Do you find yourself waking up to the alarm ringing for the 2nd…3rd…or even 4th time? You may have gone to bed late and now it’s time to start your day but you’re just too exhausted and have hit that snooze button one too many times. Then, before you even get out of bed, you feel a weight on your shoulders and your stress level begins to spike. You didn’t pack your lunch the night before. You didn’t think about what you’re going to have for breakfast. Your work is lying all around the table and you aren’t organized for your day. You already know you’re going to have to rush and be late, and forget the coffee until you’re in the office.
You might have heard that having a strong morning routine you enjoy and look forward to can help you get your day off to a great start. The thing is, how can you have a strong morning routine without having a strong evening routine? A strong evening routine is the driver that will allow for a great morning and lead you into a positive and productive day.
Regardless of if you work from home, go to an office, or are a stay-at-home parent or student, a strong evening routine can benefit us all and set us up for the following day. Sleep is essential to our health and wellness and is a huge contributing factor in energy levels and weight loss.
That being said, plan your evening in a way that allows you some downtime and relaxation prior to hitting the pillow at a reasonable hour.
Planning for the day ahead is a must before heading to bed. Pack your lunch ahead of time and have a plan in place for breakfast. Will you make overnight oats so you can grab them and head out the door? Will you leave enough time in the morning to make some scrambled eggs and toast? These components of your morning should be thought about the night before to ensure you’re ready to start your morning off strong.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write down no more than the three most important to-dos you have to get done the following day. Going into your day with an already set out to-do list will relieve any overwhelming feelings you have and help keep you focused to start the day. Alongside your brief but essential to-do list, do a small journal entry and dump out anything on your mind. This will help you get any thoughts down on paper so you are able to fall asleep without letting them keep you up half the night.
Once these few tasks are done, you’re ready for a solid night’s sleep and ready to start your day! Begin your morning by doing some sort of movement. That may be taking the dog on a 10-minute walk, stretching in your room, or heading to the gym. The next thing you could do is take a few minutes to do a short guided meditation or some breath work. You want to begin your day extremely grounded and ready to take on anything that comes your way in a non-reactive approach. Interchangeably or in addition to your meditation, spend some time implementing a gratitude practice. You may find that your days pass you by quickly and you’re not stopping to give thanks to the small things!
Think about how much more enjoyable your morning could be if you spent it doing things you enjoy and fill up your tank rather than stressing about that alarm that won’t stop ringing in your ear. By beginning to implement even one or two of these small practices into your evening and morning, you may be surprised to find just how less-stressful your day can be.