A GOOD Morning = A Happy Mom. 5 things I do As a Morning Person, Guest Post by Shannon Clochie
As a mom to twin toddlers who are tiny little morning people, I am re-learning to love the morning. I definitely fall into the “morning person” category, but once I became a mother I was quickly exhausted and seeking rest whenever I could… making mornings a challenge I never knew I would have to deal with.
Understandably, some of us our wired to flourish and function best in the morning and some of us get our energy and thoroughly thrive in the evening. Or, life throws us a couple curve balls and we have to learn to adjust to a new way of life due to certain priorities (ie. children, work schedule, health, etc.). From my personal experience, as a mom, I believe all parents would love a morning boost. Whether we like it or not, we need to be present in the morning.
When I realized that exhaustion and lethargy were taking over my morning life and my day, I knew I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate. I reminisced on the days when I would happily embrace the morning and jump into my day with a burst of energy! Of course I didn’t have two little ones who needed my attention throughout the night or in the wee hours of the morning, or well… all day long. All of this was a bit of a shock to my system. As much as I love seeing my kiddos when they wake, my mornings quickly became a dreaded event leaving me dragging my feet and feeling slightly “off kilter” throughout the day and craving the next moment my head would hit the pillow.
Since I typically flourish and function best in the morning, I knew my children would also thrive this way (or at least get a better version of their “mama”) if I went back to my old ways. I could tell that my tired and somewhat negative energy was wearing off on my little ones. As I began to change back to my old and successful morning routine, I could see the energy in my children’s eyes as well. We’re all happy in the morning and set to successfully enjoy our day!
Yes, change can be hard and take time. But, the beauty of this change…
5 healthy and very simple habits I’ve formed as a morning person and have helped me happily function as a mom today. And guess what?? Anyone can do this and you might be surprised at how quickly these will become natural habits.
- Stretch + Smile: As we sleep, our muscles relax, our heart rate decreases and our blood flow slows down. This physiological change can make it challenging to physically get out of bed in the morning. It might explain the sluggish feeling we sometimes have when we roll out of bed. As we wake, our heart rate is at it’s slowest and our body needs a moment to catch up. So, stretching before you fully get out of bed gets your blood pumping and circulating throughout your body, waking up the muscles that will help you “jump” out of bed instead of roll… While at the same time, a smile can bring down any level of stress you may have, upon waking. That grin alerts the happiness center of our brain, flooding our thoughts with positivity. Even before our feet hit the ground, we are energized more than we know and ready to start our day. Think if these two very simple tasks as the prep and whistle before a race. You are off to a great start!
- Drink water: At night, right before I go to bed I always grab a full glass of water to keep by my bedside. While sleeping, it’s normal for our bodies to sweat. This loss of water, leaves us dehydrated. Drinking at least a full glass (16oz) of water right when you wake up does a few wonderful things to your body. Because 70% of our body is made up of water, it’s important to keep it replenished in order to maintain, regulate and balance. As important as this is to do first thing in the morning, it’s just as vital to continue hydration throughout the day. And little ones need this just as much. When they see us set the example, we have a family full of hydrated + happy individuals!!
- Relax: Try it! Ha, we’re too busy to do this right? I’ll admit I don’t always allow time for this, but when I do – my day is better than any other day. Since I became a mother, when I hear the word “relax”, I get a little nervous, like it’s some sort of big event. It actually doesn’t have to take up much time in our day at all. After I’m out of bed and happy, I love to take a moment for myself. As simple as just a couple deep breaths. If I have a cup of coffee or tea in front of me – those breaths go beautifully with a long sip in silence. I may wake up before my kiddos so I can to get this simple moment to relax – it does something amazing to my mood. If I can’t get up before my early risers, then I sneak some relaxation in as soon as silence fills the room… If this can happen even for a couple minutes, I’m set for the morning (with plans to seek more relaxation later)…
- Eat Breakfast: I don’t think I could function without breakfast! Our body needs specific nutrients to effectively and efficiently function on a day to day basis. By eating breakfast we start with balance. Work early, work long hours, work from home, stay home, NO EXCUSE! Food is our fuel. You can’t get very far on an empty tank, so don’t risk it with your body!
- Get active: Weather you wake up and do a little yoga, go for a walk, or have a mini dance party with your kiddos, exerting this kind of energy keeps your senses stimulated, awake and positive. It’s been proven, study after study, how working out or engaging in some sort of energy burning activity, not only aids in our happiness but our long term health. Tip: keep it simple and like anything, keep moderation in mind. I challenge you to find that activity that gets you going – that gets your blood pumping, your heart dancing and your mind alert. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day but it’s sure to give you a boost! Chasing children is a great energy burner as well ;).
When I accomplish all of the above, I’m guaranteed a lovely day ahead. In turn, my morning actions come full circle and benefit how I feel at the end of the day, leading to much better sleep.
Give it time, don’t give up – – as this routine turns into a natural habit, you just may categorize yourself as a morning person. I’d love to hear your success stories – especially from those who were never morning people from the beginning!
Enjoy + don’t forget to stretch and smile.
Until I became a mom, I never imagined how simultaneously amazing and exhausting parenting could be. I also could never have imagined this life without my hubby who I met at the University of Minnesota and married in 2009, after a long courtship. I graduated with a degree in Art and Design but also found a passion volunteering alongside children with special needs and elders in their final years of life. After graduation I worked in sales for an international commercial furniture company. I met some amazingly creative people and had a wonderful experience, but I knew I needed a change and went back to school to pursue a degree in nursing.
In 2013 my twin girls (Alaina + Hannah) arrived and I decided to take a break from school and stay home. Not long after, I began blogging as an “escape” and quickly learned to laugh at myself and take very deep breaths! In addition to chasing my sweet gals and working on my own blog; I recently joined a team of wonderful writers on the Twin Cities Moms Blog, I also occasionally contribute my writing on today.com/parenting, I’m a Coordinator of a MOPS group that I helped to start in Forest Lake Minnesota this winter, I love photography, trying new recipes in the kitchen with my little ones, running outside, doing laps in a pool when I can, and I dream of having more time to get creative on canvas!
If you have the chance, check out my blog at https://ladybugsjumpingbeans.com, find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ladybugsjumpingbeans/ and take a peek at my new twitter page to see what kind of funny toddlerisms I can’t resist sharing https://twitter.com/lbjb2go!