Without evening rituals, your mornings can be chaotic. Getting the kids ready for school, yourself ready for work or just for the day to run errands and to get everyone out of the door on time can be rough. It can involve a lot of yelling and crying, with stress levels hitting the roof. And day after day you and kids would all start dreading the mornings.
The path to motherhood tends to teach you to live in survival mode, and you sometimes lose the ability to come out of this vicious cycle. It is not by chance, but a conscious effort has to be made on how you spend the last couple of hours of your evening before bed. Over the years I have come to realize that the key to calm mornings which eventually translates into peaceful days lies in perfecting your evening routine. Putting in a little effort in the evening can help eliminate stress levels, improve sleep habits and help you be more productive in the mornings.
Here are my tried and tested ten evening rituals that rock my mornings.
- Have your breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner ready:
Keeping the family fed and thinking what to cook, should be the least of our worries in the midst of running errands, meetings, picking and dropping off kids. Eliminate stress and get ‘food worry’ out of the way over the weekend to have a smooth and well prepared week ahead. This goes for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
- Breakfast: Taking a quick peek in the fridge and thinking and preparing for the breakfast a night ahead makes a huge difference. Even it’s as simple as taking out cereal in a bowl and spoon with only milk to be added into morning saves you time.
- Lunches: Opt for make-ahead lunches and pack them in the evenings for the entire family. Packing a healthy lunch in the evening, not only saves money but those precious moments that you are so crunched for in the mornings.
- Dinner: Slow cooker and a Pinterest account can make your dinner times most peaceful. Pinterest is full of creative and easy recipes.
- Clean the kitchen.
For my family kitchen is the activity hub and is where everyone gathers and gets the most clutter! There is nothing that makes me cringe more when I wake up to a messy house, dirty dishes sitting in the sink and on countertops. It is a sure way to ruin my mornings and my mood! When I wake up to a clean and organized house, my morning is much more peaceful, everything goes smoothly and on time.
A simple routine of running the dishwasher in the night can keep your kitchen clean all day. I mean it. When the dishwasher runs at night, you have clean dishes to unload in the morning (before or after breakfast), and you can keep loading it with dirty dishes and have your sink and countertops clean.
After dinner, make it a habit to clean and declutter the countertops, wipe the table and sink, a quick sweep around the kitchen floors and under the eating areas. When your kitchen is clean, your house automatically looks so much cleaner!
- Clean the Living room
Before dinner ask everyone to have a ten-minute pickup time of everything in the living/family room. Toys, books, throw pillows anything that needs to go back to its place should be put back in those 10 minutes.
- Charge all your devices.
As ironic as it may sound but we are dependent on our phones and other communicating electronic devices to get through the day. Therefore, charging all the devices at night is a no-brainer. We need to have those batteries last for the day.
Tip: Have a charging station out in the living room and plugging all electronic devices at night guarantees that no one will take their phone/tablet with them in their rooms which can interrupt with the sleep schedule.
- Set out your clothes for the morning:
Standing in front of the closet, wondering (wasting your precious morning time), what to wear today is a scenario that happens too often and can be avoided with a little planning.
Don’t just set out your work clothes but think ahead and prepare your gym bag too. If you have your gym bag ready, you will feel more motivated. Being organized has that effect on people.
Similarly picking out kids’ outfit at night makes all the difference in getting out the door on time in the morning.
Tip: Check the weather before picking out the outfits for the next day.
- Put away clothes.
Don’t just take off clothes and toss them on the bed or a chair. Fold them, hang them up, or toss them in the laundry if it needs washing. Also, make sure that the laundry from the day is folded and put away.
- Know your to-do list:
Take a few minutes and go through your to-do list for the next day so you can have an action plan set for the next day or can teak it for any last min changes.
- Have some quiet time
Take at least 20 minutes to unwind and have a little “me” time. That might be reading a few pages of a good book, incorporating your beauty routine, or catching up on your t.v. shows. Do whatever it takes to decompress and unwind for the night.
Just sitting quietly and reflecting on your day and being thankful in your heart and mind before bed makes a huge difference in the way you sleep.
Tip: Finishing off your evening routine half an hour before bed leaves you time to unwind and relax.
9. Early and regular bedtime. Although I struggle with this one the most, I have recently started practicing it and have found that attempting an early and regular bedtime means waking up happier and ready to conquer.
I encourage you to test out these tips and tell me which ones you find the easiest to adapt.
*This post was originally published at https://greeniche.com/greeniche-blog/