
Of course I would say that! But really, nothing beats a good cup of tea first thing in the morning. Reassuringly familiar and always delicious, make a cup of Banff Breakfast and savour every sip.
“The whole ideal of Teaism is a result of this zen conception of greatness in the smallest incidents of life.”
- Jolene Brewster