The goal: Lessen the morning chaos and the ensuing drill sergeant energy
n organized mind, for some, is a gift they’re born with; for others, it’s a skill that requires a lifetime of refinement. For me, it’s a combination: I’m scatterbrained to a fault, with mishaps at every turn; but my menus and lists are written like a college paper. The untidy side of my brain is all very well when it only affects me — but when I recognized that the stillness of my compass, or lack of, is the foundation of my home, I knew I needed to create structural change.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but in homes with littles, the basis of parenthood is in the morning send-offs and the evening settle-downs. It’s also in the warm memories and empathetic listening; but really, it’s in the mornings and evenings. Once I absorbed that, it became clear where the changes needed to happen. Welcome to Project Early Mornings, established May 19, 2018. The goal: Lessen the morning chaos and the ensuing drill sergeant energy. The process: Create a list of morning tasks that I wanted to accomplish. Allot a specific time for each, so I could figure out exactly how much earlier I needed to awaken. By the time my offspring tumbled downstairs, they were greeted by a human that looked a lot like their mother.
Because mornings start with the kind of sleep you’ve had the night before, I did the same thing for the night-time: I figured out what needed to get done the night before, allotted time for it, and then understood what time I needed to be asleep in order to get around seven hours of sleep.
Is it a perfect system? No, and yes.
No, because there are many mornings where my kids get up way before I do and my quiet time disappears, or where I’ve been up many times throughout the night and have absolutely zero motivation to hop out of bed early.
Yes, because on a base level, I recognized that goal setting is not about perfection, but about consistency. There are nights that I make an informed decision to stay up later, knowing I may not arise with my alarm, but that I’ve gained more from the previous night’s event than I would from sunrise stillness. Yes, because goal setting is not about motivation, but instead about discipline. This goal required Herculean effort on my end, but I can say with confidence that it’s one of the most valuable habits I have added to my life.
Sometimes self-care is about regimented mornings and an organized closet; and sometimes it’s about allowing yourself to sleep in, or to ignore the disarray of said closet and consider it a win that your anxiety is not in overdrive from the mess.
Let’s make it about the process, and not always about the result, shall we?
Editor, Family Room
The olfactory system is located in the same part of our brain that affects emotions, memory, and creativity. Eucalyptus awakens, lavender relaxes, and grapefruit balances. I set the morning mood with a candle in one of these scents.
NEST CLASSIC CANDLE
I aim to have two cups of Tulsi tea a day. The Tulsi plant is an adaptogen, which promotes mental balance and helps your body adapt to stress.
ORGANIC TULSI WITH GINGER
$25.86/6 pack, amazon.com
Writing in a journal early in the morning may sound millennial or fluffy. I can assure you it’s not. Consider the effect of focused gratitude on immediate happiness and then tell me you’re still a naysayer!
MINDFUL MOMENTS PLANNER
$38.99, meaningfulmomentscompany. com
(Originally featured in Family Room, Issue 008)
Oops! We could not locate your form.