For a Stress Free Morning, Start the Night Before
When Should I Start My Day?
I Believe the Last Hour Is the Most Important
A lot of experts tell us that we should schedule our day first thing in the morning. We are told to build a morning habit to decrease stress during the day.
These experts tell you to lay out Your clothes and to put your alarm clock out of reach. They tell you to create incentives to get yourself to move in the morning. They tell you to eat smart and start drinking water first thing in the morning.
However, to start this process, we must start the night before. I believe that if you want to beat stress, the best time to start the day, isn't first thing in the morning. Instead, let's start our morning the night before!
Get Ready for Your Morning Commute
Just before getting ready for bed, set up coffee, get your lunches ready, and have your clothes laid out for the day.
In addition, have any clothes set out for young children. Have their backpacks or diaper bags packed and lunches ready to put in their bags in the morning. Encourage them to do as much of this preparation on their own. Make it a game that even the youngest child could enjoy.
Know where your keys are and have them ready to go. Have everything you’re taking with you in the car or by the door to be put in the car, so you don’t forget anything.
If nothing else, you'll be amazed at how much stress will be eliminated from your morning, but it doesn't have to end here. There's more you can do to make tomorrow even better!
Look Over Your Goals
The experts also tell us to get up 30 minutes earlier to create our to-do lists and set up priorities. They tell us that we should determine what is the most important thing that we need to do that day and do that first.
Why wait until morning?
A quick glance over your goals before bed offers you a chance to determine which tasks you can do the following day to take at least a baby-step toward those goals.
Review Your Schedule
They tell you to review your calendar and schedule calendar in the morning.
I used to try to do that. However, it cut into my writing time. I wanted to reserve my mornings for writing. Keeping up with my schedule cut into that time therefore, I found that I could look over my schedule and my calendar before going to bed.
while looking over my schedule, I determine if there is anything I need to take with me from home for an activity on my schedule. Do I have a dentist appointment? If so, I am sure to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste in my bag. Do I plan to drop off old clothes at a donation box? I put those in the trunk of the car the night before, so I don’t forget them.
I don’t have any young children in the home any longer, but if I did and my child had instrument practice the next day, I would make sure the instrument is near the door along with any sheet music my child needed.
Prepare to Sleep Well
Studies show that creating the habit of a sleep routine and going to bed at the same time each night, we get better rest and will be less stressed the following day. By doing as I suggest here, you are well on your way to getting a better night sleep. To get an even better night’s sleep:
- Avoid drinking water at least 2 hours before bedtime so that you won’t have to wake up so many times in the middle of the night.
- Schedule 7-8 hours of sleep time. Be greedy with this time. Your sleep time is not wasted time, it is precious.
- Avoid being over stimulated before sleep. Avoid the late-night news, don’t drink alcohol, end your coffee consumption earlier in the day, and don’t smoke within an hour of sleep. Even lay aside arguments with your spouse in order to get your rest!
- Do your bedtime routine in the same way every day. Get clothes ready for morning and take warm comforting bath (try adding a 10-15 drops of essential oils of rose, chamomile, sandalwood or lavender to your bath) and whatever other evening skin care you might do. Get into comfortable sleeping clothes (or not, nude is supposed to be more sleep promoting than pajamas), and brush teeth.
- Avoid having electronics near your bed. Don’t watch TV in bed. Keep your phone on a stand on the other side of the room from your bed. This will not only ensure that you sleep better, but because you’ll have to get up to turn it off, you’re less likely to hit snooze in the morning!
- Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room.
- Now, as you’re getting into bed, put a notepad beside your bed. Determine a question to ask your subconscious mind to solve (it works best when the conscious mind is asleep). If you can’t think of anything else, use the question: “What can I do to improve tomorrow (best to use specific date)?” In the morning, if something comes to mind as you awaken, write it down on the notepad at the side of your bed.
- Once you’re in bed, start thinking about everything that you are grateful for. As you name something, take a deep breath and relax.
- Now do some relaxation exercise to help you sleep. What I like to do is to lay on my back (you could try on your side if you can’t lie on your back. Now focus your attention on your feet and will them to relax. Now move up your body willing each body part to relax and taking long slow deep breaths between each body part. Work up to your torso. Now work down your arms and back up your neck. When you reach your head, do the same for your jaw, your tongue, your teeth, your nose (one nostril at a time) each eye one at a time and up to the top of your head. Often, I don’t finish before I am fast asleep.
Have a Stress-Free and Better Tomorrow
Now you can rest in the fact that you have prepared for tomorrow and have done the best you can tonight to make tomorrow an even better day than today!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cygnet Brown