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No matter how old we are, it can be difficult getting up in the morning. We can have every intention in the world, but we seem to repeat the same patterns of behavior. When we don’t take charge of our morning routine, it often sets the tone for the rest of the day. This sets up a domino effect. We end up being more anxious, screaming at our kids for small things, and discombobulated for the rest of the day. Here are ten things you can do when you get up 2 1/2 hours earlier in the morning.
1. Reflection Time (25 minutes)
Reflection time is best when we first wake up in the morning. Instead of hopping up and rushing, we allow ourselves time to meditate on God’s goodness. During this time, I praise and thank God for life, health, and strength. This is also the time when God reveals clarity in regards to relationships, parenting, and the trauma that I have suffered during my life. Grieving is also part of my reflection time.
When I don’t allow myself reflection time, my mornings feel stressful and rushed. A few times, I hopped out of bed too quickly and threw my back out. Other times, I rushed out of the house without any time to process the grief that I was feeling when I woke up. The end result of that was dysregulated emotions for the rest of the day. Grief from trauma has to go somewhere.
2. Devotion (20 minutes)
Devotion time is a good time for reading and meditating on God’s word. It is also good when we have a devotional book or online devotional study. This helps us to place our meditation time on a central theme. If we don’t use a book or study, we can always pray for God to lead us to a particular scripture as our focus.
3. Face (5 minutes)
Using five minutes to wash, cleanse, and moisturize our faces in the morning makes a world of difference. I usually feel refreshed and more awake after this process.
4. Water (5 minutes)
Drinking two glasses of water helps to jump start the day. It also helps to replenish the liquids that we lost during sleep. In the spring, summer, and early fall, leaving the house without drinking water on a warm day can lead to dehydration. If it’s sunny outside, then you will feel even worse. Water helps to hydrate the skin and improves the under-eye puffiness. It also improves red blood cell circulation and removes toxins from our skin. Room temperature water is best in order to avoid an upset stomach.
5. Prayers (10 minutes)
When we start our mornings with prayer, it also sets the mood for the day. We get to go before God’s throne of grace. Next, we get to put on our spiritual armor. Then, we get take our thoughts captive as we bask in God’s perfect love that drives out all fear.
6. Gratitude Check (5 minutes)
The gratitude check can be done verbally or on paper. The nice thing about doing a gratitude check is that the list of things that we are grateful for always outweigh our problems. I had a major gratitude check recently. You can check that post out here.
7. Movement (20 minutes)
For the majority of us, when we get to work, we are sitting for the majority of the day. This 20 minutes gets our blood pumping and oxygen flowing before we get to work to sit again. Movement time has a lot of flexibility involved. We can do a combo of things during this time, or focus on one single thing. Here are some ideas: cleaning, dishes, walking the stairs, yoga, dancing, making the bed, Zumba, etc.
8. Breakfast (15 minutes)
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast consists of lean protein, fruit, dairy or dairy substitute and whole grains. Fruit juice is a great substitute for the fruit. Some people need coffee for a boost. I am an orange juice kind of person. It is always good to throw in some healthy fat such as avocado, vegan butter, or olive oil in the mix.
9. Makeup or Shaving (15 minutes)
Having a set time slot for makeup or shaving also reduces anxiety. I don’t use a lot of makeup. However, rushing in this area could lead to makeup getting all over the bathroom sink, and in turn all over your clothes. And of course, quick shaving leads to nicks. The Canvas Women Toiletry Bag pictured below is the Perfect Bag to House Makeup and Shaving Kits. Click here to take a look.
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10. Hair (30 Minutes)
Having enough time for hair and showering is just as important as makeup time. A quick shower takes about ten minutes. This leaves twenty minutes for your hair. For women, twenty minutes could be a blow dry, french braid, or pony tail. For men, twenty minutes might be a shampoo, blow dry, and gel. It’s up to you.
I hope that these tips will encourage us all to start our morning a little bit earlier.