At Meet Jeanine, August is homeschool month. It's the month I finalize and complete my homeschool planning for the next school year. So I blog more lightly during the month, and sometimes take the whole month off.
This year, I've got at least one blog post planned for each week, and I thought I'd start us off with some tips for other homeschool moms who might also be finishing up your lesson plans for the year. Here are two homeschool tips that could make starting your day a whole lot easier...
Create a Homeschool Morning Routine
The best way to begin crafting the perfect morning time routine is to use the natural rhythms of your family lifestyle. We encourage you to mold morning time into the best version of it for your homeschool. So that might look like taking a few ideas and resources from various places and making a homeschool morning time routine that is uniquely yours.
Instead of just planning the year's topics and creating the lesson plans, consider planning a homeschool morning routine and a rhythm that will guide your homeschool day.
You already may be choosing certain days for certain topics, but the morning routine goes a step further to set intentions for each morning that make the morning go more smoothly. And if your homeschool mornings go more smoothly, your whole day is likelt to be better.
Here are some reflection questions or journal prompts that may help you get started with envisioning your homeschool routine...
(1) What are the challenges your family faces each morning?
(2) How can you create a routine that solves them or lessens them?
(3) How do you want to feel during your homeschool mornings?
(4) What can you include in your morning routine to help you and your children feel that way?
(5) How would you like for your mornings together to begin?
(6) How would you like to begin the homeschool process?
(7) Is there anything you are doing now that you'd like to do differently?
Jot down any ideas that are coming to mind, and then, read on for a specific idea for beginning your homeschool mornings.
Use a Homeschool Morning Basket
A morning book basket is a basket or bag with books we’re reading at the time. Before we do anything in our school day we spend time reading these books or listening to them on audio. -Smart Mom at Home
With this homeschool idea, you start the day slowly and gradually, instead of rushing into activity. We start with a cup of tea and now, will be adding the morning basket idea.
Kids thrive with boundaries and routines; a morning basket is a reassuring habit that signals a transition to the start of the homeschool day. Morning basket is also a gentle way to start the day. If you have children who aren’t morning people, not much concentration is required to listen to a story that mom is reading. In fact, for some kids, this is the perfect way to slowly ease into daily lessons. -BookShark.com
What kind of books should you include in your morning basket?
For the morning basket, you are adding to the books you use already as part of your homeschool curriculum. You might choose poetry books, biographies, art books or other kinds.
You can read chapter books to your kids, or if they are older, each one can choose a book to read silently.
You also can use this morning time in other ways, as well. Here are some ideas...
(1) Have a morning quiet time with your children and add your Bible or an inspirational book to the basket.
(2) Write in your journal while your children color or draw and keep it all in the basket ready to be grabbed and used each day.
(3) Tell your children what you'll be focusing on during your homeschool day that day.
(4) Sing songs or read poetry to each other.
(5) Have a cup of tea outside on the porch.
However you choose to use it, having the morning basket as a daily part of your homeschool morning routine gives everyone a chance to wake up fully and transition gently into the homeschool day.
Hope this helps your family's homeschool journey!
Do you long to pursue a slower lifestyle, but worry that you don't have enough time to make it work? I suspect this is a common reason slow living remains in the wish stage.
Slow down? I don't get enough done as it is!
Slow living asks you to make more time for what matters most. But what if it feels like there's no way you can do that right now?
It's always my suggestion that you start small and make gradual changes. It creating a slower lifestyle is going to be possible, this is likely to be the easiest way to find out and then, to do so.
And speaking of wishes long deferred, let's look at morning routines. Maybe your dream morning routine would require a lot more time than you have to spare, as a busy stay at home mom.
But what if you only had to find ten minutes? Here are 5 ideas for a ten-minute morning routine for moms, and one way to create a morning routine that combines them...
5 Ideas for Creating a 10-Minute
So the goal becomes whatever time gets you better sleep and enough of it.
But with no agreed upon standards, your ideal bedtime will be based on your lifestyle and needs. If you’re a mom, it also will be based on what time your children wake up, what time school starts or homeschool begins, and when you need to sleep in order to be your best during their mornings.
What is Your Ideal Bedtime?
Experts suggest that we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to function optimally and be at our most healthy. So, in order to find your ideal sleep time, you need to know when your ideal wake-up time is.
If it takes you a while to “yawn and stretch and try to come to life,” (Dolly Parton, Nine to Five theme song) then your wake-up time probably needs to happen before your kids get going in the morning. How long does it take you to wake up properly and be ready to roll?
And what time do your children wake up? If it takes you an hour or two to be functional, then you’ll need to get up an hour or two before your children do, and be asleep 7 to 9 hours before then. That hour is your ideal bedtime.
It may take some experimenting to find those numbers. And you may need more time in the morning than you think.
Does it need to work out perfectly? Perfection may not be possible.
I find that I need to be awake and out of bed at least 3 hours before my son wakes up – probably because I am also an introvert – and now that he’s a teenager, and we start our homeschool day later in the morning, that works out well.
But when he was younger, I couldn’t make that work, and had to settle for 2 hours when I really needed three.
So aim for the best combination of sleep time and waking up, and then make the very best of whatever way it shakes out in practice.
And once you have your ideal bedtime and wake-up times in mind, the problem becomes getting yourself to sleep at that time, if you’re a night owl. What’s the best way to get to sleep at that time?
Well, you may have heard or read that getting to sleep on time will become much easier if you back away from your devices an hour or more before you want to go to sleep.
Ninety percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before turning in, and children often use electronic media to help them relax at night. If you’re among these nighttime technology-users, you may not realize the extent to which this can make it harder to settle down to sleep. But it can. The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep. -National Sleep Foundation
I found this to be true in my own life. I had just moved, and had to wait a week before my cable appointment. Plus, no one came at the scheduled time, which added another 2 weeks of being without my favorite TV shows!
But here’s what happened that surprised me.
I found that without having the TV on all night, it was easy to go to bed a couple of hours earlier than I normally did. And not only that, I would go to bed, thinking I’d probably read for an hour or so, and find myself getting sleepy in 20 minutes or less.
It was so easy. I got more sleep, and woke up earlier than I had been getting up before the move. So, to be honest, I felt ambivalent about finally getting everything set up with cable.
Would I be able to stick to my new schedule once those late night shows were available? I knew the answer was probably going to be no, and I was right.
TV can be irresistibly tempting. But it also, apparently, throws off your sleep biology and will make it harder to go to sleep at the time you have chosen.
Unless you are able to talk yourself into turning it off ahead of time.
But once you’ve turned off the TV, stepped away from the computer, and put your phone aside, what do you do then?
Do you like to read? Or listen to music? Have another hobby, like knitting?
This is where creating an ideal evening routine comes in.
How to Create an Ideal Evening Routine
for Better Mornings
If you need an earlier wake-up time, and thus, an earlier bedtime, then getting your evening routine right will empower you mornings. But what would make for an ideal evening routine?
Let’s talk about that next.
Here are 4 must haves for your evening routine…
(1) It needs to help you wind down well enough to become sleepy when you need to, so it will be easy to go to bed when you’ve chosen.
(2) Though this one isn’t a must, it is ideal – your evening routine should help you let go of and recover from any stress you experienced during the day.
(3) And ideally, your evening routine will give you time for things you love to do.
Reading, watching a movie, spending time with your family. In an ideal evening routine, there is time for what makes life sweeter.
(4) But that also means that eating dinner and getting the dishes done need to happen in time for the rest of your evening routine to occur.
How can you carve out time for an evening routine and what would it include?
Once you have planned an evening routine that will work for you, it’s time to craft the ideal morning routine.
5 Must-Haves for Crafting
Your Perfect Morning Routine
(1) It needs to give you plenty of time to come to life before having to function well.
(2) It needs to help you be more present to your children and what they need.
(3) It needs to make it easy to be on time for whatever you’ve got on your morning schedule without having to rush.
(4) It needs to empower and support the day you want to create.
(5) It needs to create the feelings you want to experience. How do you want your mornings to feel?
And would slower mornings feel better?
7 Reasons Why a Slower Morning Routine Will Make Your Mornings Easier
Slow morning routines are morning routines during which you don't rush through the process of getting ready and you take the time for self-care or other experiences you'll enjoy as you gradually wake up fully and become more alert.
Slow mornings don’t rush. In fact, they are carefully designed to move more slowly, and to bring what is needed to the person who got up for them.
So, aside from the beauty and wonder of slow living, in general, slower lifestyle mornings may actually be more practical for those of us who struggle with mornings.
Here are 7 reasons why…
(1) They give you the time you need to become fully functional. You’ll no longer have to do something while you’re only half awake.
(2) They eliminate the stress of rushing and falling behind in your schedule.
That frenetic, rushed, harried experience that happens when there’s something to do that feels urgent, but there isn't enough time, is part of what can make mornings so unpleasant in the first place, right?
(3) They give you the opportunity to create moments and experiences that help you enjoy mornings more. Like a self-care routine. Or morning coziness.
(4) If you're a woman of faith, a slow morning routine will give you enough space in your morning for a quiet time that fosters a deeper connection with God.
(5) Slowing down your morning routine will give you time to set and attune to your intentions for the day, and prioritize the ones that are most important.
(6) Your slower morning routine could be designed to give you some alone time before the deep dive into interactions with your family and others.
(7) With a slow morning routine, you can take back your mornings, instead of being owned by them, so that mornings feel better.
I'm a big advocate of designing your morning routine based on the way you want your mornings to feel.
But if you don't have a morning routine that you've created, and made time for, then you lose some of that freedom to choose the way you want mornings to feel. And they are much more likely to feel rushed.
So, I’m suggesting a slow morning routine, but how long should a morning routine be?
There is no ideal amount of time it needs to take. Instead, it’s whatever amount of time you need to become fully functional.
Do you know what that amount of time is, for you?
Even if you don’t fill it up with mindful activities, then your morning routine will allow that much time to pass. Silence and sips of tea are just as good as anything else you might include, as long as you don’t pressure yourself to be completely operational before you’re ready.
Cozy Mornings & Hygge Moments
What if you could make mornings more cozy?
Denmark winters are cold, dark and dreary.
