Have a Great Morning

ARE YOUR MOR NINGS LIKE OPRAH’S?

Do yOU wake up naturally when the sun rises. vvithout an alarm? Do you then spring out of bed, meditate, exercise and eat a healthy. balanced breakfast before heading off to a productive day at work?

Or are your mornıngs more like a scene out of The Hangover (even if you just stayed up late bingeing on Netflıx, not carousing ali night around town)? After hitting the snooze button about 7,000 times, you stumble out of bed 35 minutes late. exhausted and discombobulated. (Hopefully you do know how the baby and the tiger got there.)

If your typical a.m. is closer to the second scenario, rehabbing your routine can make your mornıngs, well, if not Oprah-perfect, then at least more manageable. It’s ali a matter of planning and preparing. sometimes even months ahead, so everything you need—clothes. coffee. breakfast. coffee. keys. coffee—is ready to go. (You may even be able to sleep in 10 extra minutes!) Read on for ways that even the night-est owl can have lark-ish mornings.

Months in Advence

Want to make mornings this October effortless? Channel your inner Marie Kondo, the infamous organizational expert, every few months, when the seasons change—it wiU pay dividends every day in the future. Focus on these areas for the biggest payoffs:

Organize your closet. When the weather starts to change, “swap out your seasonal clothing, so you have just the clothes you’re likely to wear that season ın your main closet.” advises Lisa Zaslovv, founder of Gotham Organizers. a New York-based organizing consultant. ‘That way, you’re not picking through heavy wool svveaters in the middle of summer.”

Purge ali the seldom- and never>worn items.

“If you didn’t wear it last year. you probably will not wear it this year,” says Peggy Duncan. a personal productivity expert in Durham, NC. and the author of The Time Management Memory Jogger: Create Time for the Life You Want (Goal/OPC. 2008). Separate the things you want to keep, bag the things to give away or consıgn. and dump the rest.’ Finding it hard to let go? Thınk about the extra minutes you can spend sleeping every morning if your closet only contains stuff you will actually wear.

Systematıze your stuff.

‘Arrange your closet by styles (casual versus business), keeping like things together (like your pants. jackets and shirts) and sorted by color,” Duncan adds. Маке mornings even easier by hanging complete outfits together, she says.

Go through your makeup and haır products/tools.

Маке sure they’re easy to access. Duncan says.

Маке your bedroom slumber-friendly.

One often-overlooked way to make mornings more streamlined is to ensure you get a good night s sleep. “Your environment is really the foundation of your sleep,” says W. Chris VVinter. MD. a neurologist and sleep specialist in Charlottesville, VA, and the author of Sleep Solutions: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix it (Berkley, 2017). When you’ve götten a good night s rest, it’s easier to get up on time, vvhıch cuts down on a.m. pandemonium. “Your bedroom should be dark-so dark that when you have the curtains closed in the mıddle of the day, you can’t see your hand in front of your face.” Dr. Winter says.

“Is your bed comfortable? Is the temperature good?” A comfy mattress and a cool room also improve sleep. Take some time now to find light-blocking curtains. a new mattress or a fan. (For more ways to improve your sleep. see page 29.)

The Weekend Before

“The weekend is a great time to plan for the week ahead, so you don’t have a surprise on VVednesday morning—oh. no, I have a meeting,

I totally forgot about,” explains Zaslovv. Here are the things that will deliver the biggest benefit on vveekday mornings:

Shop smart. Buy the things you’ll need in the week ahead, vvhether ıt’s for work (a projector or folders for a project) or your personal life (birthday presents).

Prep your clothes for the week. Pick up your dry cleaning. do your laundry and polish your shoes. says Zaslovv.

Plan meals and go grocery shopping. ’Once you know what you’re going to be making, you can do ali the food shopping so you don’t run out of vvaffles (or bread or tuna) on Thursday.” says Zaslow.

Pre-prep meals, especially breakfasts and lunches.

