I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed, feeling a little grumpy and a lot groggy. It was one of those dreary, rain-filled starts to the day that left much to be desired.
I struggled to get out of bed, I struggled to get off of the couch, and I struggled to get out of my pajamas. What I really wanted to do was curl up in my soft bed with a good book and read away the day, but I have two preschoolers at home (the older two were at school) who required attention and a mountain of laundry that spilled ominously over the sides of the baskets.
I knew that if I didn’t kick it into gear immediately, I would waste away the day!
So what is a non-coffee-drinking, busy mom of four to do on a dreary morning such as this?
Let’s be honest; it’s the starting that is so difficult. Often if I can get myself going on just the first task in a long list of stuff to be done, I find the energy to do even more! Here are my favorite ways to get started in the morning.
10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Morning
1. Go to bed earlier the night before! I know, I know – that’s the most obvious advice ever. But it’s true. When the twins were infants, I forced myself to go to bed not long after they did. I knew that if I didn’t go to bed right away, the next day would be miserable and difficult. However, now that they are a little older, I’ve gotten out of the habit of early bedtime. It’s too easy to give in to the thought, “Just a few more minutes of me-time.” One of my work-in-progress goals is to go to bed earlier so that I can get out of bed earlier the next morning, (emphasis on the work-in-progress)!
2. Shower (or at least splash some cold water on your face). I know there are many mornings that showering first thing just isn’t an option, especially if you have little ones in the house. I have found that on the days when I have to wait for my shower (or even go without), washing my face goes a long way toward helping my sleepy eyes stay open.
3. Spend time with the Lord. Rarely do I have time for a full quiet time first thing in the morning; I save that for the quiet of nap time. However, whenever possible I try to at least offer a quick prayer of thankfulness for a new day and a request for assistance. I pray for strength, patience, and sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. Taking just a minute or so to focus my eyes on Jesus really changes my attitude. How can we expect to exhibit the spiritual fruits of love, patience, kindess, etc. if we don’t stay connected to the vine?
4.Change into real clothes. Did you know that simply changing out of your pajamas into your everyday clothes sends a signal to your body that it’s time to wake up? (Just look up circadian rhythms on google.) What a simple and quick way to jumpstart your morning.
5. Turn on the lights. Just as changing our clothes sends a signal to our bodies, exposing ourselves to light also signals that it is wake-up time. Open the curtains or blinds; if it’s dreary outside, turn on the lights!
6. Eat breakfast! When the twins were infants, I often found myself eating meals hours after I normally would, which left me feeling tired and grouchy. Your metabolism needs to be nudged in the mornings, and a healthy breakfast is the way to do it. If I don’t have time for a full breakfast, I grab a protein granola bar or some greek yogurt. They make a great way to jumpstart your morning when you need to be on the go.
7. Drink one to two full glasses of water. Just as eating breakfast turns up the metabolism heat, drinking water also revs up your bodies’ energy engine. Additionally, it makes up for any dehydration you may be experiencing after the nighttime hours of not drinking. Dehydration can cause drowsiness, foggy brain function, memory lapses, and more.
8. Get physically active! I am learning this particular nugget of advice works wonders for me. If I go from my bed to the couch or even a chair, that groggy feeling is going to persist much longer! Sometimes I purposefully eat my breakfast standing up. However, the best mornings take place when I have time to do 20 minutes of pilates or a quick Leslie Sansone 1-mile walk. A mere fifteen minutes of exercise boosts the metabolism, enhances my mood, and gives me energy all at the same time. Win, win, win! However, in our busy household, I often lack time for exercise first thing in the morning. I’ve found that even doing some housework at a quick pace works. Just get moving!
9. Turn up the tunes. No, not the tv, but the radio! Jumpstart your morning with music. This is my favorite way to lift a grumpy mood and energize my body, no matter what time of day. Find your favorite upbeat station and turn the volume up!! Not only will you enjoy the music, but your children (if you have any at home) will love it, too. I tend to listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music because in addition to the musical beat, the biblical truth in the lyrics sets my heart on a good path, too. In fact, on mornings when everyone seems to have been bitten by the grumpy bug during the night, blasting some music can transform the entire household.
10. Keep in mind that every day is a gift from God, even if today doesn’t “feel” like a gift! I’ll be honest; some days I wake up dreading the hard work or busy schedule ahead. But on those days when I remember that life is a gift, that serving the Lord is a gift, too, even the busiest schedule becomes manageable.
These verses encourage me to make the most of my days:
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” Exodus 15:2
“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Don’t be disheartened by a dreary start to the morning, friends.
Instead, ask the Lord to help you see the potential in the day that lies ahead, or ask Him for grace and strength to endure the tough ones.
Rejoice in the new day He has given you!
I’d love to hear from you: what methods do you use to get going on those sleepy mornings? What verses encourage you to make a good start to the day? Share a tip in the comments to help the rest of us sleepy moms!