But Danish people fought back with hygge and they won! Could deliberately creating cozy, hygge moments help you take back your mornings the way it helped them take back winter?
The definition for cozy is giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation.
And hygge, pronounced hue-geh, is a word that is hard to translate precisely into English, but involves the same kinds of cozy feelings.
Hygge is an intended focus on creating warmth and coziness, both through what you do and what you place into your environment. It is an emphasis on doing all the comforting things you enjoy, and it’s a way to enhance those moments so that they are even sweeter.
So if you love to read, hygge plumps the pillow on the chair you’re sitting in, brings you a cup of tea, lights a candle nearby in your favorite scent and hangs your favorite throw over the back of your chair in case you get cold.
If you love spending time with your friends, hygge invites them over for game night, but tells them to come in time for nachos & beer first, and promises dessert after the games are over so your friends will stay longer and you’ll have an even better time.
Then, it adds cozy atmosphere in the room where everyone will be by keeping a fire lit so they’ll want to stay inside where it’s so warm and cozy, rather than leaving to face the cold.
Hygge is like a cozy best friend!
Simply put, according to the dictionary, it’s “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”
What would it be like to add elements of hygge coziness to your morning?
I know it has worked for me, over and over again. When getting to work on time was a struggle, and there were days I wished I could stay home, the promise of making my cup of tea when I got there, and lighting a vanilla candle or two, helped me have something to look forward to when I got there.
By the way, back then, no one seemed to care of you set your building on fire, so I was able to light as many candles as I wanted. But unfortunately for me, that soon changed, candles were disallowed, and I had to come up with other ideas.
I also made my office look like a cozy living room and seeing it, with my throw across one chair, and my other decorative touches, made me feel good each morning, and every cozy change I made helped make those mornings easier.
Now that I work from home, my mornings include a great big cup of tea, and any candle I want to light. Plus, other cozy moments that make each morning easier than mornings used to be.
Could that work for you, too?
Here are 5 ways to create cozy, hygge moments each morning…
(1) Light a tealight candle. This could be especially soothing if you wake up when it is still dark out, or not quite fully light.
(2) Drink your favorite beverage and give yourself time to linger over it.
Let yourself relax fully. And make that moment just about the tea or coffee, not a backdrop for whatever else you are doing.
(3) Spend your first moments in your favorite room and make it look cozy. Open the blinds or curtains to let the sunshine in.
Maybe you could have your beverage on your balcony or patio, so you can breathe in fresh air and watch the birds fly from one tree to the next.
(4) Instead of checking in on social media, to see whose pictures and status updates suggest they are is having a better life than everyone else, spend a few minutes reading, or listening to music that inspires and energizes you.
(5) Give yourself enough time to connect with someone you care about and you get to have the cozy warmth of that connection at the start of your day.
12 Ways to Use Aromatherapy
to Empower Your Morning Routine
I've created a cozy morning aromatherapy guide, with essential oil recipes and blends you can use to empower your morning routine.
To find out more about it, and how to access it, fill in the form for the morning routine quiz. You can use aromatherapy as part of your next steps in creating an ideal, personalized morning routine.
But first, let's look at 12 ways essential oils can be a positive influence on your mornings...
What’s so remarkable about essential oils is that they influence the whole being. Just as they are the catalyst that can make a wound heal, or a mind relax, so can they transport a soul. – Valerie Ann Worwood, Aromatherapy for the Soul
(1) Morning aromatherapy can ground and center you for a peaceful morning.
(2) You can use it to help you relax deeply for your morning meditation.
(3) Use morning aromatherapy to help you think clearly as you write in your self-care journal.
(4) Morning aromatherapy can help you stay focused on a task or project you need to get done.
(5) You can use it to help you wake up fully and become more alert each morning.
(6) Morning aromatherapy can help you leave behind the cranky mornings and have cheerful ones, instead.
(7) It can help you be more present with the kids.
(8) It can help you stay on task instead of becoming distracted or returning to sleepiness.
(9) Morning aromatherapy can support the way you want to feel as you do your yoga sequence or poses.
(10) Morning aromatherapy can help you banish the sluggishness & molasses moments that make it harder to move through your mornings.
(11) It can help you return to calm more easily after a stressful moment in your morning.
(12) Morning aromatherapy can help you create coziness as you spend mornings with your family.
Journal Prompts & Questions for Reflection
What changes have you felt inspired to make as you’ve read this post?
What will you need to do to make those changes possible?
Is there one change or shift you could make right away?
Putting it All Together
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve taken in a lot of information about how to create an ideal morning routine. And you’ll get more when you take the morning routine quiz and discover your morning challenge type.
But keep in mind that gradual change is more lasting. And creating an ideal morning routine is not about the shoulds, it’s about empowering yourself to create the best morning experience you can have.
Doing that will transform mornings for your children, too.
Start small and adjust as needed.
What’s the first change or shift you feel inspired to make? Tell me in a comment.
See you next time!
morning routine quiz & then, watch my video for
results & next steps. Fill in the form here to access it...
Sundays should be sacred. Rejuvenating. Healing. Empowering.
- Sahara, at EatFeelFresh.com
Self Care Sunday. Three magical words that will change your life if you let them. - Melody Godfred, at FredandFar,com
Self-Care Sunday: Reconnects You
As women, we wear so many hats, most of them being different roles we play. But what happens to the one with our name on it?
On a self care Sunday, if you make it spacious and open, you can give yourself the freedom to tune in to your own voice. And reconnect with the self you might have neglected during the week.
Get the chores done ahead of time, and save some leftovers for the microwave or oven, so you have plenty of time to check in with yourself. To be still. To catch your breath.
Plan it that way, to make sure it happens.
Self-Care Sunday: Gives You Time
to Rest & Recharge
There's an episode of the old family drama, Judging Amy, that I think perfectly captures the feeling of getting enough rest. In the episode, she only experiences this feeling because she got sick and was forced to rest, so for her, it's neither real nor lasting.
But it demonstrates the difference between what most of us experience during our weekends, and what what we could, if we rested.
During the parts of the episode where she is miserably sick, life goes on around her, and at best, she is only dimly aware of it. It isn't happening to her, at all. She is barely present.
Do you ever feel barely present in your own life?
Then, one morning, she gets up as usual, and the sun comes out. Her face brightens, she smiles widely, and suddenly, she becomes part of the scene again, and she knows exactly what is going on. Life has come back to her.
What would it be like to experience that every Monday? Because you gave yourself up to rest over the weekend, and dedicated a self care Sunday to yourself?
Like the character, Amy, many of us have to be forced to rest by illness or exhaustion.
What if you chose it, each week? What if you heard & surrendered to your body's cry for rest?
Here are 25 ideas for what to do with your next self-care Sunday...
(1) Stay in bed an extra hour and catch up on your sleep.
(2) Light a candle and enjoy several hours of its warmth, scent & flame.
(3) Cuddle with the kids and hang out with them. Do something you all love. Maybe even start a family weekend tradition.
(4) Make a morning pot of tea, instead of just a cup and linger over morning coziness.
(5) Make a bigger breakfast, with comfort food that makes the day a special occasion. Or, take the time for a new recipe you've been wanting to try.
(6) Meditate for 10-20 minutes, or longer if you'd like. YouTube has some great guided meditations you can try for free.
(7) Do a yoga routine, with no rush, because you've got all the time you need.
(8) Take an Epsom salts bath and soak away the week's tiredness.
(9) While away the afternoon with a good book.
(10) Make a special meal for dinner, and get your kids, or friends in the kitchen with you to help prepare it.
(11) Listen to a podcast you've been curious about. You may find a new treasure.
(12) Take a walk in nature.
(13) Listen to music you love all day long. You could even create a self care Sunday playlist of music that inspires, encourages or empowers you.
(14) Watch a movie or Netflix series. Want company? Invite friends over and get them to bring the popcorn.
(15) Write in your journal.
(16) Wear your most comfortable clothes or stay in your pajamas all day.
(17) Bake something. Make it a day to indulge.
(18) Plan the week ahead, setting intentions for what you hope to experience.
(19) Plan what you'll wear next week. I used to set them all aside, together, in one section of my closet and would group them as outfits.
(20) Get the next week's meal planning out of the way, too.
(21) Plan a new morning routine to try for the week.
(22) Do the same with an evening routine and start on Sunday night.
(23) After all that planning, take an afternoon nap. Just don't sleep so long you can't get back to sleep on Sunday night.
(24) If you're a woman of faith, take time after church to read through your sermon notes and have a quiet time where you think through how they apply specifically to your life. Jot down your thoughts in your journal.
(25) Catch up with long-distance friends and family. Call them, do a video chat or send an email and use your self care Sunday as a planned way to stay connected.
Self-Care Sunday: Heals the Week
You are Leaving Behind
Do you ever head into your weekends feeling a bit like you've been beaten up by the week before? I used to feel that way regularly when I was younger, and I wanted to use my weekends to recover, but didn't really know how.
Self-care strategies that feel nurturing and healing are ideal, though, and can help make sure you don't take that stress into the following week.
Journaling can help you beat the blues, reduce stress, and keep track of your thoughts and goals. If you're worried that you won't be able to get into it, just remember: There are no rules when it comes to what you jot down.
- Candace Bryan, Bustle.com
Consider using a combination of strategies for bouncing back after a stressful or difficult week: journaling, letting go exercises and support from essential oil blends designed to empower you.
Maybe you can try a long soak into the tub, with lavender bath salts and a soothing playlist. Followed by letting it all go as the water goes down the drain.
Then, you can write your way through to insight about whatever challenged you during the past week, accompanied by a pot of your favorite tea.
Here are 17 journal prompt questions you can use for Self Care Sunday...
(1) How am I feeling today about the week that just ended?
(2) Did anything happen that I am having trouble letting go of?
(3) How did I feel at the time? And how am I feeling now, as i remember it?
(4) What do I wish had happened instead?
(5) What do I wish I had said or done differently? Is there any way in which I got in my own way?
(5) What is the truth about who I am, regardless of how it felt in the moment?
(6) How can I prepare myself for anything similar that might happen in the future?
(7) Is there anything else I need to do or say about it before I let it go?
(8) Anything I can do to help myself heal it?
(9) What happened this week that I'd like to celebrate?
