Create a calm morning - tonight!
Aahhhh… A morning that runs to plan: everyone fed, cleaned, happy and ready to leave the house intact and on time for a busy day at school/work/running errands etc. However, the best intentions for a calm and easeful day can fly out the window in an instant even before you’ve left the house!
I speak from experience: as a mum of three, getting my nine-year-old twins plus their four-year-old sister up and ready to go each morning can be a daily challenge. A seemingly trivial thing like a lost sock, missing library book or unusually busy traffic on the school run can turn a calm morning into cranky chaos very quickly!
Of course, we can’t predict the unpredictable (or is it predictable that sock partnerships go awry as soon as they hit the laundry basket?), but by taking some time to prepare for tomorrow the night before it is possible to achieve a calm and happy start to the day.
Here are a few tips, tricks (and a great breakfast recipe) to help you and your family off to a flying start:
The night before:
What to wear: Lay out all clothing and equipment (eg books, sports gear) needed for tomorrow (this gives you time to find that missing sock!)
Weather check: Look up tomorrow’s weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Periodically check that umbrellas are in working order and you have a good supply of sunscreen etc.
Check in: Have a quick family chat about what’s going on tomorrow so everyone’s in the loop and clear on movements and logistics.
Set your alarm: Be realistic about how long you need to get yourself and your tribe fed, dressed and ready to leave the house. Consider a ‘buffer zone’ of 15 minutes to counter unexpected delays and encourage non-rushing
Prepare a ‘calm’ breakfast: After the dinner cleanup, preparing another meal is likely the last thing you feel like doing, but I encourage you to give it a go. Our family love ‘Overnight Oats’ which we prepare to taste in individual jars. Oats are a healthy and filling breakfast choice and even contain calming qualities. My friend Cody from CK Health tells me, ‘Oats contain high amounts of tryptophan, a precursor to the feel-good hormone serotonin. In traditional medicine, consumption of oats is recommended for nervous exhaustion and mild depression.’
So for us, an oaty breakfast ticks a lot of boxes, and the kids are happy to design their own special blends. See the recipe at the end of this post and try it for yourself tomorrow.
Switch off: Put the devices and screens to bed early and spend the hour before bed in gentle wind-down mode. Take a bath, have a glass of wine and a chat with your honey, or read.
In the morning:
Be the earlybird: Take advantage of a sleeping household and rise before the rest of the family. Enjoy few quiet moments to connect with yourself. Perhaps do a short yoga or meditation practice, savour a cup of tea or write in your journal.
Keep it quiet: Favour gentle music and light conversation over blaring television shows to minimise over-stimulation, procrastination and arguments over which show to watch.
Give thanks: Congratulate yourself and the family for contributing to a beautiful start to the day.
By adopting some of these tips, you’re sure to impress your future self with a smooth, efficient morning tomorrow.
Recipe: Feel-good Overnight Oats
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk of your choice (almond, coconut, cashew all work well)
1/4 sliced banana
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
Dollop of honey or maple syrup, to taste.
Place all ingredients in a glass jar, pop lid on and shake until combined. Add toppings such as nuts, seeds, extra fruit or yoghurt, if desired. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy your ready-to-eat breakfast the next day.
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