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Tips for a stress free morning
Posted: March 3, 2009
Last Updated: March 3, 2009

Get up, get dressed, get fed and get out the door. That sounds like simple morning routine, but for most families the morning is the most stressful time of the day, particularly if children are involved. Forgotten books, missing permission slips, and lost car keys can all lead to an attack of morning mayhem for any household.


Some simple tips can ease the stress of morning mayhem and make your mornings manageable for your whole family.


The Bedroom: Getting up and getting dressed can be the hardest part of the day. When you set your alarm clock give ample time to complete your morning routine. Its tempting to cut your wake up time close to squeeze in those few extra minutes of sleep, but studies have shown that going to bed earlier is more conductive to good night’s rest than hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock in the morning. Adding 10 minutes of morning prep time to your schedule for each child in the family is also helpful and can ease that rushed feeling, as you can never tell what might keep you from getting out the door on time.


The Bathroom: Surprise! People report bathroom routines take up the most time in the morning. Having a bathroom schedule for the family can soothe the frayed nerves in the morning. Also alternate rooms can be used if bathroom space is limited. Shaving needs a sink, but does curling hair? Think about having vanities in bedrooms so people can style their hair there and leave the bathroom free for showers and tooth brushing. Consider posting a reminder board on the day’s schedule outside the bathroom, a place everyone will be sure to see it.


The Kitchen: Streamlining breakfast can make all the difference in the morning. Setting up the coffee pot the night before, or setting the timer on the automatic coffee pot can save you time instead of having to wait for the water to boil. Some healthy breakfasts can be made the night before. Pancake batter can be prepared early and only needs a hot skillet for a tasty breakfast. Breakfast burritos can be made the night before and popped in the oven or microwave. Think about what your family likes to eat in the mornings and plan accordingly, plus having a few instant breakfasts handy can be time saving too. Try cereal, instant oatmeal or Malt-o-wheat, soups, breakfast bars, and quesadillas.  


Out the Door: Set timer to ring 10 minutes before you leave. It can remind you to round up the things you need for the day, and to turn off the coffee pot, oven or dryer that still might be on. It can save you on the electricity bill and insure the safety of your house from electrical fires. Put a basket or box by the door for things that need to be taken that day—permission slips, prescriptions that need to be filled, bills to be sent in the mail. It can all go in the box and be ready and waiting when you head out the door. Also put your keys in the same place every time you enter your home. That way you won’t spend valuable time hunting for misplaced keys before you leave.


Remember that everyone has a different morning routine so some tips might be more effective than others. Have your family brainstorm ideas on how to solve difficulties getting out the door in the morning. Chronic morning mayhem can be solved with simple routines. Everyone can pitch in to insure that every day starts off with a good morning.


To learn more about easing mayhem in your family’s mornings or anytime of the day call Border Area Mental Health Services. To reach Border Area Mental Health Services in Grant and Hidalgo Counties, call 388-4412; in Catron County, call 533-6649 for referral; in Luna County, call 546-2174.  For CRISIS, call 538-3488 or outside Silver City, call 1-800-426-0997.

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© 2008 by Border Area Mental Health Services and Putting the Web to Work. Front-page photo copyright by Bob Pelham, Pinos Altos Cabins, and used by permission. All rights reserved. For the privacy and comfort of our clients and staff, the photographs used in this site are representative and do not show specific individuals associated with BAMHS.