(10) What could I do, today, to celebrate it? And what would it be like to plan a regular weekend celebration of the good moments that happen during the week?
(11) When was I at my very best this week?
(12) What did I do, think, say or feel that I really love?
(13) What were my favorite moments from the week? And what can I do to make sure they happen again, if anything?
(14) How did I take good care of myself this week? And if I was in any way neglectful, how can I take better care of myself next week?
(15) What do I need to prepare for, that is coming up next week?
(16) Is there anything I can do or plan today that would make next week better?
(17) What are my intentions for the week ahead?
Self-Care Sunday: Prepares & Empowers You
for the Week Ahead
Once you're feeling better about last week, you can set intentions for the following week, choose some affirmations to empower them, and visualize it all happening exactly as you wish. Then, you can plan for everything you'll need to make the week go smoothly, and feel like you're getting the jump on it all.
Finally, you can make sure you go to bed early, so you wake up on Monday feeling refreshed and ready for the week to begin. You'll need all that energy for everything the week has got in store, so never shortchange yourself by spreading yourself too thin on the weekend.
If you're a mom, plan restful and soothing weekend activities for your family, too, so everyone will be ready for the week ahead.
Get a head start on your week by making a to-do list. If it looks overwhelming, be sure to schedule in some fun tasks like a pedicure or a trip to the mall so that you have something to look forward to.
- Janine Allison, JanineAllison.com
Weekend alert - there's a Sunday coming up in a couple of days. How will you spend it?
Wishing you deeply nurturing & soothing self-care!
Self Care Sunday is a beautiful concept & example of what
can happen when you slow down the pace a bit. Are you
interested in a slower, more thoughtful lifestyle? Read my
free slow living eBook. It comes with a printable quiz so ypu
can see if it's a lifestyle fit for you and a getting started
checklist you can download and print.
We all want our morning routines & morning rituals to work well for us, and help get us either out the door, or onto whatever needs doing next. In many ways, that's what is most important.
If you struggle with mornings or just want to create a cozy morning routine with morning rituals that help you create all three of those cozy qualities - comfort, warmth and relaxation, with a dollop of self-care thrown in for good measure - look no further. Here are 11 ways to create your own personalized cozy morning routine...
11 Ideas for Your Cozy Morning Routine
(1) Create a sense of sanctuary by designing a cozy morning space...
It can be a room, or just a cozy corner, but add whatever will make it feel super cozy to you. For me, it might be a candle, my Kindle inside its handmade cover, and a throw I can use during chilly AC moments while sitting in my favorite chair, or on my fave corner of the couch.
What would it be for you?
(2) Create a personalized playlist of cozy morning music...
Make a playlist that relaxes you, moves you, connects you more deeply with yourself and/or makes you happy. Make it portable, so that you can take it with you through each step in your cozy morning routine.
But also, change it up from time to time, so that new songs grab your attention, to keep it from becoming like elevator or waiting room music, that you're not even really hearing anymore.
(3) Add coziness to your morning quiet time...
If you're a woman of faith who has a daily morning quiet time, find ways to make it more cozy. Light a tealight candle, or make yourself a cup of tea before you begin.
Think of ways to add warmth or help yourself relax even deeper, because that will enhance those moments in God's company, and probably make it easier to perceive & connect with his presence.
(4) Make time in your cozy morning routine for reading...
Give yourself time to lose yourself in a good book while you're drinking your cup of tea or morning coffee. Or maybe you can read when you first wake up, giving yourself a cozy way to get over the shock of realizing it's actually morning once again. :)
(5) Inhale cozy morning aromatherapy scents...
If you need help with waking up, becoming alert and getting ready, stay tuned. An aromatherapy series is coming.
But here, I mean scents that warm you and wrap you up in coziness. Here's a doTERRA diffuser recipe you can try...
3 drops of cinnamon
3 drops of clove
3 drops of ginger
Check out the link for more DIY recipes, or stay tuned here, for more cozy essential oil recipes on the way, here at Meet Jeanine.
(6) Do something hygge that indulges you with warmth & coziness...
Take the time to make a pitcher of sweet tea so you can have a glass with breakfast. or, have it while sitting in your cozy morning room.
Use a shower gel in your favorite cozy scent. Wear your favorite comfy outfit, knowing that its comfort will be a gift you give yourself all day.
(7) Spend a few minutes in nature...
Go for a brief walk, if possible, taking in whatever is around you, and feeling the sun kiss your skin. Or, if it is either too hot or too cold, have a seat in your cozy chair and watch the trees blow in the breeze through the window.
Give yourself five minutes to do nothing but listening to the rain fall, attuning yourself to the sound. Or watching the birds fly from one tree to the next.
(8) Use morning affirmations that feel good to say or write...
I recommend root chakra affirmations because they are the ones that are most connected to cozy concepts like comfort and home and belonging.
Here are ten root chakra affirmations you can use as part of your cozy morning routine...
I am safe.
I am grounded.
I am centered.
I am at peace.
I am deeply rooted.
I love my life.
I trust life.
I trust God.
I am home.
(9) Have a cozy morning meditation moment...
Visualize what you hope the day will bring. Or, just focus on your breathing, and on letting go of any tension or stress.
Here's a guided meditations you may want to try, below...
And here are links to a couple more that you ca try when you get a chance...
Log Cabin in the Woods
(10) Take care of yourself in a way that feels loving...
This one has to be personalized, as they all do, but it could be different for each person who does it. The idea is to try to be loving toward yourself as part of your cozy morning routine.
For example, smoothing lotion on your hands, or adding an extra touch with your hair or makeup because of the way you know it will make you feel. Playing the song you can't hear without dancing, because it always cheers you up.
And looking for the self care moment you need on any given day, making time for it as an act of caring.
(11) Find your coziness superpower & use daily as part of your cozy morning routine...
What combinations of cozy memories & experiences can inspire intensely satisfying cozy moments in your daily life? Use them as often as you can to make cozy mornings even more special.
For an exercise + journal prompts to help you unearth your particular cozy morning superpower, fill in the form above. You'll also get a free printable checklist with each of these ideas.
Have I just blessed you with the ideas you need to create your own cozy morning routine? I hope so!
See you next time!
It would often happen in one of two ways, when I was growing up.
I'd wake up and smell bacon already cooking. Or, I'd wake up and know because of the time that my parents were trying to decide whether or not to go to church that morning and once, they decided to stay home, I'd talk them into both bacon and the Sunday morning movie.
Those were days that I didn't have to get out of my pajamas until after breakfast. In fact, I hardly moved from the chair opposite the TV, except to eat, until after the movie was over. The bacon would often come with a side of pancakes, by the way.
They were really happy memories. No place to be, a movie to watch, comfy loungewear for a good part of the day, and comfort food. What could be better?
Cozy Morning Memories
Maybe it was those cozy mornings that ultimately inspired my current love of cozy, slow lifestyle. After all, I wanted life to be like that all the time.
Do you have similar cozy memories from childhood? Tell me in a comment; those are my favorites kinds to hear.
And have you ever found yourself wishing you could have those kinds of cozy moments all the time?
What if we can? First, let's look at how to create your own cozy weekend...
5 Ways to Create a Cozy Weekend
(1) Lose yourself in a really good book. Not a book you think you should read someday but one you already know you’ll enjoy. Or grab a stack of books, or fill your Kindle so you can have a teapot and book marathon.
(2) Have a family movie marathon or watch all your favorites back to back. Let everyone stay comfy in their pjs and order pizza so you don’t have to pause for grocery shopping.
If you’re planning this weekend in advance, though, make a list of everything you’ll need and get it on Thursday or Friday so it’s already there.
(3) Invite all of your friends to come over and bring tea or food.
Have a game night or share your movie marathon with them. Or, if you’ve seen enough of your friends, plan a bunch of fun family activities to do at home. Have a family game night or a weekend marathon.
(4) Grab your journal and a cup of tea and dream about the week ahead. What would make it truly special?
After you have imagined the entire week, go through what you’ve written a pick a few ways to get as close to the ideal as possible. One each day if you can. Extra points if you do this exercise with your family.
(5) Treat yourself to a catch-up video call or long phone call with a long-distance best friend.
While the rest of the family watches a movie, make a pot of tea and sequester yourself in a closed room and give yourselves all the time in the world to catch up on each other’s lives.
How to Create a Cozy Weekend Lifestyle
To create a cozy weekend lifestyle, bring as many of the elements of what you love about cozy weekends into your weekdays. Here are ten ideas for doing just that...
(1) Create a slower morning routine and make sure there's time each day to savor a cup of tea and read a good book for a few minutes.
(2) Take your book to work and read at lunch, or have your e-reader in your purse so it's available at a moment's notice while waiting at appointments or standing around while you wait to pick up your son or daughter.
(3) Have a movie night during the weekend. Instead of cooking dinner that night, order pizza for double the fun.
(4) Invite a friend over for tea one morning and have catch-up. Schedule light for that day and plan it in advance so you can stay in your loungewear that day and linger over your pot of tea.
(5) Invite your couple friends over for dinner so you and your spouse can have dinner and a movie or dinner and game night after the kids are in bed. Have dinner early enough that no one is out too late and rushing to relieve a babysitter.
(6) Choose one morning a week to run your errands later so you can wake up slowly and watch a movie, instead of rushing out to greet the day.
(7) Create a cozy loungewear capsule wardrobe so that when you're at home, whatever you wear will feel cozy.
(8) Breakfast for dinner: there may not be time for pancakes and bacon in the morning, but you can have it occasionally for a weeknight dinner.
(9) Have everyone wear pajamas and slippers to dinner one night a week.
(10) Once a week, have everyone get up early enough to connect with each other at breakfast over something more substantial than a piece of fruit or toast. Take turns cooking and make it a device-free gathering.
These ideas are just meant to get you thinking about what you could do in your own life. Share some of your ideas in a comment.
Wishing you more cozy moments!
It's the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a homemaking extravaganza.
I don't know if you will decide it's right for you, but I cannot wait to dive in & tell you all about it and you can see what you think...
(UPDATE: though the bundle is no longer available, in each post section possible, I've added a note at the end, giving you links where you can get similar information free.)
My Favorites in the Homemaking Bundle
This bundle, is worth almost $2300 (if you bought everything separately.
