Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bedtime Routine Weeks 1-2:

In order to make a change, you must first determine what it is that isn't working and what you want to be different.

First on my list, I wanted more energy. Full Stop. I'm exhausted ALL.THE.TIME. I have no desire to do anything after work...and recently no desire to really do much DURING work. I have never been a morning person, but when you have your first daycare child dropped off at 6:30 most mornings, it doesn't really matter whether you are or not.

"Funny sidenote: I've had an early morning shift job (typically starting at 6am or 6:30am) for the past oh...8-9 you'd think I'd be used to this. But I've begun to notice that working from home makes the transition between work and home that much more difficult. The no-commute is nice, but there's not delineation in your time to tell you it's now work not home time. Even though I have a dedicated daycare space...I'm still home. Food for thought, maybe?

Going to bed at 10pm works for my hubs...he gets up at 6am and then has his breakfast made for him (or would like it so!)while he takes 20 minutes to shower, shave, and dress in his uniform and jet out the door by 6:45am. However, I'm rarely ready to drift asleep, although I'm exhausted, I usually end up pushing it until 10:30 - 11:00PM. I TRY to get up with the alarm at 5:30am...but usually end up sleeping through the alarm until 6am...then I'm rushing MY shower to make sure hubs has breakfast, lunch, and clean clothes to wear. Forget about my clothes...they don't matter...all I do is play all day. Hair doesn't get combed, no make-up, barely enough coffee in me when the doorbell rings for the first drop-off. Can you tell I HATE my mornings?

The first step to a better morning is to create a peaceful night. That includes adding routines to make bedtime a breeze...bedtime routines aren't just for children...we all can benefit from a few habits to calm us down. My first order of change is my bedtime. No more 10:30 - 11:00PM's 9:00PM to bed, and 9:30PM lights out for me, thanks. Hitting the bed at 9:00 gives me time to relax, journal for a few minutes, watch a bit of tv, read an article I've been wanting to read, read a chapter of a book, or get some cuddle time with the hubby. It gives my head time to unwind, and my body time to relax...all good prep for a good night's sleep. 9:30pm to 5:30am is 8 hours sleep. I don't know yet if I need a full 8 hours or less/more, but it's a decent place to start! With a good night's sleep in me, my day can start a little brighter and perhaps a little less grumpily!

The next step on my bedtime routine is the pre-bed activities. I listed out what things I could do at night that would help make my mornings a bit easier. Then I broke it down

into steps before bed. Then I assigned a day to add them to my routine. The first to be added was the task to be completed JUST before climbing into the sack.

Monday: Wash face/brush teeth

While not specifically helpful to my mornings, it feels good to have clean teeth and face before bed. Plus, it helps to keep your oral hygiene in check and you can really ward off wrinkles by washing the day's grit and applying a good facial moisturizer every night! It's relaxing too!

Tuesday: Choosing an outfit for the morning.

Wash Face/Brush Teeth

It might seem silly to pick out a pair of jeans/shorts and a t-shirt every night for the morning, after all I don't work in the corporate world anymore. BUT it is helpful to have a chosen outfit hanging out for putting on in the morning. ESPECIALLY when I get up before hubs, I can just grab the hanger and head for the shower without turning on the lights and waking him up. (good wifey points!!)

Wednesday: Check my planner

Choose an outfit for the morning

Wash Face/Brush Teeth

Attachment planning remember, it's beside my bed. I make note of any appointments I have the next day, phone calls I need to make, I jot down any ideas I have in my head for activities with the dc kids, and errands I may need to run the next day. It helps me choose my clothes appropriately, and allows me to have fewer worries about what tomorrow might bring...hence allowing for a more peaceful nights sleep!

Thursday: Empty and shine the sink.

Check my planner

Choose an outfit for the morning

Wash Face/Brush Teeth

Dinner dishes are done (or not.) Take 10 minutes to put dirties in the dishwasher, put the clean ones away, and wipe down your sink and surrounding area! Spray some Windex in there and rub away! Usually, while I'm at it, I do the surrounding counter space, and the window and sill above too! Why not since I have the Windex out?! It is so nice to go to bed seeing that shining sink and knowing when I wake up it'll be shining up at me!

Friday: 5 minute de-clutter in a mess nest

Empty and shine the sink.

Check my planner

Choose an outfit for the morning

Wash Face/Brush Teeth

A mess nest is an area that seems to grow clutter...where the mail gets tossed, where you clean out your purse and throw the misc items or receipts, where dh comes home and throws his keys, phone and random work items, the nightstands, the coffee table, the kitchen table, junk drawer, etc. etc. 5 minutes a day REALLY will help keep your home calm and clutter-free. I may only be a week in, but I've already noticed a difference in how I look at those piles of bills to be paid or that tangle of grocery receipts. I've caught myself taking them where they belong, before I even PLACE them on the counter, table, etc.

The very last thing I do, before I roll over and go to sleep is tell my husband I love him and something he did that day that made me happy, feel loved, or just helped out! It's important to remember to give loving comments to those special people in your life. Verbally appreciating the things people say and do not only makes them feel important, loved, and appreciated, it's been helpful in reminding me of my blessings and what I already have so much of in my life!

I started this process 3 weeks ago. I did a whole week of going to bed on time, then added one extra task a day... I try to add only one task at a time and only on weekdays. I still follow the routine during the weekends, including the wake and bed times, but I don't add anything new because Saturday is Fun Family Day and Sunday is reserved for Church and Extended Family.

I know I have a whole mess of work ahead of me! And now that I'm rested and feel rejuvenated, I'm ready for it!!!

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