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Are you riding on the overwhelm train day after day? Do you feel stressed out before your day even starts? We’re about to change all that. It’s time to get off that train. Because it matters greatly how you are living your life day by day. For your sake, and for the sake of those around you.
The best way to set up your day for success is to create a stress-free morning routine. I have learned that what you do in the first hour of your morning can either make or break your day. If you are intentional about your morning, you can set up your day for success, productivity, and enjoyment. If I can do it, so can you!
In this blog post, I want to share with you a 10-step guide to a stress-free morning. I’ve never been a morning person. At least that’s what I thought for years. But after I started becoming more intentional about how I spend the first part of the day, I discovered something interesting.
By thinking I was not a morning person, I had placed a limit on myself for years. That belief had caused me to miss out on just how wonderful the morning can be, if I was intentional about making it happen. Even if you do not consider yourself a morning person, you have the power to change that. And when you do, the morning might even become your favorite part of the day. I’m living proof of it!
How to Create a Stress-Free Morning Routine
1. Start the evening before.
Make a list of the things you feel you must do each morning after you wake up. Choose 3 of those things and do them the night before instead.
Here are 3 things I try to do every night before going to bed:
- Empty the dishwasher and clear the kitchen countertops.
- Set the coffee pot ready to brew.
- Tidy up the living room and bathroom.
Your list may look different than mine. But whatever you choose, train your children to help you with these. I’ve always had my children take turns being my night helper. In the process, I like to start a fun conversation about their day while we work. It makes them look forward to being my night helper. By doing this, they learn the value of preparing for a successful day. And they learn how to make coffee!
Before you go to bed, turn off all phone notifications for social media and email! If you create this habit, you will never regret it.
2. Have something you look forward to in the morning.
Don’t start your day with a ton of work or your to-do list. If you do, you’ll dread the morning. You are going to begin to look forward to steps 6-8, because it will change your life. Trust me and read on.
3. Wake up before your children.
It is hard to wake up to children who are already up and running. You need time for yourself before they wake up. So set your alarm at least an hour earlier than they normally get up.
Sometimes, you will be so exhausted that the sleep is more important for you. Don’t feel guilty about that! Grab the extra sleep when necessary. But waking up an hour before your children is a goal worth working toward.
4. As soon as you step foot on the floor, turn around and make your bed.
This habit is so worth the investment of the 45 seconds of your time to do it. It won’t be hanging over your head all morning. Even if the rest of the bedroom is messy, making the bed makes it took tidy immediately. And every time you walk into the room, it will contribute to your peace.
5. Start a load of laundry.
If you have any other quick necessary tasks, take a few minutes to do those too. For me, this involves helping my husband get out the door for work smoothly by setting his lunch near the front door, etc.
6. Grab your cup of coffee, water, tea or whatever you enjoy, and find a cozy, beautiful place to sit, preferably near a window.
After all, you’ve already knocked out 3 must-do tasks last night, and 2 more this morning (making bed & starting laundry), and you’ve likely only been out of bed 10 minutes.
7. Quiet your heart with a time of reflection.
This is your place of solitude. And your heart so needs it! Sadly, this is what’s missing in so many people’s lives. But I have discovered it is the secret to happiness. It will nurture your inner being and refresh your perspective on life. And this is what you need as a busy wife and mom.
This time is for you, and it brings glory to God when you give Him the first part of your day. You will find that He will bless you for it, because it is an act of faith.
During this time, cast all worry aside. To-do lists, social media, and email don’t have a ticket here. Those things are on the morning overwhelm train. And remember, you’re getting off that train. There is no overwhelm in this place.
(I recommend having a small notebook nearby in case something you need to do pops into your mind. You can just brain dump it onto a sheet of paper for now and forget about it until later. Don’t worry, it’s safe on that paper, so your mind is free and clear).
Now close your eyes, listen to the sounds of God’s creation through your window, and remember this:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Whatever is on your heart, your worries and struggles, the Lord is there to meet you right where you are. Draw near to Him.
Take time to reflect on all you are thankful for. Be still before the Lord. Humble yourself before Him.
Remember, this is your place of solitude. No overwhelm or busyness is allowed here.
8. Open God’s Word and your journal, and start reading.
Read His Word, talk to Him, cry to Him. Journal your thoughts and your prayers. Let God feed you on truth. I always write down verses that “jump” out at me. These are the ones that really capture my attention, and speak to my heart. Often I can see their application to my daily life right away.
Pray those Scripture verses back to God.
When you do this, you are gleaning in the Lord’s fields. You are starting your day with what Jesus called the most important thing. You can find it in Luke 10:38-42.
9. After you have spent time in God’s Word, plan your day.
Only do this after your unhurried quiet time. Take out your to-do list. Tweak it, set up your time blocks, list the items of your day. Be realistic and careful to not overload your list.
I recommend keeping a brain-dump master list. Then when you plan your day each morning, choose from the master list only what you feel you can realistically accomplish. Sometimes, I choose only 3 things from the master list. If I accomplish all 3, then I choose a couple more. That way I don’t get overwhelmed with a very long list.
10. Rise up and walk into your successful day!
Go transfer the laundry, and carry on with the tasks of your day.
The best part? You can now welcome your children into the morning with a smile and a fresh perspective because you have taken the time to nurture your own heart first. Your tank is filled up for the day, and you are equipped to live out your calling with joy!
Creating a stress-free morning routine will not happen by accident. You must be intentional to make it happen. You must do it on purpose.
Remember, this is for you. Your heart will be nurtured every day, and it will change your life. You will look forward to waking up in the morning as you anticipate the inner renewal of your quiet time.
Follow these steps to start on the road to a life of stress-free mornings!
Something That Helped Me
Would you like to go even further in learning how to create peaceful mornings? One thing that helped me so much was Crystal Paine’s 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course. It includes excellent videos and a workbook to help you transform your mornings with life-changing habits.
If you need a little help getting motivated, this course might be just what you’re looking for. I loved it, and I still go back and watch the videos from time to time because it is so motivating. You can even try a sample day of Make Over Your Mornings here!
YOUR TURN: What causes you stress first thing in the morning? If you could change anything about your mornings, what would it be? Please share in the comments!