Mornings around my house used to be more anxiety inducing than my entire day at work. It was like a three-ring circus with me as the master of ceremonies (or whip cracker, depending on your perspective), making sure my daughter, my husband and I all were fed and had everything we needed for the day…without leaving our apartment a total wreck.
But since that early window of time sets the tone for the rest of the day—and it was not going well for us—I decided it was important to transform our morning mayhem into a much calmer “power hour.” Ever since I did, we are all better off for it.
Here are five tips for turning your hectic mornings into a time that truly powers your day setting a tone for a strong, confident, balanced start.
1. Create a buffer zone.
Build a calm and relaxing buffer zone as a transition from waking up to facing the craziness of the outside world. Don’t check your email the second your alarm goes off or start scrolling through your to-do list in your head. Instead, allow yourself at least the time it takes to drink half your coffee (at least) before you start to confront the reality of the day.
2. Eat a power breakfast.
Eating breakfast has been linked to better performance on tasks for kids and adults alike—it’s critical to powering up the day. I recommend one that has a balance of food-groups: a protein (like milk, yogurt, eggs, nuts/nut butters), whole grain (toast, cereal, oats) and some kind of fruit or vegetable. I try to include probiotic rich foods (like yogurt and kefir) as much as possible as well.
An important part of my morning transformation was having breakfasts that could be made ahead of time so we weren’t all scrambling at 8 a.m.. here are two of my super-convenient go-to breakfast recipes that give you everything you need to start the day on a healthy note: Power Hour Smoothie Packs and Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats.
3. Take a probiotic.
Even though we try to eat probiotic rich foods often, we all also take a probiotic supplement each morning to make sure we consistently get enough good bacteria to keep us feeling our best. Probiotic supplements can help power your day by helping you maintain a healthy, strong gut and science shows that a healthy gut not only positively boosts your immune and digestive health, but also impacts mood, memory, sleep, kids’ development and more.
To make taking our probiotic a family habit, I keep the bottle right next to our toothbrushes so we take them before we brush our teeth.
4. Set the stage at night.
One thing that made a huge difference for our morning vibe was when we started to prep our “power hour” the night before. If you make sure all backpacks and bags are packed, clothes laid out and lunchboxes assembled before you hit the hay, the morning magically becomes smooth sailing!
5. Dedicate the day.
I have always loved the way my yoga teacher starts her class by asking us to set our intention or dedicate the day’s practice to something or someone. I’ve found that doing the same at the start of each morning helps me stay focused on what is really important: it centers and inspires me.
I suggest taking a moment during your power hour to dedicate your day to someone you care about or set an intention for how you will approach the day. I often start by making a mental note to approach the day with joy and grace, for example. This morning practice helps you tap your inner power, helping focus thoughts and giving you a broader perspective that you can call upon to ease the stresses of the day ahead.
These tips are just how my family rocks our power hour every morning and I hope you’re inspired to create your own morning power hour with your family!