We've all been there. Your alarm goes off, you hit snooze and doze right back to sleep. Next thing you know, the alarm is buzzing again and you glance at the clock to realize you have exactly three minutes to get the kids out of bed, fully dressed and in the car for school. Nevermind the fact that you also need to look like an alive human in those three minutes so you can also scurry out the door and hope you can avoid getting out of the car while in the drop-off line. Replace "drop-off line" with work, meeting, whatever else. We've all been there, right? Please tell me you know this feeling because it was basically my life during the first half of this school year. And honestly, I hit a wall a little over a month ago. I was done. We were all miserable and I knew that our mornings needed a complete overhaul.
One thing that I realized is that I get to make the choice about how I start my day. For most of this school year, school days began with a lot of hitting the snooze button, rushing, yelling and racing to school. Then, I’d come home so frazzled that all I could do was start the coffee and waste an hour in my office piddling around to finish waking up. My productivity suffered, my daughter was miserable in the mornings and it even made me mad at my husband who snoozed through it most days. Something had to change! I started by making five changes to my morning that have completely transformed the vibes in my house each morning. So let’s get down to it and see if any of these things will help your house rolling too!
Every morning is an opportunity. The very first thing you have to change is your attitude. It’s so easy to fall into the same old tropes: “Mondays suck”, “Mornings are rough and stressful” and “Why is everything out to get me today?!” But here’s the thing, you can choose to not fall into that trap. Take a minute and just sit down to evaluate what is causing you the most stress in the morning. For me, it was that we were sleeping too late, rushing around, and I wasn’t feeling good either. This was causing arguments and general frustration between me and my daughter. Then when I got home, I needed that “wake up” time to adjust to my day still. So instead of feeling ready for the day, I was just exhausted and worn out by 8 am. Now I knew what was wrong and I had to treat each day morning like an opportunity to jumpstart my day in a productive manner and I really wanted some time to myself in the process.
By taking a step back and writing down what was the most stressful parts of our morning, I began looking for solutions to the biggest issues. For me, I knew it all began with the fact that we just didn't give ourselves enough time, so I took steps to solve that problem first. Take a minute and just think about what the top three hardest parts of your morning are and don't forget to ask your whole family. You can all brainstorm on ways you can all work together to solve those issues. Not only will this help you find solutions, but your kids will also learn about problem resolution and self-improvement tactics.
Wake up. No seriously, just wake up. My natural tendency has always been for late nights vs early mornings, but then I had a child. So, I became a night owl and an early morning person due to having a child that just didn't sleep well. Basically, I spent the last five years sleeping all of 5-6 hours most of the time. I truly believe that if you really want to shift your schedule, you can change your habits to make it happen. I started slowly. I set alarms for 20 mins earlier than normal for a week, then slowly pulled that back another 5-10 minutes until I was waking up at 5:45a-6a pretty consistently without too much snooze button smashing. I still struggle some days and end up sleeping until “rush time” for school drop off, but because I did it slowly and made it enjoyable, it gets easier and easier by the week.
Here’s the secret I will tell you, fellow moms, if you get up before everyone else and you can be the master of quiet steps, you can actually start your day in silence. Nobody asking you where their shoes are, nobody desperately begging you for a snack, and nobody endlessly distracting you while your coffee goes cold. If you have trouble finding time to get your center, I encourage you to really just try getting out of bed. Even finding just 20 minutes to start your day on your own routine can really impact your entire day. The silence with the gorgeous early morning light peeking in your windows is probably the most calming part of my day right now. I would love to have you just try it for a week and see if it renews your heart too.
No phones. No tech. Nada for at least 30 minutes. I don’t know about you, but jumping on Facebook or email on my phone is this annoying habitual thing that my brain just automatically does...and I hate it. I realized that I was turning my alarm off (which is on my phone) and then immediately opening an email, then Facebook. What on Earth was I thinking? In those first few moments awake, did I really care what a girl I went to high school with was doing last night? Did I really want to jumpstart my day with customer service emails for my business? I’m talking about still laying in bed here, no, I do not need to work literally three seconds after opening my eyes. It took awhile to break this habit and I know I still open it up right away without thinking some days, but I told myself that I would turn off my alarm and then my phone goes back on my nightstand.
