5 ways to stress-proof your morning, mama

How to create the right morning routine for you

5 ways to stress-proof your morning, mama

Let’s talk about mornings.

Mornings can be rough, especially if you are a mom to school-aged children. There are tantrums about getting out of bed and getting dressed. There is chaos over what to eat for breakfast or pack for lunch. And there is never enough time before you have to rush out the door.

I cringe at the stressful mornings that were my past. I wasn’t happy kicking off my day like this and realized that something needed to change. In this case, it was my morning routine. A morning routine doesn’t need to be long and drawn-out, but it does need to be meaningful, intentional and consistent.

How to create the right morning routine for you

I know it can be overwhelming to think of yet another thing to add to your day. Remember to think of the routine as collecting the good habits you want to employ throughout the day, so it’s about blocking your time in a beneficial way.

1. Pre-prep

This is a suggestion for the evening before, but it still affects your morning. Pre-prep lunches, lay out the next day’s clothes for your kids (and yourself), sign homework and pack backpacks at night. You can even pre-prep breakfast. Then take a look at tomorrow’s schedule so you are clear on what you want to accomplish the following day. The goal is to get as much ready as you can the night before so you have a smoother morning.

2. Wake up earlier

I know you don’t want to hear this, so let’s just get it over with as the first tip. You will rarely find a successful person who doesn’t get up early. I’m not making this up (sorry)! People who get up early tend to be happier, be more productive and make more money. The simple truth is that you can’t fit anything else in your day if you don’t get up a little earlier. Start with 10 minutes, then increase from there as you’re able.

I don’t, however, want you to sacrifice sleep, so you might need to give up that episode of The Bachelor or Scandal and set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier. And you definitely need to change your paradigm: Instead of saying, “I’m not a morning person,” tell yourself, “This is my special time.” It’s okay if you don’t become a “morning person” who bounces out of bed joyfully every morning. As one of my friends says, “I don’t like getting up early, but I love being up early.”

What matters is that you get up and do your routine.

3. Create a ritual

Rituals are incredibly comforting. You can count on them each day, knowing they are like a best friend who always supports you. Here’s a suggestion of what to try:

  • Start your day with a cup of coffee or tea before anyone else is up.
  • Do not check your phone or computer, even if you think it will help you ease into your day.
  • Consider journaling, reading, or meditating. Many find this early morning quiet time to be a wonderful space for prayer or inspirational reading. Or maybe get yourself a set of good colored pencils and an adult coloring book and color your way into the morning. Experiment and see what you’re most drawn to, then make that part of your routine.

4. Exercise

Consider starting your day with movement. If you can get your exercise done before your family wakes up, you are golden for the day! Try an early morning Body Back class if it’s available near you, or if you have stroller-age kids, go to Stroller Strides with your little cherub. Exercise in the morning will pump up your energy and your endorphins, giving you a much more positive perspective for your day.

5. Write down your three most important things

Take a look at your calendar for the day and decide the three most important things you need to get done. Write them down, including when you will do them. This puts you in the driver’s seat. This gives you CONTROL. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Commit to this, and you will put yourself in charge.

Committing to a healthy morning routine can give you back your control and help you restore some of that much-needed life balance. It sets the tone for your day, motivating you and filling you with the energy you will need for later hours. With a morning routine, you start making small, good choices as soon as you wake up, and when it truly becomes a routine, you barely need to think about the choices—they become second nature.

Excerpt from The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family, by Lisa Druxman.

14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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