I don’t know about you, but this can be an absolutely insane time of year for me. The change of seasons, beginning of school, kick-off of almost every activity, fall festivals galore, and sports mania, almost send me over the edge every year. I thrive on routine and my #1 strength from StrengthsFinder 2.0 is discipline. (Pray for my husband.) Until I figure out how to manage all of the ‘new’ in our lives, chaos threatens my internal world. On top of that, my husband travels for work mostly in the Fall and Spring. So, add on some solo parenting in the midst of all of the aforementioned chaos, and I need an intervention.
After feeling particularly frazzled last week, I have taken a more proactive approach this week and am already reaping the rewards. One simple change can be the edge you and I need to ‘right the ship’ in the waves of commotion. Before you read this, please remember that HOW=Hope of Winning. If this doesn’t work for you, use it as inspiration to find something that does. Your HOW can be different from my HOW. If you are a new mom, fighting an illness, or purposefully catching up on rest, just file this away in the back of your mind for a future time.
So what’s my simple change to help me feel less frazzled? Getting up two hours earlier. Yes, 2! I know, I know. You’ve heard this before and it’s just not your thing.
Before you dismiss it, here are 4 reasons that getting up earlier is actually worth it:
1. Wake up in a better mood.
My oldest daughter starts out the day ‘ready to go.’ As a preschooler, the first words out of her mouth almost every morning were, “Where are we going today, Mommy?” On most mornings, if I am not awake before her, she comes in to our bedroom, taps incessantly on the middle of my forehead until I rouse, and then proceeds to tell me her plan for the day. (Who does that?!) Did I mention I’m not a morning person? This has not gone well for
her us. When I choose to set my alarm and wake up on my own timing (even if it’s early), I feel the satisfaction of actually being the one that decides when I wake up. I start my day in a way that helps me, rather than just everyone else. As a result, I am begin my day in a better mood. Everyone benefits from that!
2. Uninterrupted time to think and reflect.
Once my kids wake up, it is nearly impossible for me to think clearly. Even if they are not with me, the demands of life, devices, and other relationships, prevent me from having uninterrupted time to think. By waking up early, I create space in my day to reflect, pray, read, and journal. By waking up two hours early and not just one, I can do this in an unhurried manner that truly feeds my soul. I even had time to write a letter to someone that was long overdue because I was able to think clearly and prioritize it in that precious time.
3. Time to workout.
Although I have not yet incorporated this back into my early morning routine (baby steps!), I purposefully planned to get up two hours early and not just one, so that I have time to get a workout in, too. When I get up only one hour early, I feel like I am still rushing through my morning. By carving out a two hour window, I create the likelihood of a workout actually happening.
4. Be completely ready for the day.
I finally figured out that a lot of my inner turmoil lately, stemmed from the guilt and chaos I felt trying to get ready after my kids were awake. I was running from the breakfast table to doing kids hair to trying to put on make-up and clothes before getting my oldest to school. I felt guilty that I was not truly with her for those minutes right before school, and I felt so chaotic about making myself presentable while trying to handle the morning household tasks. By getting up early, I am able to get myself fully ready for the day, so that I can be present and available for my family in the mornings.
Now that I have told you about my new approach, I have some extra accountability to stick to it. There will be days that this will not happen, and that’s okay. When kids wake up in the middle of the night, or an unexpected event happens, we need to be flexible enough to give ourselves grace and move on. At the same time, let’s not make excuses that make it easy for us to continue in the chaos. Take back some control of your time, and see if getting up two hours (or even just 15 minutes) early, is just the change you need to get out of the frazzled frenzy.
Join The Conversation: Do you get up early or wish you did? Do you have to force yourself or find it easy? What are the benefits you have experienced? You can leave a comment by clicking here.