WHY YOU SHOULD FOLLOW A MORNING ROUTINE

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Does your morning start off hectic each day? Does it seem as if you never get as much accomplished as you’d like to each day?  Do you often forget to complete specific tasks? Maybe there are days when you feel completely overwhelmed.  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could certainly benefit from a morning routine.

So many people feel that starting and sticking to a daily morning routine is a complicated process, but honestly that’s not the case. You actually get more accomplished, and without feeling rushed or feeling like you have forgotten something.  Better yet, your day will flow so much smoother.  

Once you develop a plan and put it into practice each day, it will soon become a habit.  The key is that you have to practice it daily.  Another important point is that you want to create a routine that works for YOU, not one that is tailored to another individual.  By creating a daily routine for yourself, and sticking to it, your level of productivity will definitely increase.

Here’s a sample of my morning routine that you can tailor to fit your specific needs.

WAKE UP EARLY

Start getting up about 30 minutes earlier than normal. I like to get up before my son, so that I have some time to myself before having to go into mommy mode. Upon waking, take a few moments to stretch your body.   A good morning stretch helps to get the blood pumping throughout your body, which in turn helps you to fully awaken so that you start to feel rejuvenated and alert.  I like to open my blinds first thing in the morning so that the natural light flows in.  I then drink a bottle of water and take my vitamins.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

PRAYER/DEVOTION

Starting your day with prayer enables you to focus your attention on God and His purpose and plan for the day ahead. If you have a devotional, you can read the devotion for that particular day.   I personally like to have a cup of coffee or tea as I read my bible and devotional.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

JOURNAL

After I finish my daily devotion, I spend about 10 minutes journaling.  Some days I follow a journaling prompt, but there are times when I feel a need to just let whatever it is that’s on my mind flow onto the pages.  I find that writing in my journal is very therapeutic for me.

GO OVER YOUR TO DO LIST

Take a quick glance at your tasks and the important “to-do” items on your calendar so that you are familiar with the tasks that you need to get accomplished for that day.    Make any necessary adjustments to your schedule if needed.   

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

EXERCISE

We all know that exercise is important to good health (see my post on Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle).  We should aim for at least 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day.  I know some people prefer to work out in the evenings which is perfectly fine.  If you’re like me and don’t have a gym membership, go for a quick walk through your neighborhood.  You can also watch an exercise DVD or even YouTube videos from the comfort of your home.  I personally love this walking video by Leslie Sansone on YouTube.

 

PREPARE BREAKFAST

Make breakfast for yourself and your family members.  Be sure to clean up as you go.  Afterwards load the dishwasher, wipe down stove top, counters and sink. If you take just a few moments each day to clean as you go, you can avoid the unnecessary clutter.  You will be amazed at how it feels to walk into a clean house (as opposed to a mess) after a busy day.  You can also prepare breakfast items the night before, and have all of your non perishable items laid out so that you are not rushing in the mornings.  It is also a good idea to prepare lunches the night before.  If your kids are old enough, you can have them help you with this task.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

START YOUR DAY

It is actually a good idea to  prepare for the next day each evening.  Place all of your items that you will need for the day in a central location (purse, keys, briefcase, jacket, etc).  It’s also a great idea to lay out your wardrobe the night before.  I personally do this right down to my underwear.  I cannot tell you the number of times in years past that I have wasted precious time by standing in my closet trying to figure out what I was going to wear to work that morning.  Even though I am a SAHM now, I still lay out my wardrobe the night before. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s typically only leggings and a tee, but hey, I still lay them out at night.

Now that your morning routine is complete,  it’s time to grab those keys, and head out the door to work.  Or if you are like me, you can head to your home office if you work from home, or get busy tackling the day’s errands.  

Why You Should Follow A Daily Routine

IN CONCLUSION

When you establish a daily morning routine for you and your family, you create an environment of consistency. By establishing consistency, each person is fully aware of his/her role or responsibility.  Morning routines help enable us to lead happier, stress-free lives.  But remember that the key to a successful morning routine is sticking to it.

Do you have a morning routine in place? What are some of the things that you and your family members do to get your day off to a great start? Leave me a comment.

Thanks for stopping by.  

 

10 INEXPENSIVE WEEKLY SELF-CARE IDEAS

Self-care is important to both our mental and physical health.  But because we lead such busy lives, we often neglect taking the time to actually care for ourselves.  I for one, know that I have been guilty of this.  

We often feel that because we have so many activities on our plate – work, school, church,  kids, after school activities and the list goes on and on, that we are unable to actually fit “me time” into our schedules.