- 28 eBooks
- 30 eCourses, videos & audio files
- 25 printables
- 16 workbooks
- 3 summits
- and 2 membership sites
Let me start by sharing the products that I am most excited about in the homemaking bundle...
The Stay-at-Home Moms Year-Round Outfit Guide & Capsule Wardrobe Mini Course
If you're a minimalist mom like me, wanting an easy way to create a simple capsule wardrobe that's got comfy weekend style, but still looks put together, this eCourse is perfect for you.
In my opinion, this mega eBook and mini course are worth more than the cost of the entire homemaking bundle!! I know that's a big statement, but I really believe it's true. Read on to see why...
The key to a simplified wardrobe is making sure that all the pieces are ‘remixable’ (easy to mix and match). This allows you to have fewer pieces and yet have more variety in your daily looks. – Corina Holden, The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Year-Round Outfit Guide
Corina defines what makes a wardrobe remixable, describing the characteristics it needs to have, which include your color palette, a variety of pieces and proper ratio of pieces in neutral colors versus complementary colors and solid styles versus pattern styles.
In the guide, she gives you a complete wardrobe plan framework that takes all of those characteristics into account.
In addition to the outfit guide eBook, you get a Customize Your Capsule mini course and a Facebook group for support.
The Outfit Guide
She starts you off with a look at your current wardrobe and asks you to clear the clutter in your closet. I had done that, but promptly did so, and I can’t believe how much better it feels to have more room in my closet, to know exactly what’s in there & where it is, and to be able to see my capsule wardrobe at a glance.
Then, she shows you exactly how to create a capsule wardrobe with enough pieces to create hundreds of casual outfits (over 280). Perfect for SAHMS who want to dress casually but with style, at the same time.
Thanks to her, I now know exactly what I’ve got in my closet, have created my own capsule, and I know what to buy the next time I am looking to add to my capsule.
My goal was to create a minimalist mom capsule wardrobe, and I have done that, with my current capsule of 10 items of clothing. I won’t be able to create quite as many outfits, but I am using her guide to inspire as many variations as are possible.
My favorite aspect of the capsule wardrobe plan is that it’s designed with remixable in mind. That means when you follow the recommendations for what to get in neutral versus color or in pattern versus solid print, your pieces will mix and match into hundreds of unique on-the-go outfits! – Corina Holden
I also love that even though the guide is focused on helping you create a casual capsule wardrobe, she includes 10 dressy outfit ideas for each season, for church, PTA meetings, etc.
And speaking of outfit ideas, you get access to an outfit gallery online, which makes it much easier to get ideas for the specific things you have or want to have in your closet.
I got some good ideas for upgrading some of the outfits I wear already, but also saw some new ones I’d like to try.
I have a small capsule wardrobe – 10 or 11 items of clothing, depending on the weather – and with the outfit ideas I got from the eBook, I can create up to 30 different outfits, and that’s without playing around with different accessories!
And I was only really talking about my warm weather capsule. Because of some of the pieces I only wear when it’s cold, the number of possible outfits would more than triple in size.
The Capsule Wardrobe Mini Course
In the capsule mini course, she gives you step-by-step instructions for updating your wardrobe using the wardrobe plan, for creating your own color palette, for adapting and swapping pieces, and she even gives you tips on how to shop for the pieces you don’t yet have.
There’s a download with color palette inspiration with blank spaces you can use to plan your own color palette. But she also gives you advice on ratios to use for neutrals versus your main colors, for tops, for bottoms, etc.
And, of course, in the guide, she shows you capsule wardrobe examples, but once you know what your color palette is going to be, it’s easy to personalize the guide by choosing one of your neutrals, or one of your main colors. In fact, for each example, there’s a blank space where you can write that in, so it’s right next to the picture.
Shopping in Your Closet
When you print out the guide, there are checklists so you can compare what is suggested to what you already have. Before doing that, I recommend deciding on the capsule size you want.
You may want half of what she recommends or double the amount, and you’ll want to keep that in mind as you make the comparisons.
In the capsule mini course, she recommends a formula for setting a monthly and yearly budget for your wardrobe that will help you decide what to get now and what can wait until later.
My own budget is quite limited right now, so my purchases will have to make use of sales and are likely to be limited to holiday buying.
I used her formula, and now, I have a better idea of what amount to keep in mind as a budget goal when it is time to buy.
Well, I hope I have given you a good idea about what you get with this book and eCourse. I love the bundle, but this one course is probably my favorite of everything the bundle offers.
NOTE: The homemaking bundle is no longer available, but you can get a free version of the guide I have been talking about at bit.ly/mom-capsule.
Grab These 3 Decluttering Resources
I realized that living in the midst of clutter had been giving me a sense of stress and anxiety and I was able to think more clearly and enjoy my home more with all the clutter out of the way. It's amazing how much peace of mind decluttering can bring. - Abby Lawson, Declutter in a Weekend
Were you able to participate in the free decluttering challenge and download my free decluttering tips checklist? It was such a great start, but I know you may be feeling like there is still more work to do on the spaces in your home.
And this bundle has you covered more than 3 times over! But I will only share three, so you won't be completely overwhelmed with information.
Declutter in a Weekend...
Abby Lawson, from Just a Girl and Her Blog, helps you declutter your home in a weekend. She lays out the plan for you, to begin on Friday and end halfway through Sunday, or on any two days you can dedicate to decluttering your home.
You can print the My Decluttering Plan worksheet and she'll guide you through creating your plan in advance. And there's a Details, Details worksheet so you can plan easy meals to have during your breaks, and a playlist or other background entertainment to augment your experience.
She leads you through a mindset shift, gives you tips and tricks to use in each room, and tells you what to do with items that don't have a home & how to get creative about housing them.
That last question was important to me when I was decluttering my room for the challenge.
With the Finish Strong worksheet, you can plan a Phase Two for anything leftover from the weekend. She tells you how she did that with her garage, which had been completely full.
The goal is to do as much as you can in the weekend, and then, if anything is leftover, it's minimal enough that it's not intimidating. I've experienced that feeling, and it's so valuable.
I had finished almost everything, and what was left was a small space I knew I could easily do the next weekend. Instead, I did it the next day because I knew how easy it would be.
The Swap: The Lazy Genius Guide to Decluttering for Life: In the Swap, Kendra Adachi promises that with a few, small changes, you can declutter for life. And she assures you that you're in the right place if you love pretty things, have a love/hate relationship with the idea of minimalism & have ever wished you could just get rid of your house and just start over.
When you only live with what matters, she says, you eliminate clutter for good.
During the process of The Swap, she asks you a series of simple, but deep & important questions you can use as you declutter.
Sometimes, the decision to keep or not to keep can be paralyzing. She offers a simple way to make those decisions easier, in a way that will be personalized to you.
In a way, The Swap is a simple mind shift, applied in several different ways, that - once you make the shift - can really change everything. It has helped me tremendously, even with unrelated things like making choices at the grocery store.
Ditch Clutter: This one, by Christine White, tells you how to get rid of your clutter, and then, how to use the systems she'll teach you to keep it from coming back once it's finally gone.
You get the printable Whole House Decluttering Checklist, a 30 minutes a day, Daily Cleaning Checklist and three training videos that will teach you strategies that will help you make decluttering progress immediately.
Then, there's the eBook, that helps you create your decluttering game plan, shows you how to answer several questions about what to keep and where it goes, and teaches you systems that will keep your clutter from coming back. Like the year-round maintenance system, plus others.
I could tell you how much each of these decluttering resources would cost individually, but since you get them all, plus more, when you buy the bundle, what matters to me is that together, I believe they are worth more than double the cost of the bundle, itself.
And you have them for life!
NOTE: though the homemaking bundle is no longer available, you can still get my free printable decluttering tips checklist.
For every cool bundle that Ultimate Bundles has ever offered, there have been bonuses you can access just for purchasing it. Some are discounts, coupons or temporary memberships, and others are freebies. Well, I must say that this homemaking bundle seems to have the most bonuses I have ever seen!!
I won't share them all, so go to the offer page to read about each one. Below, I'll be sharing the ones I am most excited about for this bundle...
A short, self-paced, three part course that you can watch right now and start applying to your home within the hour. Your family will notice a difference in your home tonight. - Myquillyn Smith
$7 Mini Bundle Upsell: Invest in Your Faith
It would be easy to think that was a typo, but it isn't.
There were so many great personal faith resources for the homemaking bundle that Ultimate Bundles decided to create a second bundle, a mini bundle, that you can buy along with the homemaking bundle.
Worth $234, it will only cost you $7, so by itself, it's worth more than the cost of both the homemaking bundle and the faith mini bundle. It offers 4 eCourses, 2 eBooks,, 2 workbooks and 2 printables, all designed to support & help you grow your faith.
NOTE: though the mini bundle is no longer available, you can access a list of articles on growing your faith in my free lifestyle library.
Maximize Your Mornings
This workshop will help you make the most of your morning routine, even if you're a crazy busy mom like the rest of us.
For me, this is another one of the highlights that make this bundle more than worth the price.
NOTE: although this bonus is no longer available, there's a section in my new, free slow living ebook on morning routines that may inspire your own cozy mornings and help you make the most of them.
My Gifts Just for Reading this Post
Thank you for reading through this post! I know if you've made it all the way through to the end, you must love home as much as I do.
I would love for you to experience the deep dive into all things home-you-love that I had when I began to use this homemaking bundle. But even if you aren't able to purchase it right now, I'd like you to leave with several gifts I think you'll love.
Click here to access them: the home you love: (Hint - they include the homebody quiz).
See you soon!
Today is a cozy, slow living one here at MeetJeanine.me.
Four slow living posts are up already and this one is the final one, today. The first posts describe and explain the slow living philosophy and lifestyle and then, several do the same for cozy, slow morning routines.
It's that last idea we'll take a closer look at in this post, as a solution for night owls. If you're a night owl mom, who does battle with mornings because life won't let you sleep in, take a look at slow mornings to see if they might help.
But first, here are the other posts in the series ...
The Slow Living Lifestyle and Philosophy
Slow Living for Women of Faith
How Do You Want Your Mornings to Feel?
