morning routine

Taming Morning Madness During the Holidays
December 13th, 2017

Chilly, dark days are enough to make even morning people slap the snooze button and snuggle a little deeper in the sheets for a few more minutes. If you and your family have been dragging down the holiday home stretch between now and a few well-earned vacation days, try these tips to set a schedule you’ll want to keep going in the new year.

 

Get Organized

Make mornings easier by doing as many things as possible the night before. That might mean setting out school clothes, pre-packing lunches, organizing backpacks, and reviewing responsibilities for the following day. Day-before routines also help curtail crises like discovering your second grader needs family photos for a holiday memories project right before everyone’s ready to walk out the door in the morning.

 

Savor Sleep

A good morning starts with a sound night’s sleep for all. Help keep your kids on track by sticking close to their regular wake up and bedtime schedules, even if they are on a school break. If they’re begging to stay up late, establish a ritual that helps them wind down for the night and set a good example by hitting the hay around the same time as usual yourself.

 

Eat Right

Begin the day with a healthy breakfast for the whole family. If whipping up a balanced breakfast on school days seems impossible, try make-ahead options like low-fat muffins, healthy homemade breakfast bars, or wraps that can be made the night before and assembled in the morning.

To minimize overeating at any meal, an article from Blank Children’s Hospital suggest serving kids small portions to start, turning off the TV during mealtimes, and allowing children to leave food on their plates if they are full. The holidays are also a good time to model moderation given the plethora of goodies available at this time of year. If you indulge in some sweet treats or high-calorie holiday dishes, make a point of serving yourself a small portion and balancing it out with lots of vegetables and fruits.

 

Make Music

Try creating a kid-friendly morning playlist that also acts as a sound signal to stick to the schedule. Even young kids can learn that when “The Wheels on the Bus” starts playing, it’s time to get their shoes on and get ready to leave the house. Try shuffling the playlist — a little — by introducing some holiday songs to the mix.

 

Schedule Self Care

Parenting is stressful year-around, and the holidays can certainly add challenges as well as cheer. Maybe mornings can become your time to connect with yourself or your partner. Even if you can’t find the energy to set your alarm a little earlier every day, try waking up before the kids a few times a week. Use those quiet moments to meditate, journal, or share a cup of coffee with your parenting partner.

If you can get going early, maybe mornings are the perfect time for a short yoga session or spin on your exercise bike. If not, don’t sweat it. Just schedule a snowball fight or a living room dance party with your kids to combine exercise with fun family time.

 

Keep Cool

Kids pick up on and often mirror parents’ moods. So it’s important to manage your own stress levels during the hectic holiday season. If baking, shopping, party planning, and all the other seasonal responsibilities are taking their toll, curtail your calendar if you can. And make sure to schedule some down time, especially on days after big events.

Above all, try to stay unruffled in the mornings. One expert interviewed by Parenting suggests putting an encouraging hand on a child’s arm or getting down on their level to make eye contact in order to get them going if they are off to a slow start. The positive contact will help everyone stay connected and calm.

 

Try these suggestions this holiday season and keep them going all year long banish morning mayhem for good.

 

Guest post by: Daniel Sherwin

 

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