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Many families find the rush is on to make it to school and work on time each morning. Feeling rushed in the morning is a recipe for added stress. Rushing through things is a poor way to begin a day, and those feelings of uneasiness can put a damper on the rest of the day ahead.
Making mornings less hectic involves a few different strategies that parents and kids can easily incorporate into their daily routines.
• Wake up slightly earlier. Getting up earlier than normal, even if it's just 15 to 20 minutes before you're accustomed to getting out of bed, can help reduce morning stress. Resist the temptation to hit the snooze button over and over again. A few extra minutes each morning can make you feel more relaxed and make for a smooth, stress-free start to the day.
• Get some work done the night before. Prepare lunches the night before and have them ready in the refrigerator. In addition, lay your clothes for the following day out each night. This saves time and takes a couple more things off your morning to-do list.
• Ease back into a routine. As a new school year dawns or a long vacation comes to an end, begin going to bed earlier and start waking up earlier as well. This can make the transition from carefree mornings to busy mornings go more smoothly.
• Prep backpacks in the evening. Look through folders, sign paperwork, check assignments, and do whatever is you need to do the night before to save your family from having to scramble in the morning. This ensures those permission slips get signed and items make it back into school bags.
• Opt for school lunch a few times. Look ahead on the school lunch menu and speak with children about which meals they enjoy. Let kids purchase school lunch on those days to give yourself a day off from lunch detail.
• Have quick breakfast foods available. Smoothies, cereal bars, oatmeal, and whole-grain cereals are fast and nutritious ways to start the day.
• Carpool whenever possible. Busy families can save themselves extra work by proposing a neighborhood carpool. Sharing school dropoff detail frees time up for parents once or twice a week, and kids may enjoy traveling to school with their friends.
Mornings can be tricky when family members are getting ready for school and work at the same time. By practicing a few daily rituals, it's possible to curb the rush and start the day happier and more relaxed.