As parents, we wake up in the morning thinking about what our kids need for the day. We spend the day making sure they are cared for, hoping they learn something new each day, and go to bed planning for what the next day holds. Somewhere in between breakfast and bedtime, we are also managing to fit in general day-to-day responsibilities. This chaos can be exhausting, which is why these 5 tips for a better day are so important. Give a few of them a try!
Go to Sleep Earlier
Instead of focusing on how many hours of sleep you’re getting each night, focus on the quality of sleep. Did you know that the sleep you get before midnight is more effective than the sleep you get after midnight? Here’s why: There is a specific pattern our hormones are supposed to take, and our chaotic lifestyle is causing this pattern to get off track. In the evening your stress hormone (cortisol) should decrease as your sleep hormone (melatonin) increases, allowing you to fall asleep easier. In the morning the opposite pattern should happen— Your melatonin should decrease as your cortisol increases, allowing you to wake easier. The result? More productive sleep occurs before your cortisol starts to increase again. If you’re having trouble getting in a full eight hours, remember that getting to bed earlier will result in more quality sleep.
Cut Back on Coffee
This feels a little more extreme than getting to bed a little earlier, but it definitely has an impact on your stress levels. Coffee is like stress in a cup for your body by causing a surge of cortisol (that stress hormone we talked about), which makes us feel more alert. While you may not mentally feel stressed out about it, your body is stressing out big time. If you’re like me and just thinking of a morning without coffee stresses you out, don’t sweat it! Instead of cutting coffee out completely, make your morning bulletproof by adding grass-fed unsalted butter or coconut oil to your morning cup. It will slow down the hormone spike and leave you feeling more refreshed than coffee alone. Limit yourself to one amazing cup of coffee each morning to eliminate unnecessary spikes of cortisol.
Get Moving Early
Everyone knows that getting your body moving will release endorphins to make you feel happier. Whether it’s running around outside with the kids, or finding 30 minutes of time to yourself, it's more important to get moving than what you’re doing. If you do choose activities that are more strenuous, be sure to get your exercise in early in the day. Not only does exercise release endorphins, but it also releases cortisol. It’s pretty hard to get to sleep if your body’s stressing out!
Check Your Attitude
Have you heard the old adage, "If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy"? Well, that certainly holds true in our house! I have found that as goes my mood, so goes my house – Making it super important to keep my stress under control or the chaos quickly increases. My favorite way to keep my emotions balanced is by using essential oils. Your sense of smell directly influences your limbic system, which is responsible for managing emotions, making essential oils an effective way of balancing emotions. Diffusing essential oils can balance the emotions in an entire room with the added bonus of making your home smell amazing. Essential oils can also be added to a relaxing bath, used during or after a workout, or any number of ways to support your mind and body.
Relax Your Mind
Taking time to meditate daily, whether it's formally or informally done, can be extremely beneficial in balancing important hormones such as cortisol, melatonin, and serotonin – Meaning less stress, more sleep, and happiness! To be most effective, meditation should be a daily routine for 15-30 minutes. You can choose to informally relax and turn off your mind, or follow a guided meditation through a podcast, audiobook, or app. Try starting your morning off with a yoga session followed by 15 minutes of meditation and see what a difference it makes in how you're able to take on the chaos of the day!
Kristin Miller is a mom, Army wife, blogger and essential oil enthusiast. She's passionate about empowering others to use their passion for natural health to achieve physical, emotional and financial balance. Read more from Kristin at her website Adapt & Oil On.