Especially if you bring yours to work. says Caroline Passerrello, MS. RDN, LDN. a nutritıonist ın Pittsburgh and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and a Pilates devotee). ’Overnight oats can be prepared ahead of time on Sunday nıght.” she notes. *Mix equal parts milk or dairy alternative and oats. and then stir in some fun: cinnamon. maple syrup. slivered almonds. crushed walnuts, cocoa nibs. Smoothies can be made in a large batch. frozen individually then left to thaw in the fridge overnight.

“I also like to chop and assemble ali of the lunch items on Sunday nıght,” she adds. Fiil containers with vegetarian chili, Greek yoğurt and fruit, steamed veggies. almond butter or whatever you’ve planned on having for lunch—and don’t forget the snacks. “We have a drawer in our fridge dedicated to lunches. So every morning. we can just grab the four to five items. place them in our insulated bags and run out the door,” Passerrello says.

Get up at your usual time.

‘No matter how late you stay up. get up at the same time as you do on weekdays,” says Winter. ‘It’s really confusing to your brain to wake up at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, then sleep until noon on Saturday and Sunday. I would rather see someone get up at their normal time on Saturday and Sunday, and then if they do feel like they need more sleep. have а пар. That way, they’ve preserved that wake time.”

Сrunch Time

“lf you’re not a morning person, you probably want to do as little in the morning as possible.” says Zaslow. Thankfully, “there’s not that much that actually has to be done in the morning. You can shovver the night before, you can make your lunch the night before. Here’s what you can do in advance:

Figüre out what’s going on the next day.

Check the weather report. revievv your schedule for the upcoming day and pick out an outfit. says Zaslovv.

Pack your bags, including your work and workout totes.

‘Put everything you need to take with you by the door or in the car/ says Duncan.

Set the GPS, if you’ll be using it.

And double check that you don’t need gas.

Make your lunch if you’re taking something that can’t be made ahead.

‘Right after dinner is the best time.’ says Duncan.

Make sure kids are ready to go.

‘Get their clothes ready. papervvork signed, lunches and after-school gear packed.” advises Duncan.

Do chores that will make the morning run more smoothly says Zaslow. Run the dishvvasher. Clean the coffee maker. Charge your devices. then put them away. ‘They shouldn’t even be in the room with you/ says Dr. VVinter. “We did have alarm clocks before we had celi phones! Go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get an alarm clock for $5.99/

The final Htc

With everything prepped and ready to go. going from pillow to front door should be painless, stress-free—and speedy.

Figüre out, realistically. how much time it takes you to get up and get to work. school or Pilates class.

“Knovving what time you need to get up requires that you know exactly how long it takes to do everything/ says Duncan. ‘Count backvvards from the time that you need to be at work (or wherever you need to be), including parking. signing in with security. ete/

Get up naturally if possible.

Awakening on your own, before your alarm is the best option for getting up. says VVinter. Second best: a light-emitting alarm clock, vvhich slovvly builds from a dim glow to full brightness. emulating the real sunrise. ‘That’s a really good way to wake up in the morning instead of using an aggravating noise/ she says. (If you stili don’t wake up after half an hour. the light-emitting alarm clock has a buzzer that goes off.)

Set up a routine.

Do everything you need to do— shovvering. getting dressed, having breakfast—in the same order every day. “The order isn’t as important as having a routine that you can do without thinking about it/ says Zaslow.

Rouse the kids.

“Get them up based on how long it takes them to get dressed and get ready,” says Duncan. “Do not turn on the TV or everyone will get distracted.”

Eat.

A good breakfast is “a balanced mix of carbohydrates. protein and fat,” says Passerrello. ‘İt will digest more slowly so you will not have a steep rise and fail in blood sugar. so it will keep you feeling fuller longer. Some quıck suggestions: a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, raisins and crushed vvalnuts; Greek yoğurt mıxed wıth whole- grain granola and a piece of fruit; or whole-grain toast wıth almond butter and sliced banana.”

Follow this plan and you’ll be able to leave the house at a relaxed, leisurely расе. wıthout feeling like you ve just been in a car-chase scene. PS

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