Perfecting a non-frenzied morning routine is the holy grail of wellness. Everyone seems to be striving for the day where they open their eyes naturally with the sun and step out bed directly into a confident mountain pose, ready to get the family fed and out the door without a moment of stress.
That may be a little idealistic in this day and age. However, one way to get closer to that scene is to maximize the number of tasks you can get out of the way before you hit the hay.
The more you get done before you close your eyes, the less you’ll have to add to your a.m. to-do list. Plus, you might even sleep better since you’ll feel prepared for the next day ahead, rather than waking up sporadically to freak out about whether or not you’ll remember to pack a sports bra for your post-office spin class.
Start to check off these seven nighttime tasks daily, and you’ll be in for more Zen mornings, soon.
7 Nighttime Tasks for Easier Mornings
1. Set the coffee machine
Scooping coffee and filling a pot with water might not seem like a heavy lift, but every precious moment counts in the morning. Plus, waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee provides an immediate mood boost.
2. Organize your supplements
After she sets the coffee, our brilliant founder Keri Glassman spends a few minutes putting out little dishes of supplements for each member of the family. “People say, ‘Why do it the night before?’, but it just makes it easier and faster,” she says. “Opening up the jars, taking them all out, it’s a whole other thing to do. It’s the kind of thing you could skip, but if the dish is right there waiting, you won’t.”
3. Make overnight oats
Oatmeal is a satiating, energy-boosting breakfast almost everyone loves, but making it can take a while. Overnight oats are a genius solution: They’re ready when you wake up and the process also totally eliminates the time you would have spent by the stove, stirring.
Ask a meditation expert about the best time of day to meditate and most will say “first thing in the morning.” If you have the time, it’s great advice, since it’s easy to set a routine that way and it allows you to get centered before the day begins. But here’s the thing: If your mornings are totally cray, forcing meditation into a tiny slot in the schedule isn’t going to help. Try committing to a pre-bedtime routine, instead. You’ll set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, too.
5. Work out
Similar to meditation, lots of people like to jumpstart the day with exercise, especially since it feels like you’ve already checked something off your to-do list before hitting the office. If that works for you, do it. But if you’re a night owl who has a hard time getting to bed before midnight, robbing yourself of needed sleep to go running at 5:00 a.m. before the kids wake up is a bad idea. Sneak in a work out in the evening, instead, even if it’s a short one.
6. Make lunches
This one’s obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning: Make lunches for you and the family at night and it’ll save tons of time in the morning. If it’s a salad, just wait until the morning to dress it so it doesn’t get soggy. Investing in containers that make toting lunch easier will also ensure a totally seamless process.
7. Get your clothes and your bag ready
Come on, do you really want to be ironing at 6:00? And how many times have you gone to the gym only to realize you forgot to pack socks due to a sleepy stupor? Get the clothes you’re wearing and whatever bag you need packed (whether it’s workout clothes or just your purse complete with phone charger and water bottle) ready to go the night before. The same goes for the kids: Make it a rule that their backpacks are set and zipped so there’s no frantic search for a math worksheet five minutes before it’s time to go.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)