Families are occupied with a variety of divergent commitments. Unfortunately, it leaves us with little quality time to spend together. While my kids are in school, my husband and I have full-time day jobs that keep us glued to our workstations throughout the week. Post-work, too, our responsibilities and duties seem never-ending! Not surprisingly, a few health issues showed up.
Muscle stiffness, lethargy, and a perpetually grumpy mood strongly impacted my physical health. My husband, too, brought home stress and the additional burdens of work that negatively spilled over in the relationships we share — as a couple, with our children, and as a family.
I figured the culprit was a terrible daily routine that I was determined to change. Studies suggest, being sleep-deprived impacts our daily functioning. It impairs memory and judgment, leads to clumsiness, attention deficiency (which hinders productivity), and causes mood slumps. A change was necessary not only for our physical health but also for our marriage and to build a conscious parent-child relationship. But none of us were morning people, and I soon realized that’s where most of our problems lay. So, I decided to make a few changes in order to create a more mindful morning routine to be healthier and happier as a family — with better control of how our days transpired.
Thanks to these activities that I discovered online, I started to feel better. Incorporating them into our morning routine has left us feeling much better, recharged, and alert — ready to take on the day with vigor and enthusiasm. Nope, I am not kidding. They did work!
A Mindful Morning Routine: 5 Effective Practices You Can Follow
It is said that how happy we are is a reflection of our health. Data from vast medical records prove that making time for tending to our relationships amplifies our joys. So, dedicating time and space for the family is crucial. But before you begin these daily morning activities, consider setting a daily plan and follow it religiously. Remember that sleeping at ungodly hours will be counterproductive, so you might want to fix a time for the lights to go out (and this includes all the gadgets too). Discuss a schedule with your partner and children. A quick tip: ask for their opinions instead of forcing your whims on them. Find out what works well for all and stick to it. Most importantly, set a rule to never hit snooze, or everyone will get back to their old ways and bargain for more sleep.
That said, I am sharing five mindful activities with you that helped us wake up with higher levels of positivity.
Indulge in a new hobby every alternate day
Like gardening, coloring, DIY projects for home, or helping someone in need with their chores especially the elderly in the neighborhood. Research shows that being kind to ourselves and those around us, even a stranger, boosts happiness. Indeed, these daily activities have slowly but magically helped my kids act on opportunities to be compassionate towards fellow human beings. Now, isn’t that wonderful?
Sit together to write affirmations
Teach this habit to your kids to write what they wish to achieve, it can be a small task or even a long-cherished dream. Studies suggest that optimism helps you restore self-competence and fills you with gratitude. This mindful practice has immensely helped us identify our potentials and align with our aspirations better. It also makes a world of difference in raising our positive energy as we begin each day — we feel calmer and certainly more hopeful.
Hug your kids
Hugging behavior is believed to infuse a certain degree of high emotional quality in our connections and improve self-esteem. Morning cuddles to show your love before embarking upon the new day can be the best thing for a family. Tell each other how blessed you are to be together. In fact, we’ve subconsciously started doing this every day and each of us loves it!
Divide the morning chores
Divide the household chores with your kids. Cooking breakfast, cleaning, and getting dressed for the day are simple things they can help with. Organizing your schedules ahead can enable smooth sailing through the day. This should allow you to stay connected with your family and also spend more time on leisurely family activities in the evenings. My husband and kids love prepping breakfast. Plus, they’ve definitely started bonding over it too!
Meditate in the company of your loved one
This activity can help raise your positive spirits with the power of love around you. Meditation and deep breathing practices are proven to trigger neurochemical reactions in the brain and release happy hormones like endorphins and dopamine. Simply put, this has positive effects like better management of depression and anxiety. It’s true: we do feel less irritable.
P.S. It wasn’t fun initially, and there were days we failed to show up altogether. But the idea was to remain consistent, despite the hiccups and intrusion of sudden or unplanned commitments.
Will These Really Help?
Studies show that a solid morning routine can be immensely beneficial in the long run. It sets the tone for the day, helps manage time, and invites more peace as it improves sleep. It helped us all gain more time to accomplish and prioritize our tasks for the rest of the day.
We have started seeing more of each other; my kids have stopped missing the school bus (LOL), and they finish their homework(s) on time (Yay). My husband and I feel more active, which allows us extra hours to engage as a couple romantically — all because we have gotten more productive and take better care of ourselves. Indeed it’s no easy feat to accomplish, but practice makes perfect!
A Sincere Confession: We’ve certainly been far from perfecting a mindful morning routine. However, a few weeks of practice has undoubtedly been remarkably beneficial as we feel less sluggish and more awake to take on the day.
Are you still wondering? Go ahead and see for yourself. You won’t know unless you try.
About the Writer: Shalaka Ohatker is an enthusiastic writer who writes about parenting, lifestyle, relationships, mindfulness, and the challenges of adulthood. She is a regular contributor at MomJunction.com Shalaka thrives to break down the complexities of daily life and to bring out the solutions in the simplest of forms through her blogs.