Weekly Gratitude – The Benefit of Routine

I am not a morning person. I can be chipper and alert and happy and productive and anything else you need me to be at night but I am not a happy camper in the morning. Before I had kids, I slept in as much as I possibly could and routinely stayed up late.

But then I had kids.

My kids wake up early. And I mean early. Most mornings, the little one is up by 5:15am. Even though I’ve learned to go to bed early, I am still bleary-eyed and miserable at that time of the day. And it used to take me quite a few hours to wake up and find my balance. Often times, it would be 9am before I felt awake and alert. That meant that I wasted almost four hours of my day every single day, feeling groggy and tired.

Since trying to convince my son to sleep longer didn’t work out, I decided to try a new routine. For the last month and a half, I created a list of projects for myself that I “schedule” for first thing in the morning. I give myself until 6:30 or so to wake up and then I sit at my table and work on my project. This project might be art, scrapbooking, journaling, sewing, stitching, knitting, or crocheting. It’s often something visual and something I do with my hands. It generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes (depending on the project and on my kids’ patience). By the end of the allotted time, I have a lovely project I just created and I am fully awake. And, more significantly, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I am in my happy place.

This has become the most wonderful new routine. It starts all my days in the best way possible. It means I’m wasting less time, trying more of the projects I’ve wanted to do, and I am even more patient and kinder with my kids since I feel more awake and happier.

If, like me, you’re not a morning person, I urge you to try this. If 90 minutes is too long for you, try 30 minutes. Make a list of techniques you’ve wanted to try and try each of them for 15-30 minutes every morning. You’d be amazed what you can learn in that little time.

The following is cross-posted from the Weekly Gratitude Blog. I will post there every Tuesday and decided to post those posts here, too. For those of you who read both blogs, I apologize in advance. Some weeks the content might be different and other weeks, exactly the same.

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