Tea and Meditation: Tea Ritual Ideas
The Slow Morning Solution for Night Owls
To download all of the slow living posts in a free printable pdf & bonus getting started checklist, plus bonus information about slow living for families, go to The Slow Living eBook.
If you’re naturally a night owl, dragging yourself out of bed early is challenge enough. There’s no need to add meditation, journaling, a five mile run and a head start on emails on top of that. If mornings are hard, your morning routine should be easy. - Beth Swarecki,
A Night Owl's Guide to Surviving Early Mornings
Are You a Night Owl?
I know I've mentioned on this blog before that I am, so if you are, too, then you have my sympathy. I know what it's like to be staring down an unbelievably late bedtime because you're just not sleepy yet. And then, being forced to greet morning far earlier than you want.
And morning might be an even bigger challenge if you're a mom with young children who are usually bright-eyed and bushy-tailed long before you're ready to concede that morning has arrived.
So how can those of us who are night owls wrest control of our mornings from our late nights? ...
Being a morning (or evening) person is inborn, genetic and very hard to change. "What I think we’re showing here is that there’s some sort of importance about us ideally being able to work, wake, and match up our schedule as best as we can to what we are biologically suited for," Patricia Wong, as told to Brian Resnick, Vox.com
The Slow Morning Solution: Don't Force Yourself to Get Going too Quickly
For struggling night owl moms, who have to get up too early, design your morning routines to be as easy as possible. I'm not sure that means you can't do meditation or journaling, as the first quote suggests, or anything you want, as long as it works for you.
But give yourself the amount of time you need to come to life, no matter how long that is, before demanding anything of yourself that will challenge you unduly.
Slow mornings, as I have come to understand them, are morning routines for moms (or anyone) during which you don't rush through getting ready and you take the time for self-care or other experiences you'll enjoy as you gradually wake up fully and become more alert.
They can last 15 minutes or 2 hours or can include the entire morning - how long the routine is designed to last would depend on your needs and your schedule for that day. My slow morning routine usually lasts for 3 hours, and then, I feel much more ready to face whatever comes next in my day.
And slow mornings can include beginning the day later, when you can do that, as mine sometimes do. Creating a slow morning routine may help in many ways to make mornings easier for night owls.
But hitting the snooze button as many times as you want is likely to be a mistake. Especially if you have to go in to work.
Because when you do that, you leave yourself with no time to adjust to the fact that it's morning before you thrust yourself out into the middle of it. What if you got up earlier, but had plenty of time to actually wake up?
I have tried it both ways - giving myself plenty of time before working outside the home or at home, and sometimes I got ready first and then allowed myself free time before working and other times, I gave myself time to do nothing, and then I got ready for the day.
For me, it's the second strategy that works the best. If I have a cup of tea, have a quiet time, read or do other things that don't require any movement, I get the time I need to move later with much more coordination. :)
But for others, gentle movement like yoga or stretching might be a better way to wake up gradually. That's why I don't think there is any one way, except your way.
I do think, though, that forcing yourself to rush and giving yourself very little time to wake up is unkind, if you're not a morning person. So my question for you, night owl moms, is what would be kinder for you?
And is there one change you could try to see if it helps?
Consider adapting the slow morning routine idea to fit your own morning situation.
And speaking of your morning situation, tell me in a comment what your morning routine is like. Is it challenging?
See you tomorrow!
There is nothing quite like a freshly brewed pot of tea
to get you going in the morning. -Phyllis Logan
Today's post series is dedicated both to cozy, slow living and to falling in love with slow mornings. This post is an invitation to morning tea and the tea lifestyle that fits so nicely within the slow movement.
If you're looking for ways to slow down mornings so you can enjoy them more, take a look at creating a morning tea time. If you love tea, you may find this post gives you ideas for using tea to create a soothing, slow moment in an otherwise rushed morning routine.
But don't miss the other posts in the series...
The Slow Living Lifestyle and Philosophy
Slow Living for Women of Faith
How Do You Want Your Mornings to Feel?
The Slow Morning Solution for Night Owls
To download all of the slow living posts in a free printable pdf & bonus getting started checklist, plus bonus information about slow living for families, go to The Slow Living eBook.
I structure my day by cups of tea. - S.T.Joshi
Slow Mornings & Morning Tea
Do you love tea? My own morning tea is the absolute best part of my morning. And I do structure my day around it.
Slow mornings make room for cups of tea, sipped slowly while reflecting, reading, journaling or staring out the window as the trees blog gently in the wind. During a slow morning, there will always be enough time to savor it.
And if mornings are a challenge for you, pausing for a big cup of tea may help you shift from still sleepy to willing to be awake. It also gives you a calming, soothing moment that keeps stress at bay before you move forward into whatever the day holds.
If your days often move fast, having morning tea can be one way to ease into it more slowly.
Here's a brief idea for a morning tea ritual...
Morning Tea Rituals
(1) Light a Tealight Candle: light it before you make your tea so you can see it's glow as you go through the tea-making ritual and then have it nearby as you sip.
(2) Meditation Moment: once your tea is made, take a moment as you sip to think about what the day holds for you and imagine it going the way you would like.
(3) Journal: jot down any thoughts or insights that come to you. You might even ask a question before making your tea and just leave it there as you sip, to see what pops into your mind in the form of inspiration, ideas or intuitive guidance.
(4) Reading: You can add reading to your tea moment, as part of a quiet time that includes the Bible or a devotional, or by reading your latest novel and starting your day with the relaxation of reading for pleasure.
(5) Blow Out the Candle: once you have finished your tea and journaling or reading, blow out your candle as an end to the ritual.
However you decide to enjoy your morning tea moment, just make sure there's plenty of time to savor each sip during your slow morning.
See you next time!
As I mentioned in my post earlier this morning, it's a cozy, slow living day, here at Meet Jeanine. In this post, let's look at how to make mornings better with the slow morning approach.
How Do You Want Your Mornings to Feel?
That is the real first question as we get into this post.
Do you struggle with mornings? Have ever felt like you hate them and would rather start the day in the afternoon?
If you're answering yes to those questions (even occasionally), the first question to consider in this post is what do you wish your mornings were like, instead? Take a moment to answer that for yourself.
How would an ideal morning feel?
Because before we start talking about what to do differently, and what and how to change, the first thing we're after is the feeling you want. What feeling would make you glad you got up when you did?
My answer to that question is peace. That's the foundation of what I want. On top of that, I might add things like an unhurried experience, moments of simple pleasures (like my morning tea) and the quiet alone time that makes it easy to accomplish the priorities I have chosen for the day.
But the underlying feeling I am after each morning is peace.
What is it for you?
What are Slow Mornings?
(+ What Do Your Mornings Need?)
Slow mornings, as I have come to understand them, are morning routines for moms (or anyone) during which you don't rush through getting ready and you take the time for self-care or other experiences you'll enjoy as you gradually wake up fully and become more alert.
Could slower mornings help?
Maybe you love your mornings, already. And you find that even if your mornings move fast, you still love waking up, getting ready and starting your day. If that's your experience, then you are already doing exactly what your mornings need.
But for the rest of us, the morning experience might need a little tweaking. And if it needs a lot of tweaking, then consider slowing mornings down.
Give your mornings a makeover, by identifying what's not working, what might work better and what is non-negotiable in order to for you to create a morning you want to wake up to each day.
Grab your journal and first, write down how you want your mornings to feel.
Then, ask and answer these questions...
(1) What do I most want to change about my experience each morning?
(2) What would perfect look like?
(3) Have I ever had a great morning? What did that look like?
(4) What do I already know how to do (self-care practices, troubleshooting in other areas, etc.) that I could use to shift the way mornings feel? How might moving more slowly through morning help?
(5) What can I try tomorrow morning that might make a difference?
Stay tuned for another post in the series about slow mornings to see if those suggestions might help, too.
The Slow Living Series
If the idea of slow living is beginning to appeal to you, take a look at the other posts in today's series ...
The Slow Living Lifestyle and Philosophy
Slow Living for Women of Faith
Tea and Meditation: Tea Ritual Ideas
The Slow Morning Solution for Night Owls
To download all of the slow living posts in a free printable pdf & bonus getting started checklist, plus extra bonus information about slow living for families, go to The Slow Living eBook.
See you next time!
I have winter blues, and my experience of it can be rather extreme, so for years I have been thrilled to get the sun back when spring comes, and Daylight Saving Time has always seemed to be a part of that, for me. But over the past year or so, I have been gradually realizing that the time change can be both a kiss and a kick...
Out of Sync
Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue -- light -- for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle. -WebMD
During the winter, part of my morning routine is trying to make myself get up and fiercely not wanting to, until it's late in the day. My evening routine includes wishing I could get myself to bed but not feeling sleepy, and wondering what the hour count will be for sleep by the time I finally get myself to bed.
My light box has transformed both routines, thank goodness, and made it possible to both to get up earlier and to go to bed at an earlier time. Even mealtimes are affected, because the earlier I eat my meals, the more my body conforms to a closer-to-normal schedule.
But gradually, I have been coming to realize that the time change to Daylight Saving Time creates a challenge for me, even as it also adds more sunlight to my day.
See if you are experiencing the same challenges, even if you don't have winter blues...
(1) Waking Up & Getting Up - feeling like it's the wrong time, or shouldn't/couldn't be the time it says it is on the clock and struggling now to get going, even if that time was working for you before.
I was already challenged to get up by 8am, but now 8am is really 7am and by body is still quite sure that that is way too early.
(2) Work or Morning Routine Tasks - it's time to start the day, but your body's engine is still cold.
You have things to do, and you start, but it's not working the way it should. You can't even depend on your thinking skills the way you normally do, and sometimes it feels like you are slowed down.
For me, it means setting a goal to leave the house to run an errand at a certain, and actually leaving hours later. Or having an appointment and being a few minutes late, when usually, I manage to get there early.
(3) Mealtimes - not being hungry when you should eat, which then affects the other meals and throws them off in your schedule.
Because I wake up slowly, and am more of night owl, I am not hungry right away. But I had a schedule going that worked for me, thanks to my light box.
Now, it has been pushed back an hour, so my morning tea is late, breakfast is late, lunch doesn't always happen and by dinner, I'm starving, but it's late, too. My schedule, even for eating, is off.
