Stress-free Mornings (breakfast included)

By Tamara Jane

I’m one of those super-organized people who get stressed out when things aren’t in order. So a long time ago, I developed a way to make getting ready in the morning a lot less stressful, and it’s had the pleasant side effect of making my morning routine very quick. Apparently it impresses people, because I’ve had several girls ask me how I do it! So here’s how, for everyone who ever asked. The key is to do a few simple things the night before and one really important thing first.

Shower in the evening. I love showering in the evening so I can go to bed feeling clean, rather than sleeping in the day’s grime. The downside is that my hair isn’t as fresh as it would be if I washed it in the morning. Bed head is no match for a good straightener, so that’s not a problem, but you should dry your hair before bed. If you let your hair air-dry, try showering a couple of hours before bed.

Dress it forward. A big time killer in the morning is figuring out what to wear. Maybe it takes so long because our brains aren’t in high gear yet. That’s why it’s smart to pick out your clothes and shoes the night before. With the next day, modesty and the weather in mind, select an outfit and then stick with it the next morning – regardless of mood. You can’t trust a morning mood anyway. Another advantage to night-time wardrobe prep is that there is actually time to iron or sew on a button or find that special jewelry that goes perfectly – all things that the morning rush can edge out.

Plan a head (ahead). Is something special called for in hair or make-up? Based on tomorrow’s schedule and other factors such as the weather, think about what to do with hair and make-up. Important meeting? Plan a power up-do Sarah Palin style (which is not meant as a political endorsement, I’m just saying her up-do rocks). Walking during your lunch hour? Maybe a head band or other hair accessory to get your hair off your forehead and neck. Now, the icing (and no, I’m not suggesting you should cake it on). If you need your face to get you through an evening engagement, allot a little more time in the morning.

Meal prep. Now, really, I’m not a breakfast person, but maybe you are (I probably should be). I have a friend who loves to eat breakfast (well, any meal, for that matter), but she also loves to sleep late so she often doesn’t have time for breakfast. Sticking to the above tips should buy us some time in the morning, but if we’re still rushed in the morning, maybe we should set our alarm for five minutes earlier? What a concept, right?

Not happening? Then stock up on healthy “grab and run” breakfast grub like granola bars (if you haven’t had one in a while, they’ve come a long way, Baby), string cheese and an apple, a muffin with a travel cup of milk or freeze a yogurt the night before and toss it in your purse to eat on the commute or after you get to where you’re going. There are many more possibilities, but the best will have five or more grams of protein. Do what you can the night before to make grabbing breakfast one fluid motion in the morning. Put fruit or granola bars in your bag the night before and put more perishable items right at the edge of the fridge or freezer shelf, so you don’t get flusterpated looking for them.

Last, but actually first, we should always carve out some time first thing in the morning to greet the Heavenly Father and see if He has any special instructions for our day. Don’t rush this conversation if the alarm doesn’t go off. The same force that orders the universe can make our hair behave, keep buttons from popping off on the way out the door, and turn all the traffic lights green. Or not! The best strategy for a stress-free morning is to start with our top priority.

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