From Chaos to Calm: My Morning Routine as a Busy Mom of Three
Some people wake up, jump out of bed, DON`T drink coffee, and they really are just ready to go. (What?! I know.)
Others, like me, move at a much slower pace. I don`t jump out of bed in the morning anymore, though before I had my children, I did.
While trying different medications, I could see that my body needed that slow-down time in the morning. I needed to allow my body that time to wake up.
If I rush waking up, and getting going, it feels as if my body is going to crash really quickly. Almost as if it is turning off. My body tenses up, and movements become hard to make, until they become achy and painful. Then my mind is foggy, and it`s hard to concentrate. Doing this for a little while, I realised this was just not working for me. I had to change the way I was existing during the morning.
A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that people who favor an active daytime routine over a nighttime one have healthier sleeping cycles. These, consequently, are associated with better mental health and minimize the risk of developing emotional difficulties. Those with an interrupted sleep cycle, on the contrary, have a higher predisposition to manifest mental health difficulties. – Psychology TodayThis quote is taken directly from Psychology Today.
It`s interesting how routine can affect our mental health. While some may thrive on spontaneous situations, and are more go-with-the-flow kind of people, others need structure and less need to anticipate.
Routine is comforting for me. I always know what is coming next, and even what I need to do next. I am able to exist without thinking too hard.
I find it so hard to cope through my anxiety when I go against my routines.
I am not a spontaneous person, nor do I enjoy surprises. My anxiety will get the best of me and it breaks down my body piece by piece. It feels rather unfair, because there are so many times in life when surprises seem appropriate, but I just can`t handle it.
When things come up that I hadn`t planned for, it really throws me off.
Enter: anxiety attacks, and round the clock anxiety. This can be caused by anything. Anything that I hadn`t planned for. I know it sounds silly, because there are so many things that we can`t plan for of course, but really this is how it is for me.
When I am put on the spot of spontaneous decision making, I tend to freeze.
Anxiety comes knocking, and it`s like I forget everything I had ever known, and my mind is simply blank. And, even if I TRY so hard to make a decision, it becomes even more frustrating because I simply can`t.
This can be triggered by even just the slightest things, such as, `Mom, whats for breakfast` or `Mom did you wash my Taekwondo stuff?`
I stand there, frozen, unable to move my body, or understand my mind. I forget everything. Well, I don`t think I forget, but, anxiety just takes it. I don`t function well with the unexpected. Or, I simply don`t really function at all.
I wish I could. It would make parenting a lot easier.
There is always the unexpected going on with my kids. Every time I think I`m on the ball and ready for them, it turns out I`m not.
So, I must follow a routine as best as I can. It helps to ensure the best outcome for each of my days.
My routine can shift slightly each day, but I find that it doesn`t. My routine is also not about time, but rather order of events.
What my routine looks like:
When I wake up, I take a few minutes to notice how I`m feeling, my mind and my body. Then I go wash my face and brush my teeth. I make my way downstairs for coffee, and I simply can`t have a conversation before coffee. I like quiet when I have that first coffee, so I try my best to wake up a bit before the kids so I can have that.
After my coffee, I usually pack lunches and get breakfast ready. By this point it is usually somewhere around 7am, and I head upstairs to get my kids up. Once they are up, I come back down to finish my coffee, and then I do my daughters hair, and make sure my sons shirt is buttoned right, all that kind of stuff.
After the leave on the school bus I try to do some kind of work out. Sometimes it`s simply Yoga, other times I practise my Taekwondo.
This is how my mornings go, pretty much, every day. Some may find it boring to have it the same every day, but I find it so comforting that I always know what`s coming next. I never need to anticipate things.
I sometimes sleep in, and scramble to get the kids out the door, which usually ends up being a bad mental health day for me. I try really hard to stick to this.
Do you have a routine?
Love Always, N
P.s. If you liked this post, stop by this one too! Question & Answers with N!
I haven’t had much of a routine, since I’ve been out of work for SIX MONTHS (!!!) because of health issues, but I’ve slowly been getting back into a routine thanks to blogging. I make sure to set aside time to read, prepare blog posts, and the ever present doctor visits. When I was working, I would wake up early, exercise, and shower before work, and my days were very structured. I completely understand the frustration of living with anxiety. I’m glad to hear that you are so aware of your triggers and know how important routine is for you in managing your anxiety. Sending love and good vibes your way.
Thank you for such a beautiful comment!
Routines really do help to keep everything together. I have bounced around between using a morning routine and ignoring it, and while I am in no way a morning person, a routine vastly helps me get through the day. Especially those first few hours when my brain is still in slumber mode and my body wants to do nothing more than crawl back into bed. Honestly, my morning routine is about as ‘boring’ as yours, as it’s the exact same few things every day, but I figure as long as it works then that’s what matters.
Exactly!! That’s what I figure too! Thanks for reading and commenting!
I have quite a “slow” start to my morning, except for those days where I wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. (happens often enough for me to make the most of it!).
On a normal day – I’m getting up at 6.00 a.m. or so, in time to get little miss 6 off to school by 7 a.m.!
As soon as she is out the door, I am out the door taking the dogs for a walk/run for 30-45 minutes. Breakfast, shower, and then time to read (10-15 minutes), balanced breathing (5 min) and then visualization of how my day will go (peek at my schedule, so that I have an idea of appointments before doing the visualization).
Then I sit down with my schedule and go through confirming appointments, etc. and my workday starts at 9.00
I’m lucky to work from home, but I do try to keep “office hours”, so that I don’t get stuck into doing stuff around the house!
Like you – if I mess up my morning routine… it doesn’t quite go so well!
You’re a badass. Coping with the unknown is very difficult. Add that onto bad head spaces and it’s awful. You’re very strong.
Regarding routines…I try to get up at 6:30 AM, pour myself a cup of coffee, and write. It’s fun and I’m just now getting used to it.
Thank you for sharing!!
Really enjoyed reading this. I’m so not a morning person!
You are so right about routines affecting sleep and overall stress. I love having basic routines for the things that I have complete control over because it makes me more ready/ prepared to face spontaneous challenges that come up during the day!
Personally, I like to have a relatively leisurely morning as I get ready for work. While I can rush around and be ready in a flash, I just prefer to take my time when having breakfast and getting ready!
I really wish I could be like you and have a routine, but I put too much pressure on myself to make sure I do the same thing every morning to the point where it negatively effects my mental health. The only thing I need to stay the same each morning is having a cup of tea, and being on my own whilst I have it. I don’t like anyone talking to me and asking questions until I can gather my own thoughts.
Han, xo | Safe Haven; Chronicles of a Creative Mess
That sounds like a little routine already! Good for you for seeing that this feels good for you!
I so badly wish I was a morning person but I’ll never understand people who are wide awake at 7am!? It takes me until at least 12pm to function semi-normally.. haha x
Soph – https://girlvsworldblog.com
Haha! I sometimes wish I wasn’t a morning person and could sleep until whenever . I’ve never stayed in bed past 10am the latest!
Hi, suffer from anxiety and need a routine too…or I struggle to function. It’s hard to live with isn’t it. I don’t touch any caffiene though, as I’ve found it makes my anxiety a lot worse?
It is very hard to live with. Sending you so much love?