(4) Your Evening Routine - the wind-down period for bed begins later than it usually does.
When you work from home, it can be all too easy to always be working. And I have made an effort to bring my work to a close by dnnertime, or as soon after dinner as possible.
But this month, it is still light for hours after we eat dinner. And I don't feel the cues to begin to slow down, and let go of the work.
I find myself closing my laptop, trying to read and feeling bored (restless?), and then, getting it back out again to get online. So my evening routine is not quite working for me right now.
(5) Bedtime - you find yourself going to bed later than you usually do.
If I am trying to get to bed by 11pm, but at 11pm, my body knows it is still 10pm, I can understand why that becomes a struggle. But for some reason, it is even harder than that.
It is as if 11pm feels like 9, and I am still awake and alert hours later.
3 Suggestions If You're Still Adjusting
Experts say that if you're experiencing those challenges, too, they are normal reactions to the time change.
Daylight Saving Time affects your light cues, so they say that getting as much exposure to light as you can during the day will help you transition to the change in time. And avoiding bright light after dark may help you reset your clock at night, as well.
One article I read compared the time change to travel to different areas and trying to adjust to the differences in time. If you have been slow to adjust, as I have, it's only a matter of time (pun intended) before things get back to normal.
But increasing your cues around waking up and going to sleep may help you in the meantime. You may have to act against what feels natural, for a while, until it feels normal again.
Here are three suggestions for doing so...
(1) In the evening, turn off a lamp or two earlier than you normally would or use dimmer switches, closing the curtains and creating the sense of darkness closer to the time you are used to seeing it go dark.
(2) Create more bright light exposure in the morning to support getting up at what feels like an earlier time, and to help you adjust to an earlier need for alertness.
(3) For meals, I suggest eating smaller amounts at the regular times, so it helps you reset your eating schedule.
You may think of other ways to support the shift, too. For example, calming evening routines that help you wind down more easily, hours before bedtime.
Here's hoping we have all adjusted in time for the beauty of April flowers.
And for more tips and suggestions for your morning routine or evening routine, check out my free lifestyle library.
See you next time!
I have homeschooled my son since preschool. But it was hit or miss until I found the system I would use from first grade through high school (Waldorf). I loved it so much, we did first grade again, using a Waldorf curriculum, during the summer before our next homeschooling year began.
Even all these years later, I am so grateful for homeschooling and its impact on our family. But it hasn’t always been perfect.
I was completely unprepared for moments of boredom, for times when we got to the end of the year and weren’t quite done and had to hurry to get to playing the Sesame Street version of “School’s Out for Summer.” But what I was most surprised by was how much energy it took and how hard it made to get things done.
Because I have chronic fatigue syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can leave me flattened without warning, and too sick to get the things done on my to-do list, I learned that I had to plan carefully for each homeschooling day. Sometimes, homeschooling was going to be the only big thing we accomplished.
Here are some of the things I learned to do, to deal with the energy homeschooling required…
Homeschooling: How I Fixed What Went Wrong
(1) As often as possible, we shopped for groceries on the weekends. And I planned meals that were as simple and easy as I could make them during the week, saving anything special I wanted to make for the weekend.
(2) We often homeschooled in our pajamas. If we knew we weren’t going anywhere that day, we kept our slippers on and I didn’t bother with hair and makeup.
(3) As a mom who worked from home, I sometimes squeezed in a little work before the homeschool day began. If I needed to write a blog post, we might start a half hour to an hour later than usual, and then I’d know it was done and not have it hanging over my head, demanding time I didn’t have, while we were homeschooling.
(4) If we were getting together with others for a homeschool gathering, we shortened our own day and did our part first. I wanted the rest of those days to be free, once we got back home.
But it took having several times where we had homeschool work waiting on us once we got back to realize that that was not the best way for us to do it. One example was ballroom dancing.
It was so much fun to get together with other homeschoolers once a week for a class my son loved. But it wore me out to go and come back, so I learned to plan light on those days, and do any homeschool lessons we needed to do that day before we left for the class.
(5) Waldorf homeschooling always began with something called circle time. And it was easy to pair that with a sort of family quiet time. But I learned that I would need to have my own before the day began, and before my son got up for the day, because after doing circle time, I often didn’t get around to anything else spiritual for the rest of the day.
Time wise, if I wanted to have my own quiet time, I realized it had to happen first thing.
If you’re a homeschool mom like me, I’d love to know in the comments if there were things you felt unprepared for as your homeschooling journey began. How did you resolve them?
If you still struggle with your homeschooling routine, with finding enough time for everything that needs to be done, or with mom time in general, there is a free eBook that may help. Click the link below to find out more...
See you next time!
What would it feel like to have 2 more hours in each 24-hour day?
I know that's technically impossible, but if you could have it, how would you use it? Take a moment to think about what you'd do with extra time.
Here at Meet Jeanine, we've been talk about mom time and making mom life easier.
How to make the most of the time you have. How to create more of it so that you get to do what means the most to you, like spending more time with your family.
But we've also explored what challenges us about finding and managing time. I've shared some difficulties I have that I hope to overcome in terms of what throws me off track, time-wise, and what I wish were better.
Well, I believe that the help we need has arrived. Because I knew about it before Ultimate Bundles released it, I had that Christmas-is-coming feeling, and could not wait to share it with you.
But, finally, it was ready and I could tell all the secrets! :)
There's a great, giant bundle of resources that's designed to get you more time in your day for the things that matter. And if you struggle to find enough time for those things (like I do), I invite you to take a look....
In this post, I'm going to tell you about the whole productivity bundle and you can decide if it feels right for you. It's a huge bundle of resources!!
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In this post, I'm going to tell you about the whole productivity bundle and you can decide if it feels right for you.
It's a huge bundle of resources!!
- 5 eBooks
- 14 eCourses & videos
- 26 printables & workbooks
The value is over $1500, if you bought everything separately! That's one thing I love about the bundles - you get so many resources in just one bundle.
You also can buy cheat sheets for every eBook and eCourse in the bundle. Review all the bundle’s material in less than half the time, and then dive deeper into the topics that interest you the most.
Am I saying you should buy the bundle?
Not necessarily. I know that just because this ultimate productivity bundle offers tons of great information, that doesn't mean it's the perfect bundle for you. And as someone who has to consider every single purchase, I don't want you to spend any money you don't need to spend.
So let's examine exactly what's in it, and then you can decide whether or not it's for you.
Customized Time Management for Moms
Based on Your Personality
Time management is a big concern for mothers these days. Between kids’ activities, household responsibilities and, for many, the demands of a stressful workplace, many mothers have given up on the fight to find time for themselves and are just trying to get everything done. -VeryWellFamily.com
And that doesn't even include the time I spend blogging or working on my business, quiet time alone, or getting enough sleep to get up another day and get it all done. So you can imagine that I was very interested in this bundle's offerings for time management.
Time Management Video: How to Finish Your To-Do List Every Day by Marcia Ramsland ($47.00) - the video will teach you how to use smart planning to go from chaos to calm with your to-do list.
It's about Time by Aby Garvey ($49.00) - this eBook helps you create a time management system based on your values and priorities. Using it will help you feel more in control of your time.
Organize Your Life with Trello by Cara Harvey and Elisa Giorgio ($47.00) - a digital course designed to help moms who feel overwhelmed to finally get organized so that they can get control of their busy lives.
Take Back Your Time: How to Become a Motivated Time-Saving Mama by Emily Bendler ($4.99) - use this eBook to manage your time more efficiently so you can get more done and free up time to spend with those you love most.
I hold a strong belief that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for time management. That there isn’t some magical formula that will instantly make you more productive. -Brianna from Spiked Parenting
You read an article about how to manage your time and it's obvious that the specific solutions they suggest won't work for you? Maybe you even feel a little guilty because you know you won't even try them?
I believe that the right strategies, and techniques, for you are out there. You just have to find the ones that are a match to your personality.
The Ultimate Productivity bundle has both an eBook and an eCourse that will help you create a personalized plan for managing your time...
Driven Women Grace Based Productivity for Christians by Phylicia Masonheimer ($98.00) - (eCourse) The Driven Women Productivity Course is a grace-based, biblical approach to time management that teaches you how to develop routines and habits that fit YOUR personality and lifestyle.
Personality Based Time Management by Susie Glennan ($4.99) - (eBook) Susie Glennan acknowledges that one size fits all is a myth! With this eBook, you can learn about personality based time management and customize your own time management plan.
What do you think are your biggest challenges with time management? Are there eBooks and eCourses you think might help?
I am excited about the Driven Women eCourse, myself. Though the other offerings look good, too, that's the one that I am most interested in using.
She walks you step by step through a personalized process for figuring out where the problems are and what to do about it. It's not lecture-y or abstract and I found it easy to do.
What about you?
Need a Printable Planner?
When it comes down to planning your time, it’s best to get into a regular routine and stick to it. Sit down on Sunday evenings (or Monday, Tuesday, whatever works!) and plan out your week. Then, fill in your daily pages. You can also plan each day the night before so your tasks can stay top of mind. - Anne DiVitto
Though I have seen some beautiful planners in my time, buying fancy, new ones is not in my budget, no matter how lovely they are.
But the ones in this bundle are printables, so you can use them with the planner you already have or hole punch them and put them in one of those 79-cent folders. I've done that before, when my budget was low & I plan to do it this time, too.
What I love about many of these offerings is that you can choose a theme that will offer inspiration or space for you to add it yourself.
(1) For Christian women, there is the Beyond Blessed Life Planner. Christ-centered. And also, undated, which for me, works well so I don't end up using it as quickly.
(2) The I Heart Productivity Planner by Laura Smith. She offers a printable productivity pack that will help you walk through the goal-setting process. but also help you track your progress as you begin to pursue the goals.
(3) Planner ePlanner: Calendars, Schedules and To-Do Lists by ListPlanIt. Get it out of your mind and onto the to-do list, and use this system to prioritize your schedules so that you can make the best of your time.
(4) Simply Scheduled Workbook by Julianna Poplin. This elegant set of planners, checklists, calendars and worksheets will help you with planning your life more effectively and efficiently.
