As long days at the beach, weekly BBQs with friends and family, and that hot summer sun dwindles away, the nerves and excitement of a new part of the year starts to set in! Whether your heading back to school, preparing for your kids to head back to school, or your simply transitioning out of that “summer vacation mode” at work, this part of the year comes with many new transitions. A new set of classes, pickups and dropoffs, or an urge to make it to tackle a big work project that means long hours (we know it’s tough)means figuring out a whole new schedule: when to wake up, when to study, when you’ll squeeze in a workout, or how on earth you’ll fit feeding yourself into the equation.
If summer allowed you more time to sleep in, enjoy long restful mornings, and go throughout your day with little to no worries about work, deadlines, or how to handle the chaos of getting your kids out the door, then don’t neglect your rested and relaxed self at the onset of a new (and maybe more chaotic) schedule. There’s nothing worse than starting your day by rushing and scrambling out the door, only to arrive at your destination exhausted, stressed, and disoriented. Although you may not have asked for that 8 am Monday morning class / meeting / appointment, we promise that you’ll make it through with these steps for an easier morning routine.
Start planning your morning ritual
Having a morning ritual helps begin your day with a sense of purpose and boosts productivity throughout the day. A morning ritual can be anything from taking 5 minutes to sip and enjoy your coffee, making your bed, or practicing a few yoga poses right when you get up.
In The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, he discusses how habits put our brains into an automatic state where no willpower is required. It may seem counterintuitive because rituals can take a few extra minutes in the morning, but the power of daily consistency can help transform your morning and set yourself up for ultimate productivity. Before transitioning into a new routine, think about something you’ll enjoy that you can do every morning before you leave the house. Whether it’s hopping out of bed for a morning shower, sitting down to eat your breakfast, or journaling about your purpose (link here), these routines can set you up for ultimate success.
Organize your belongings
Packing your or your kids backpack or bag the night before will save you time in the morning and leave behind the stress of forgetting something important you need for the day. Especially because you’ll have more time in the morning to think if you forgot anything!
One of the biggest takeaways from the Blue Zone concept is mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness and actively taking into account what you need to prioritize in your day (including books, computers, and snacks!) can have strong ripple effects in your life and improve your well-being. After you finish studying the night before, make a list of all the books you’ll need the next day, fill your bag or backpack, then set it by the door so you can conveniently grab it on your way out!
Lay out your clothes
Outfit planning can take a lot of thought (and time) in the morning! Checking the weather the night before and finding an outfit that will suit your day will allow you to snooze the beeping of your alarm for a few extra minutes. Whether you’re planning to hit the gym later, have an important meeting to dress up for, or just want to be as comfy as possible for the early morning, consider this and lay your clothes by your bed so you can hop out and throw them on as conveniently as possible.
Have convenient breakfasts on hand or prep the night before
Who has time to eat in the morning anyway? Uh, you do! And if you have kids, they do too! Many people skip breakfast because they choose sleep over filling their bodies with healthy, nutritious food in the morning. Eating breakfast is associated with more healthful food choices and can enhance diets by contributing to daily nutrient intake.
If you have something convenient to grab out of the fridge or pantry in the morning for you or your kids, then you can still get all the sleep you need and won’t have to miss out on receiving these important health benefits (or worry about your kids receiving them!).
Here are some super convenient breakfasts to have on hand or prep the night before for you or your little ones…
Berry and Chocolate Overnight Oats (recipe here!)- mix all ingredients the night before, stick in the fridge and conveniently grab while rushing off in the morning
Koia and a banana- Grab on the go for a boost of protein and fiber that will keep you full and energized all morning
Need a lunch too?
If you don’t have the flexibility to come home for lunch and don’t want to spend money eating out, throw together a healthy lunch the night before. We know, breakfast and lunch…that’s a lot of prepping. But, a good tip when making dinner the night before is to make an extra serving so you can take your leftovers for lunch the next day! Save your leftovers in a tupperware container in the fridge and in the morning and toss it in your bag for a delicious lunch on the go.
If you have kids, make their lunches as nutritious and easy to throw together as possible. A small whole grain sandwich with nut butter, a few carrots if they’re not too picky, and strawberries are all easy to throw into a tupperware container the night before and pull out of the fridge, making for a convenient morning!
That summer sunshine may be dwindling, but remember, YOU don’t have to! Early mornings and transitioning to a new schedule can be tough, but with these tips you’ll be set out to fuel your days as easily and efficiently as possible.