The biggest change I saw in myself was that I was just simply happier. Not only was I not subjecting my eyes to the immediate blinding light in my face, but I also wasn’t dealing with emotions from Facebook political posts or the occasional email about an issue with a shipment. Instead, I could start the day with a smile knowing I was going downstairs to get some alone time. I was in charge of my own emotions, not letting outside forces online sway me. I carry my phone downstairs, put it in my office and head to my kitchen. Most days, I go about an hour before touching my phone, but I know sometimes it’s even longer. Even if some fires are waiting for me in my email at 8:30, at least I’ve had some time to just enjoy my morning first. The one caveat I will admit to is that some days, I turn on an encouraging podcast, like The TED Radio Hour, from my phone in the kitchen. But email and social media, are now a total no go.
Move your body. Some days, I stick on my tennis shoes and go for a walk around the block. Sometimes I look up some mini yoga flows online and try them out. And sometimes, I literally just walk around my house downstairs a few minutes and stretch. After I’ve been in bed, crumpled around, I mean "cuddling" dogs and my husband, my body is just sore and feels a little tight. (Why does 31 sometimes feel like 61? Please tell me it’s not just me.) I personally prefer a nice walk around the block, but I also live in Iowa, which means that it’s really cold at 6 am half of the year, so it’s not always possible. But no matter what, I am telling you that if you can get your body moving and get your body hydrated, it's going to just make you feel 100% better and more productive in that early morning.
Drink the good stuff. Okay, you knew I was going to get to this right? Don’t waste your calories, money or precious time drinking low-quality coffee. There, I said it, you have my permission, Treat YO'SELF when it comes to your coffee. For me, my morning coffee isn’t just about caffeinating, but it’s also my special minute that’s just for me. I am truly convinced that there is nothing more soothing to the soul than a nice cup of high-quality coffee in a witty, fun, or thoughtful coffee mug that you love. Grab yourself a glass of water to hydrate, brew that cup of coffee and just soak up the silence.
You know what my favorite part might be of using Crooks and Coffee though? The smell is divine, the flavor is perfect, but honestly, it's the little added touches. There's a motivating mantra on every single bag you order. The next cup you brew, get the water going, get the brew started and close your eyes. Let yourself just breathe for a minute and either silently or out loud, repeat the words on the bag. You will be surprised how soothing to the soul a daily affirmation can truly be. Remember how my #1 tip was to change your attitude? Here you go, we are full circle, affirmations are build to change that attitude!
Whether you're new to Crooks and Coffee or a longtime fan, I am sure you have seen the Monthly Taster Boxes that Dianna puts together every month. These are always three limited edition, new flavors and they come in single pot packets that you can brew at once or scoop it out by the cup. These boxes are shipped for free (who doesn't love free shipping?) and you can buy them one month, three months or six months at a time. I'm so excited to say that Dianna told me that to kick off the launch of Coffee Talk Tuesdays on the blog, I could give away a three month subscription to the Monthly Taster Boxes! What?! Three whole months of coffee bliss sent right to your doorstep, that's right, you can overhaul your morning and we are going to help you make sure you kick it off with high-quality coffee. To enter, leave a comment on this post about your favorite part of your current morning routine or what is causing you the most stress in the mornings. Then be sure to head over to the Crooks and Coffee VIP Facebook Group to learn how to gain extra entries! Winner will be announced next Tuesday, May 1!
Update: WINNER has been contacted and announced in the Crooks and Coffee VIP group! Thank you all for entering!
Hope you enjoyed the first Coffee Talk Tuesday with me, I can't wait to bring you new posts every week from myself and other coffee enthusiasts right here in the Crooks and Coffee website.
Until next time,
Veronica Armstrong is the blog manager at Crooks and Coffee and a blogger/small shop owner at Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her nerdy husband and outgoing five year old daughter. She loves board games, witty coffee mugs and sewing. You can find her on Instagram or Facebook posting everyday Mom life and way too many photos of her coffee.