(5) The Planner Obsessed Planner (The Silver Edition) by Carlie & Hannah Kercheval. This planner will help you organize your life & create the new habits that empower to make your life the very best it can be.
(6) The S.O.S Planner by Kayse Pratt. Because it will help you get organized, this planner will give you back your time freedom, your schedule and your sanity.
(7) The Wannabe Bullet Journal: A Loosely-Structured Weekly Planner for Those Who Need Both Freedom and Organization by Ronni Peck. If you love the idea of bullet journaling, but you know you need a little structure, this half-page bullet journal design might work for you.
(8) Time Management Sheets by Jennifer Roskamp. Tracking sheets, but also a time management system that will help you to get more done in less time.
(9) The Thrive with Chronic Illness Planner & Journal by Tanya at Mom's Small Victories. I have a chronic illness, so this one means a lot to me.
It's designed to help moms who have chronic illness manage both their energy and their time, break down goals into smaller chunks and work toward improvement in their health. It really honors the struggle that moms like me experience who can't get everything done because our illnesses get in the way.
So it is my favorite of the planners. And I love that it is does double duty as a journal.
Goal-Setting eCourses & Planning Systems
(1) Brilliant Baby Steps: Make the Most of Your Messy Middle for a Beautiful, Balanced Life by Beth Anne Schwamberger (an eCourse)...
I love Beth Anne!
In this eCourse, she's going to teach you a system that will help you get more done, but without the stress, so it will be easier for you to be there for the people in your life. She'll teach you her system & you'll start using it during the course.
(2) Goal-Setting 101: How to Set Goals as an Absolute Beginner by Natalie Bardo (an eCourse).
Natalie Bardo will share her share wisdom in this 8-lesson course, that will help you set goals you can achieve and it will work for you, even if you're just getting started with setting goals.
(3) Start Finishing Your Projects: Boost Your Productivity, Effectiveness and Creative Momentum by Learning How to Finish the Products that Matter Most by Charlie Gilkey (an eCourse).
So, you get this great idea! And you feel full of enthusiasm as you start the process of bringing it to life. But months later, there it is, unfinished. I can't be the only one, right?
Well, this eCourse shows you how to stay the course so the projects actually get finished. I remember the first time I was able to do that - when I was writing a book I was afraid I wouldn't complete - and how powerful it was when I did get to the finish line.
(4) The 90-Day Personal Productivity Power Plan by Lise Cartwright (an eCourse)...
In this eCourse, you'll set big goals and learn how Lise conquers her to-do list and get to use the exact system she does. From start to finish, the process will take 3 months, and you'll have her guidance as you go.
(5) 90-Day Personal Growth & Life-Planning System by Cassandra Massey (a video mini-course & planning system)...
With this eCourse, you actually get 280 pages of printables and it's a planning system that comes with an 8-video mini course that will guide you, step by step, in creating your personalized plan of action.
Put it down on paper. There’s no better or faster way to achieve a goal then to put it down on paper. Have you ever noticed how the items on your to-do list get done when you write them down and refer back to them?
If you have goals, dreams and aspirations or you simply want to enjoy more of life’s simple pleasures, put it down on paper. If you want to spend more time in nature, put it down on paper. If you want to walk down by the beach, write it down.
Believe it or not, it becomes more tangible and real if you put it down on paper. You can now look at it as a goal or an item, which is incomplete, if you don’t follow through. Putting things in writing makes them more effective.
And these goal-setting planners will help you do just that, making your goals & you, more empowered to make them happen...
(1) Goal-Setting Life Planner by Sareeta Lopez (goal-setting planner)...
You start with a video guide that shows you how to use the planner, but you also learn Sareeta's 3-month system for integrating your goals into your daily plan of action, so you're always working towards them.
(2) Goals and Planning System by Abby Lawson (planner)...
This planner system helps you make sure your goals are actionable, and helps you be more productive.
(3) Quarterly Target & Goals Tracking by Kimi Kinsey (planner)...
This is a quarterly printable planner and guide that will help you set goals, track them and achieve them. Now, there are only 8 pages in this planner, because it's designed for 90-day goals, but it includes both 2019 and 2020.
(4) The 2019 Success Designer Planner by Khaye Mydette Macalineo (planner)...
This is a goals-focused productivity planner that helps make your whole life more manageable.
(5) The Goal-Getter Workbook: The Plan for Busy Women to Go from Dreams to Plan to DONE by Laura S. Shaw (workbook)...
You start with dreams, but then you use her workbook to create the goals that will make them come true.
(6) The Ultimate Goal-Setting Planner (Couples Edition) by Mike and Carlie Kercheval (planner)...
Though I am single, I love this goal-setting planner most. Because it's designed to help couples nurture their marriage by setting goals for their time together.
In general, I like this idea for families, too. Using a planner to make family time a priority and putting those times first on the calendar.
(7) The Ultimate Goal Setting Planner 2019 by MaryEllen Bream (planner)...
This planner comes with over 150 pages of worksheets and will help you take your big goals and break them down into smaller pieces.
With this bundle, you get all of these planners and can take what you like from each one. Which ones appeal to you most?
Help with Home Management
Planners for your home and for managing life at home. I love the idea of a planning system for family chores and for cleaning the house. That way, everyone is clear about what's going to happen and when.
In addition to the planners pictured above, there are 3 eCourses and system offered to help you get things in order, learn decluttering tips and maintain your home.
The one I am most interested in is Mastering the MomLife Jungle: A Realistic Action Plan for Getting it All Done as a Busy Mom, an eCourse by Brianna Berner. The course will help you get more done in less time so you can spend more time with your family.
Here are the planners...
(1) Family Chore System and Planner by Mandi Ehman...
With this one, your family will work as a team to stay on top of all the daily, weekly and monthly chores.
(2) Get Your House Clean and Organized: A Cleaning Planner by Laura Rizer...
This planner will help you streamline your tasks and create the routines that work best for you.
(3) Home Cleaning Planner by Corinne Schmitt...
This one has checklists and planning sheets that will help you organize your cleaning schedule and make sure it all gets done.
(4) Housekeeping Chore Box for Kids and Families by Kemi Quinn...
This is a system that can grow as your kids do.
(5) Life Management Binder by Heather Moritz...
Great way to keep everything in one place. I've seen things like this in stores and they are always so expensive. With this one, you can print put what you need & add it to a binder you already have, or buy an inexpensive one to keep it in.
(6) Organized 31 Tickler File System: The Easy Way to Manage Paperwork, Bills, Tasks and Appointments by Susan Santoro...
I need this one, myself. For bills and follow-up appointment paperwork, for notes. They end up everywhere, so this will really come in handy.
(7) Year of Intent by Leslie Lambert...
Build a custom planner with this huge collection of organizable printables.
Once you've got the binder, you can customize everything in this category and add what you want to it. So helpful for getting organized, in my opinion.
Will you need every one? Probably not. But you might need something from each one.
Mindset & Self-Care
Your mindset is how you approach life. It’s made up of your beliefs + your attitude. What’s going on in your head matters because your stories and your habits create your reality. Having a mindset self care routine is as important as looking after yourself physically. - Caroline Ferguson
And one thing I don't want to happen for you is that this productivity bundle becomes another should. Another thing in your life that feels like pressure.
Not only do changes take time, but they require moving things around and making sacrifices, which isn't easy. I urge you to begin this process by making compassion for yourself your top priority. Gentleness and self-care must be next.
And then, you'll be well-equipped to handle this process of becoming more organized & more productive, and finding more time for family.
I love that the ultimate productivity bundle actually has mindset and self-care built in, and there's plenty here to help you shift into self-nurturing and supportive ways of thinking. Let's take a look at what you'll get...
(1) 10 Steps to Feel Motivated and Get Stuff Done by Heather LeGilleaux (a workbook)...
This system will help you be more intentional with your time, and keep you on track to bring your passion to life.
(2) Ignite Your Life by Jess Stuart (an eCourse)...
Never give up on the life you dream of living. This eCourse will help you set the goals that will make that dream come true.
(3) Positivity Planner by Chris Moody (a planner)...
With this colorful planner, not only will you get more organized, but you'll also be encouraged and inspired each day.
(4) Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life by Lisa Grace Byrne (an eBook)...
This book will help you nurture the 7 core essentials of well-being that will help you live and parent with greater calm, clarity and vitality.
(5) The Breaking Barriers Challenge by Lindsay Preston (an eCourse)...
With this 5-day program, you'll finally be able to break through the barriers that have been holding you back and keeping you from living your own best life.
To be honest, these last two are my favorites. And of course I want both for you (for me, too) and the impact using them will have on your family.
I have taken years to hear the message that kept appearing over and over again in my life about honoring my need to rest and refuel. I still need the reminders, occasionally, so I am looking forward to diving into Lisa's book. And I love the idea of a 5-day challenge because it's not forever and powerful breakthroughs can happen in just 5 days if you're open to them.
Staying Productive at Work
When you're a mom who works from home, so many things clamor for your attention, and often at the same time, it's a wonder we ever have the time, energy and motivation to get things done. If you add homeschooling into the mix, it must sometimes seem utterly impossible.
I know it does for me, at times.
So how do we find ways to stay motivated and productive in spite of the daily busyness that threatens to keep us from it? Well, that is what this part of the bundle is designed to address.
It's got you covered!
(1) The Balanced Life Guide by Lauren Cecora (an eCourse) ...
This eCourse is a six week video and worksheet breakdown of how to organize your life so you can focus on the things that really matter.
(2) The Motivation Kit by Julia Bickerstaff (a workbook)...
This workbook is printable and it contains science-backed strategies and tools that will help you stay motivated. Just what we work-at-home moms often need, as I was saying above.
(3) The Perfect Project Planner for Bloggers, Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs by Eve Tokens (a planner)...
I wish I had had this planner when I was creating this mom time blog series for this month. It's perfect for bloggers and other entrepreneurs to use to craft and plan their projects while also managing their time more effectively.
(4) The Personal Productivity Toolkit by Paul Minors (an eCourse) ...
Use this eCourse to finally beat overwhelm. It will also show you how to get more done in less time, gain control of email and other time stealers, and become more efficient and organized.
(5) The Work by Design Summit by Claire Diaz Ortiz (a summit)...
