This time of year the mornings are darker and colder, at least in points North, and getting out of a cozy bed gets harder. What is a working mom to do? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. To start the day with energy, begin the day before. Give yourself a few minutes of quiet to put the day to bed and prepare for the needs of the next day. First find one or two things from the day just lived that you are happy about. Let that satisfaction nurture your spirit. Then think of the day to come. If your to-do list causes you to hyperventilate, choose three, and only three, items off the list that if you do them you will feel good about yourself. Repeat.
  2. Practice good sleep hygiene. At least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep, begin your go to bed ritual. This signals to your body it's time to relax and release the sleep hormones. For more tips on how to practice good sleep hygiene click here. You know your sleep hygiene is working when you wake up before the alarm goes off!
  3. If you need an hour to get yourself out the door in the morning, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier. That means you need to get to bed so that you have from 7 to 8 hours rest. If you need to get up at 6:00 AM count backwards eight hours and add half an hour. That means start your sleep ritual by 9:30, be in bed by 10, at the latest! The extra time in the morning doesn't give you time to lolly gag, what it does is keep you from running around in a panic, a sure energy sucker. Try it. It's an amazing feeling to leave the house in a calm state of mind.
  4. Whatever age your kids are, let them take responsibility for stuff, like grooming and dressing themselves. My kids started participating in preparing their school lunches in third grade. By middle school they were making their lunches by themselves the night before!
  5. Sit down for breakfast and you must have breakfast.

What do you do to have the best start to the day possible?