We all have a morning routine. The habitually activity to get ready in the morning could be one of intention or survival. If you were like me after divorce, mornings were chaos. Kids with schedules, work with demands and a new environment all contributed to a rough morning. I tried endlessly to make it smooth, but five minutes in, I felt hopeless. My kids felt it too. A few years of temper tantrums from the youngest, became normal. Last minute homework and lunches to be made. Sound familiar? What finally helped my kids and me?
Bookending my day. What the heck is bookending? It is ending your day and beginning your day with a consistent routine. You know how you hold books up on a shelf with a bookend on the left and one on the right? Then the books don’t fall over. This bookending is a winding down for the day and preparing for the next day so your days don’t fall apart. In my case, I was only planning my morning. Which didn’t work. I was already behind the schedule before I ever began. We were doing mornings in survival mode. Yuck!
Luckily I had a great business coach who heard my frustration. He introduced me to bookending. The changes began to smoothly take place. I thought my attention should be on my morning, it was in fact, the evening where a smooth morning would come from. I began to implement an evening routine.
I put comfy pajamas on. No yoga pants or workout clothes. Giving my body the message of relaxation was the purpose and soft, light pajamas subconsciously relaxed my body. My mind was usually full of ideas and thoughts. So I journaled and dumped it all out. Journaling helped me to anchor in my wins and review the challenges of the day. The challenges could be addressed so they didn’t repeat over the next days and weeks. I read a book to start relaxing my mind. The child with a morning tantrum habit? Well, I snuggled and spent more time with him. As I took care of his needs to feel secure and loved, he was calmer in the morning and went to bed easier. Checking in with each of my kids to see what their schedule was for the next day, not only helped them but reduced morning surprises and emergencies. The last thing I did was review my schedule for the next day. If there was anything I could prepare to make the next day better, I would do that.
I also tried to avoid social media, computer and tv an hour before bedtime. I wasn’t perfect at this but tried to do my best. I sometimes had to answer an email or do something on my computer. Staying off social media and not watching tv before bed was easier not to do.
The peaceful feeling felt sudden, but had been a preceded by a few years of torment before I discovered bookending. When I implemented the evening routine, life quickly became more peaceful all times of day. My morning routine of exercise, reading, showering, mindset and affirmations went on easier. I began my day nourished and accomplished. I go to sleep knowing things will be ready in the morning. All I have to do is execute my plan.
Here is the basic structure of my evening and morning routines.
In the evening:
-Wear comfy pajamas
-Avoid electronics (computer, tv, phone) an hour before bedtime
-Stay off social media an hour before bedtime
-Journal my thoughts, wins and challenges. Identify the challenges and adjust where needed
-Give attention to kids, review their schedules for the next day, give extra love to those who need it
-Review my schedule for the next day, do anything would make the morning easier (set out my clothes, get my workout clothes ready, get my bag ready with everything I will need for the day, make lunch)
-Read a book to relax the mind
In the morning:
-Meditate & Mindset
-Fill in planner or review schedule
If you find yourself in the chaotic trap of crazy mornings, try bookending. You will make adjustments to fit your life of course, but try it and let me know if it works for you too!