For this summit, you get an all-access pass. Interviews with more than 50 productivity experts who will help you create more & better productivity in your own life.
What about the Quality of the Bundle?
Before spending money on something, I always wan to make sure I will get my money's worth out of it. Because I can't afford to waste it. So if you're wondering about the quality of the products in this bundle, I totally understand. That's always my concern, too.
But I found out that these bundles aren't just thrown together, and there are no fillers. :)
The Ultimate Bundles team spends months reviewing potential contributors, approaches only the best for inclusion, and then only accepts the top products that they think will have the most appeal out of those.
Many of these are even full-length eCourses with video tutorials or even access to a private Facebook group! They are highly selective and it shows in the final curated collection.
Plus, they offer a guarantee!
Although Ultimate Bundles has an extremely low return rate at less than 1/4 of the industry standard, there are some people who it doesn’t work for. That’s why they offer a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy for 30 days.
So, Should You Buy it?
I've told you all about the eCourses and eBooks that will come to you as soon as you purchase the Ultimate Productivity bundle, but should you buy it? Here are my thoughts about whether or not it could be worth it to buy the bundle...
It Might Be for You, If...
You never seem to have enough time to get things done, and you're open to getting help with it. You might be juggling a lot of different time commitments, but if you aren't ready for things to change, you won't get out of this what you need to, and I'd hate to see that happen.
If you're excited about the idea of finally getting a handle on your time, then this bundle could be life-changing. Will you love every single eBook or eCourse? I doubt it. In fact, I would start small and slowly, and go for what seems most important right now.
But even if you started with one planner, one eBook and one eCourse, it could change your daily experience for the better.
Though I can't honestly say that every single part of this bundle excites me, many different pieces of it do, and I am looking forward to seeing what happens as I use more and more of it.
It Might not Be for You, If...
You're already working with a planner you're in love with and you feel good about the way your days go. If people come to you for help in getting organized, and I have a friend who is just like that, then you may not need this bundle.
On the other hand, my friend loves organization so much, she would probably totally geek out about this bundle, just to see if she could get even more organized, planned and productive.
But if you already have a productivity plan in place, and you regularly make time for the things that are important to you, without feeling overwhelmed, then I'd say this isn't for you. And your money might be better spent on something you love.
Because this system could be life-changing for someone who needs it. But if you don't need it, it may just sit on your hard drive where unused things go to die. :)
Is There an Upsell?
Yes. The upsell offer is the cheat sheets I mentioned above. They help you take a quick look at everything in the bundle & are designed to reduce overwhelm and give you a starting point for using the bundle.
My Exclusive Bonus for Using My Affiliate Link
I'm offering several things to anyone who purchases the bundle using my link: the Getting Started guide for using the bundle without overwhelm, the Meditation Moment you can use to support the goals you choose & how to Make Time for Hygge- a guide to adding more hygge moments to your life.
You make the purchase, and claim your bonuses. Just go to my contact page and tell me your name and order number.
Thanks for letting me share this ultimate productivity bundle with you!
Consider your morning the first few hours of your day. You can have a morning routine that lasts 10 minutes, or 3 hours. It’s up to you. - CreateGoodMornings.com
My Morning Routine: What's Working for Me
This month, we have been talking about mom time, and finding the resources, tools and strategies that can help you make better use of the time you have & actually free up time to do the things you love most. Like spending more time with your family.
Ever since my Day in the Life experience, I have been continuing some of the changes I made that day, and they have been working well for me. I am not a morning person, and in the past, thought of mornings as something to be survived.
But surprisingly, I love them now! When they go smoothly, I even sometimes like them better than evenings. Here's what I have been doing as part of my morning routine...
(1) Pick 3 things you want to do every day, take note of 1 or 2 things that might need to be added on specifically that day. When possible, schedule the add-ons the night before.
My daily priorities include having a quiet time, having a cup of tea each morning before my son gets up, and working on my blog/business. It also includes homeschooling, and one goal is to start our homeschool day sooner.
The add-ons might include having to get ready for an appt., or to run an errand that day, or something specific I am working on that day for the blog.
Over to you: before you read the rest of this post, take a few moments to think of what your 3 things would be.
Be sure to include whatever you struggle to get done each day. And what are the kinds of things that get added on?
(2) Identify the priorities and order them accordingly.
I enjoy my quiet time more in the evenings, but I notice that I occasionally miss doing it altogether if I don't do it first thing. So I make it the first thing I do, but I don't insist on perfection since I am still waking up. Then, later, if I can do it again, I do.
I also often do blogging tasks right away, after my quiet time. Because, with my chronic illness, if I don't tackle it during the morning, I may run out of energy to do it later.
And if I don't, I sometimes procrastinate, which cuts down in family time. Or it used to, before I realized what was happening.
What about you? What are the things you need to get out of the way first?
(3) Schedule them - create an ideal schedule for each day.
I say ideal, because who knows if it will happen exactly that way? But I have noticed that if I take it from to-do list to planned schedule of events, I am more likely to follow it.
When I don't set any time goals at all, it's all over the place. I often just don't move, partly because of my illness. So I know it's frustrating when things push into the afternoon that I hoped would be finished in the morning, but I just regret it, rather than changing it.
So I give myself a time deadline, and am much more likely to finish close to the time I set.
I do think it's important, though, to fire perfection as an ideal. So if you plan to get to a task by 1pm and you get to it by 1:10pm, I don't think it will help anyone if you chide yourself for getting to it late. Just notice what got in the way and think of how to move it out of your way next time.
Would an ideal schedule help you? Take a moment to think through what that would look like.
For more tips for creating & perfecting your morning routine & finding more time for what matters most to you, get access to my free lifestyle library.
The format is answers that bloggers gave to important questions about how to create schedules, routines, etc., that work. Several of the tips I tried are working well for me.
I thought it might be fun to answer the questions, myself, based on what I am learning will work for me, and then, give you a worksheet you can use to write down your own answers as you read the book.
By the way, today is the last day to download the book for free. We're hoping it will come back but I am not sure yet if or when it will.
Get it now, here.
(1) What is one time-saving tip that you use personally to free up more margin for the activities & people you love?
I create an “Ideal Schedule.” It may rarely go exactly as planned, but having those time blocks carved out helps me to focus where I need to. -Laura Shaw
I get up hours earlier than my son does so that I can get some of my work-from-home tasks done while he is still sleeping. I also do my quiet time then because it's so quiet & it's easier to do it without bring disturbed.
What challenges me, though, is my tendency to do just one more thing and to work, off and on, throughout the day. My fix for this is to set an evening cut-off time & schedule things in earlier in the day, so that later time is free for family time.
One idea for this, that I got from the book, is to prioritize the tasks & place the most important ones earlier in the day, so I know they'll get done. That makes it easier to let go of the ones that are less important, in favor of having time with my son.
(2) What are your favorite productivity tools or services and how do you use them?
Using a simple to-do list keeps me focused and on track. When I'm crunched for time, laying out my steps on a to-do list is the first thing I do. -Kemi Quinn
I bought the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning bundle and I use it to cut down on the time and trouble involved in getting dinner in the table, planning the meals, grocery shopping, etc. It has been a big time saver.
I also use a to-do list, so I get my tasks out of my head, onto paper and can see not only the order I intend, but the priority.
(3) What are some refreshing hobbies or self-care habits that you've found can be incorporated into a busy schedule?
I go for a walk after dinner. I like to listen to podcasts during that time, or just enjoy the fresh air. -Sareeta Lopez
For me, it's my quiet time. I find I need two each day, but I make certain to have one, by doing it before I do anything else. I pray and get centered, read something inspirational, spend some time with the Bible and then, go forward with my day.
But I have noticed that I can create a moment between dinner and family time, while my son is doing the dishes, that I can have a second time if I want. I have to decide not to get work done, and it always calls me. But if I need another few moments of quiet time, that's where I do it.
When I don't use that half hour to an hour of time for inspiration, I use it for reading whatever novel I'm in the middle of at the time. Either way, I get to have a moment of Mom time just for myself.
I also make time for tea every morning. It's a great big cup of tea and I use the time to read, to think my thoughts and have a moment of peace.
(4) How do you use the small pockets of free time that appear throughout the day?
Tidying is a great 10-minute task, and if I do it quickly, it’s a mini workout that gives me a burst of energy for my next big thing. -Beth Anne Schwamberger
For smaller amounts of time, I am usually reading. It's so relaxing! And it's a good way to squeeze in more self-care in between things like spending time with my son, or getting work done.
If I know it's more like half an hour or so, I might try to find an episode of House Hunters to watch. How else can you buy a dream house in 30 minutes? :)
One idea I got from the book is to use a free half hour to play a game. I usually only think of that during family time or on weekends. But for those extra moments when we have half an hour that pops up unexpectedly, that would be fun!
(5) What would you say to someone who feels guilty for taking time for themselves, especially when there's so much to do?
Self care is so important, without it, you become a frazzled mess and snap at those you care about, hurting them in the process, which is the last thing you want to do.
-Lise Cartwright, Hustle and Groove
I have been there! So my heart goes out to moms or others who feel that way. Because it does or can seem like there just isn't enough time, especially when the kids are little, but often even when they are not.
And making time for myself, and for rest, has been a lesson that was hard for me to learn. I watched my mother exhaust herself when I was growing up. And I never got the impression that time could be used for anything other than helping someone else.
In fact, I often had to wait for what I thought I needed, because my mom was busy helping someone. And when I complained, as children often do, I was called selfish.
So I had to unlearn ALL OF THAT! You might, too?
The truth is, self-care is a sanity saver. And your children deserve your sanity just as much as you do.
I believe we weren't meant to run on empty, and taking time to do what you love is not only something you deserve, it's crucial.
Once you have downloaded the free ebook, you can use the worksheet both to take notes and jot down your own ideas for each question.
I am guilty, sometimes, of reading something that inspires me, and then failing to act on it in any way. But if I can get myself to interact with the information and think through how it could change things for me, I am much more likely to actually try it.
Would that help you, too? Here's the worksheet (below).
See you next time!
Lifestyle blogger & hygge hermit who will help you conquer mornings & create a slower, more family-present lifestyle in a single bound.
More About Jeanine
Cozy Morning Routine
Morning Quiet Time
Slow Morning Routine