I have reached a point in my life as to where I am making myself a priority.  I take a couple of hours each week to do something that I enjoy.  

There are simple things that you can do to add a little self-care to your week.  Here is a list of my favorites:

1. Take a relaxing bath.  Light some candles, and add a half cup of your favorite bath salts, then immerse yourself into a warm bath.

2. Read a good book. Curl up on the couch or in your favorite chair and enjoy that book that you’ve been wanting to read for some time now.

3. Enjoy a glass of wine. Pop open that cork and pour yourself a glass of vino.

4. Listen to your favorite tunes. Put on your favorite tunes, turn it up, and shake your boo-tay.

5. Visit a coffee shop. If you are a coffee lover like myself, you can go to your local coffee shop and order up your favorite cup of coffee or tea.  While you’re there, treat yourself to a pastry as well.

6. Manicure/Pedicure. Give yourself a Mani/Pedi.  Your feet will definitely thank you.

7. Take a walk.  Put on your tennis shoes and go for a leisurely walk through your neighborhood.  Inhale the fresh air.

8. Binge out on your favorite tv shows. This is one of my favorites!  I love to spend hours in front of the tv catching up on my favorite shows.

9. Light up a candle. Can you say aromatherapy? Enjoy a scented candle.

10. Go to bed early (or on time). This is one that I am working on.  I am often up until the wee hours of the morning because I get more done after my hubby and the kid are in bed.  I have come to realize that my health is more important, so I have been going to bed much earlier than in the past – well most of the time.

10 Inexpensive Self Care Ideas

You should take some time to incorporate weekly self-care activities into your schedule.  It’s easy to spend our time caring for others while neglecting self.  But as the saying goes – you can’t pour from an empty cup.  So remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s actually a necessity.  

How do you spend your “me time?” Leave me a comment.  

Please like and share on social media.  Thanks for stopping by.


Sonia

 

ADOPTING A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time.

When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time, therefore it’s easy to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  Healthy eating habits , along with other lifestyle changes will help you to achieve your desired weight, gain mental clarity, and increase longevity. Below, find ideas on ways to be healthier every day:

  1. Have a drink.  By drink, I am referring to water.  The majority of us do not take in  the recommended daily amount of water.  Did you know that your body is 57-60% water? Therefore, water makes up more than half of your body weight. We lose water each day when going to the bathroom, sweating, and even during breathing. Our bodies lose water even faster when the weather is hot, when we are physically active, or if we have a fever. If we don’t replace the water we lose, we can become dehydrated.
  2. Move a little.  Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.  Exercise also helps to lower stress levels, and improve sleep quality as well as reduce your risk for depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise will help to strengthen your bones and muscles and also improve your mental health as well as your mood.
  3. Adopt a healthy diet. Add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. That is one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of these foods every day. By choosing  brightly colored produce, you get a better mix of vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients help to ward off disease, slow the aging process and boost your overall health.
  4. Kick that habit to the curb.  Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking has been found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and can diminish your overall health. Some of the  benefits of quitting smoking include: normalized heart and blood pressure rates, improved circulation, less coughing/wheezing, improved sense of smell and taste and a lowered risk of cancer and heart disease.
  5. Reduce sugar intake. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a lot  of calories without any essential nutrients, which is why they are referred to as empty calories.  Excess  sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of bad cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver, and abdominal cavity, and it can have an adverse effect on your metabolism.
  6. Avoid processed foods.  Processed foods are typically loaded with added sugar, and we know that sugar in excess can be harmful. Processed foods also contain several artificial ingredients that include preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavorings. They are also very high in simple carbohydrates while containing very few nutrients.
  7. Laugh a little.  Laughter causes physiological responses that protect your body from disease and helps your vital organs repair themselves. A study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance.
  8. Shut down those electronics.  This is one I struggle with. Electronics are a part of life in the 21st century, which means that  we are exposed to the light that our devices emit.  The light exposure from our electronic devices promote wakefulness.  You should “unplug” your devices at least two hours before bed. This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.
  9. Pray/Meditate daily.  Regular prayer and meditation has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. According to a  Huffington Post article, “individuals who prayed daily were shown to be 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice.”  Prayer has also been known to boost the immune system and lower stress levels.
  10. Spend some quality time with loved ones. Eat dinner together. Participate in activities as a family. Have a family night each week (encourage your kids to choose activities).  Attend weekly worship services together.  Develop holiday traditions with your family.  As you foster healthy relationships with the ones you love, you will live a fuller, more meaningful life.

What are some of the ways that you maintain a healthy lifestyle?  Share with us below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sonia