Feeling stressed out? Take back your mornings!

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Living In Balance logoWhat is your morning like? Do you wake up to the alarm and your first word spoken is a four-letter word? Do you drag your butt out of bed hollering to the kids to get up and get moving? Do you feel like every morning is a stressful soul-sucking mess? Rushing, yelling, and getting angry?

I remember those days. My kids little,  trying to get them dressed, fed, teeth brushed and all of us out the door in time for school and work. It was awful. I also had chronic back pain that added fuel to the fire. Being in pain enhances your stress (in some cases your stress can be the cause of your pain). Your patience is short (or nil), and you are exhausted from the lack of sleep due to the pain.

I hated mornings.

I got some advice from some moms that changed my life and I want to share, so you, too, can have better starts to your day.

1. It is OK to take a few minutes for yourself in the morning. I am not much of a morning person. I can wake up early but don’t talk to me. I need to acclimate to the day. I started getting up 15 minutes earlier. I set the coffee pot so I had fresh coffee ready to go when I got up. Then, I would take time to sit and watch the news and drink some coffee before waking the kids. That few minutes really helped. I felt less pressure and had time to wake up mentally.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.13.10 AM2. No TV for the kids. I would drink my coffee catch up on the happenings then wake everyone up. TV was shut off. That stopped the distractions for the kids. I was not freaking out trying to get them to eat or dressed.

Amazing, just two simple steps changed my mornings for the better. Not to say there were no days of rushing and hollering, but they were fewer and further between.

The other thing I did as the kids got older, needing less supervision and also as my work schedule changed: I started getting up an hour earlier so I could exercise.

My kids could get ready, feed themselves, and get to the bus stop with little supervision. I was in the house to keep them on track but did not need to be watching them. It taught them to be independent and responsible, while giving me time to work out.

Exercise makes you feel better physically and mentally. It is a perfect way to start your day. If it gets done first thing there is no worrying about fitting it in later. I find morning workouts a great time to think, focus, and prepare for my day.

I have been in this morning routine for years now. My babies are young adults (heck –  one kiddo has moved out!) and I still drink my coffee, watch the news, and then exercise.

There are more distractions to our days than ever before. Smart phones, texting, emails, TV, and so on. Unplugging is good for the soul. We do not need to be constantly in the know (especially first thing in the morning). Your friends, family, boss, coworkers, Facebook and Twitter accounts are still there if you take an hour to ground yourself.

Give these two simple steps a try and see how you feel after a month. And if you are feeling adventurous, try adding 30 minutes of exercise.

lisa poole Lisa Poole has been a licensed New Hampshire Massage Therapist since 2011. She is the owner of Peaceful Strength Massage Therapy located in Manchester, NH. She has an Associate of Science degree in Exercise Science with 10 years experience as a personal trainer. She worked for a major insurance carrier for more than eight years and has a great appreciation for the stresses of working behind a computer for 8 hours a day.

Lisa is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire. A parent of two boys (young men), and is married to her high school sweetheart. Exercise and wellness are tremendously important to her. Personal experience has taught her the importance ofScreen Shot 2015-11-08 at 8.42.13 AM balance between family, job and fitness. Lisa’s goals are to share her knowledge, help make people feel better and lead healthier lives.

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