Avoid Morning Frenzy: 7 Tips for a Calmer Start

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Ever notice how when you start out the day late, you tend to be late (and cranky) all day? And on the opposite, how a nice calm morning tends to lend itself to a nice calm day? So it makes sense that you'd want to put some thought and preparation into making
your mornings as calm as possible. If you're ready for a calmer start, try these 7 tips next week.

1. Do make having a morning plan/routine a family affair, one that everybody is aware of, agrees to, and sticks to. It will cut down fussing, confusion, tardiness, and your frustrations if everyone has input into the schedule and understands the benefits. Try a routine, and then tweak it until it's working well for everybody.

2. Don't try a new makeup, new hairstyle, new hair color, or a new self tanner during the week. There's no reason to purposely frustrate yourself before you have to go deal with the boss. There's plenty of time for frustrating yourself on the weekend. Practice on
the weekend first, so the results will be predictable.

3. Do decide what to wear the night before. If you or your fussy teenager (or toddler) tend to dress based on your wake-up mood, hang out 2 or 3 different styles (dressy, funky, comfortable) to choose from. This makes sure that the clothing is clean, in good repair, and fits, and will preserve your sanity as well as your closet. No more shouting, "where's my green sweater?" when all you want to know is "where's my coffee?"

4. Don't watch TV (or let the kids watch). If you need the weather report, or the traffic report, turn on the radio. Trying to pry kids away from a good program is a recipe for moodiness. Trying to pry yourself away from the antics of Matt and Katie is a recipe for lateness. Just say No.

5. Do set up a "station" for each family member (this could be a basket or backpack) to corral everything each person needs to walk out the door (purse, briefcase, cell phone, keys, dry-cleaning to drop off, video to return, homework, gym clothes, lunch box, etc.) This eliminates lost minutes and lost calm by preventing the frantic search for the Grisham novel you promised to return to your co-worker, or the overdue video. It's a good idea to keep this near coats, umbrellas, and even your monthly planner so you know what's on the family's agenda.

6. Don't try to clean the house before you leave unless that's already a part of your not-late routine. Decide what must be done in order for you to feel good about leaving and create a set amount of time - and a specific person -- to do it. Everyone make their beds? Make sure you do it at a specific time, not as an afterthought, when it's time to be going out the door. (7:00 = breakfast time, 7:15 = bed making time).

7. And finally..Don't hit the snooze more than once. You know those extra few minutes won't make you feel any better, and it will make you cranky when you have to rush. Be realistic about how much time you need for the morning routine, and pad that with 10 minutes. And have a happy, peaceful start to your day.

About the Author:

Professional Life Coach Kathy Gates is the author of several e-books and e-courses designed to help people live happier, healthier, easier lives. Sign up for her ezine, "Make It Happen" at www.reallifecoach.com.

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