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Do you ever wake up feeling unprepared for the day, or rushed as soon as your alarm goes off? If so, you could benefit from preparing for the day ahead of time. Say, the night before…
Having a routine at night isn’t just for the kiddos to help them get to sleep on time; you can use a routine for yourself, as well. And, the more you use the routine, the easier it gets because it naturally turns into a habit!! Isn’t that awesome. But, until then, use this list to help remind you of your routine; or write down your own!
You could even use a habit tracker to help you remember the night time habits you’d like to instill in yourself!
Whether you like waking up early or staying up late, you’ll love my tips below for setting up a successful routine before you go to bed. It’s full of actionable steps that you can take right now to help you sleep better and wake up knowing that everything is already set for the day. And, let me tell you; it’s an amazing feeling!
Set your coffee.
If you drink coffee in the morning, set it up at night. Let’s make sure that coffee is ready before you even get up!! If you don’t have a coffee pot that can be set to make it before you get up (this is the one I have), simply set it up the night before and turn it on when you wake up. Not having to touch the coffee pot in the morning til you pour your coffee is such a great feeling; almost like someone else made it for you!
Make sure the dishes are done and counters are clear.
I don’t know about you, but I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen and I like to have it looking nice. If I wake up with cluttered counters and a sink full of dishes; I’m not a happy camper. I very much dislike doing dishes, so the thought of having to do them first thing when I wake up is never a pleasant thought. I don’t like having to do anything before eating breakfast in the morning.
Maybe it’s just me, but the kitchen is the heart of my home. Sure, it may be small, but it’s where I make the food that nourishes my family and create new healthy recipes that I hope they all like. If my kitchen isn’t clean and organized the way I like it then I feel at a slight loss. There’s nothing that feels better than having a clean home (well, besides drinking a nice warm cup of coffee), and that all starts with a clean kitchen.
Pick up any random items and put them away.
Now, I’m not saying to let your kids get out of cleaning up their toys because you’re just going to do it anyways. Maybe, just put their toys in their rooms and let them know it’s their responsibility to put them away. But, I’m talking more about picking up the kitchen or living room, or really anywhere that is shared space.
Just scan the areas to see if anything is out of place; if there’s a wrapper; throw it out, fold blankets, put any dirty clothes on the floor into baskets. Things like that. Things that other people in the house don’t really care about, but will drive you insane if they aren’t taken care of.
If you’re lucky, maybe you can start training your kids to do this before they go to bed, too!
Pack bags for the next day.
If you work outside the home, have kids who go to school, or need to go out the next day; you better be prepared to do so. Make sure your purse has your wallet in it, with whatever else you may need, and if you have little ones; make sure the diaper bag is packed. Help your older children pack their bags for school. Pack lunches and lunch bags the night before you need them, this way you don’t have to rush in the morning. And, just in case you oversleep, no one will go hungry at work or school the next day, or have to spend extra money to buy lunch.
Making sure bags are packed before bed may even help you fall asleep easier. No worries about making sure we have a specific item with us the next day or that our child is going to forget their homework that they worked so hard on!
Have clothes laid out (for everyone)
If you want to have a stress free morning, make sure you know what you’re going to wear. Or, better yet, make sure your kids know what they’re wearing the next day; to prevent an early morning meltdown of them not being able to find something to wear. (This may still happen when they decide against what they picked out, but it’ll lesson the chance.)
Believe me, it’s not just a phase teenagers go through anymore. My five year does this, too. I can no longer pick out what she wears. This is how it goes; I give her my opinion, she shoots it down, then she comes downstairs 20 minutes later wearing what she wants. Sometimes it’s even what I recommended, when 20 minutes ago she told me it was ugly!
So, just avoid the hassle and have clothes laid out ahead of time. If you want to be super prepared, then lay them out a week ahead of time. When I worked outside the home, that was exactly what I did. Never had to worry about being able to find something to wear or make sure something was clean; I had my 5 work outfits all hung up for the week! Sometimes I even picked out outfits 2 weeks at a time; what a time saver!
Have some time to yourself to wind down.
Having time to yourself at some point during the day is important, especially if you’re a stay at home mom or an introvert (like me)! We need a few minutes of peace and quiet at least once a day; to help save any sanity we may have left. And, with our children growing and changing all the time, we have to sometimes be creative on how we get these few moments of peace and we have to spend them wisely.
Over this past year both my girls went from sleeping in later than me in the morning to waking up around 5am; so I lost my precious morning time to myself. I had to switch to peace at night after they went to sleep. And, the time of day you get for peace and quiet may be different and ever changing like mine, as well; sometimes we just have to go with the flow of the day and adjust our schedule’s as needed.
If you get your peace and quiet at night, some of the best ways to wind down at night include; stretching, meditating, writing, or reading. I just made a bulk purchase of e-books, so I’ve been reading those on my phone before going to bed, lately. (The light from the phone doesn’t phase me; I used to fall asleep with a book in one hand and coffee in the other when I was in college. I’ve always had an easy time falling asleep, and good luck if you ever try waking me up!) But, there’s other ways, as well. Leave a comment below to share how you wind down at the end of the day.
If possible, avoid watching TV before bed
One thing you should not do before bed is watch TV. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, and this may even be the way you wind down at night. But, the lights from the TV messes with meletonin and your whole sleep cycle and could make it harder for you to fall asleep. (Unless you’re like me and fall asleep super easily)
Try reading an actual book instead of watching TV. Or, if your children are the ones guilty of watching TV at night, try reading to them from an actual, physical book. They may even enjoy the extra attention they’re getting from you! Because, let’s face it, reading to them is a lot more like quality time with them than watching a show!
Write down your to do list, or do a brain dump if your mind won’t stay still
Write your ‘to do’ list before getting into bed (or, while in bed). This will help make sure you don’t forget that important task you must do tomorrow, or all of the little things that need to be done. Plus, if you write everything down that’s on your mind, then your mind is free to wander where it needs to, to help you fall asleep easier.
Lately, I feel like I have so much to do, or so much I want to do; it’s almost impossible for me to fall asleep unless I write down what’s on my mind that needs to get done. And, if I’m already in bed and can’t sleep but I don’t want to get up, I simply type it up on the notepad app on my phone. This way I don’t have to worry about forgetting what needs to get done the next day or scheduled to be done another day. (Then I simply have to remember that I typed it up on my phone.)
My last piece of advice…
I know this list isn’t in any sort of order, and that was on purpose. Because it doesn’t matter the order you do these things in; it doesn’t even matter if you do them all! This is what works for me as a stay at home mom, or what used to work for me when I worked full time outside the home.
Do what works for you! Try out different ways of getting things done at night, or when you have a spare second during the day. If something works, then keep doing it; if it doesn’t work, try something else. Don’t get discouraged if what worked one night for you doesn’t work the next. Just don’t keep doing the same thing over again when it doesn’t work, in hopes that it will; it may drive you mad! Eventually you’ll find a night time routine that works for you and your family. Just be aware that your life goes in seasons, and what works in one may not work in another!
Please share if you found this advice helpful, and don’t forget to take a moment to share in the comments what you do before bed to have a better tomorrow!!