3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

3 WAYS FOR BUSY MOMS TO GET MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT

As a mom, it’s not always easy to get motivated to workout. Between the exhaustion and the never-ended “to do” list, it can be hard to make working out a priority.

I had exercised 4-5 days a week (with very few exceptions) for around 15 years before I fell off the wagon COMPLETELY while I was working, raising 2 kids (aged 1 and 2)  while pregnant with my third.

Like, I maybe exercised 3 times the whole 9 months. And after my pregnancy, with 3 kids 3 and under just getting through the day was challenge enough. 

But of course, I wanted to exercise.

I knew how much I’d benefit from it.

However, knowing the benefits of exercise and even sincerely wanting to get into shape doesn’t always translate into shaking off the perpetual mom fatigue and throwing on the running shoes. Sometimes, we need more to actually get motivated to workout.

Before I knew it I had 4 kids 4 and under and an extra 50 lbs that needed to vacate my body’s real estate.

And unlike before, NOTHING was going to keep me from regular exercise. I was finally going to get into shape.

3 tips to get motivated to workout #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

BUT MORE THAN A BURNING DESIRE, I NEEDE A PLAN.

So I researched. And then I made a plan to keep me motivated. And…it worked! Since then, I’ve managed to get back to my weight before having kids, lose over 35 lbs (and >10% body fat), drop 3 pants’ sizes, and reshape my body.  

Motivation really comes down to creating and implementing a plan that gets you pumped and keeps you accountable.

No matter how busy you are (and girl, I know you are) or how much you don’t like exercise, you can create a motivating plan that will make regular exercise happen.

Here are the three (research-backed) guiding principles that helped me create a plan to get motivated to workout while being a working mom to 4 kids 4 and under.

1) CREATE A REWARD

Research shows that creating a reward either during or after your workout will help you get motivated to workout.

Importantly, the reward should not be food. I know, bummer, right? But having food as a reward does not create a healthy lifestyle.

Stick to something else, like a favorite activity like watching TV, reading a magazine, or scrolling through a social media feed. They key is picking rewards that work for YOU. 

DURING

For me, my reward during my workout is listening to podcasts or audiobooks. And getting alone time away from my kids.

(Heaven knows I love my kids to pieces, but mama needs a little break everyday!)   

Since I either run or go to the gym before my kids are up (or have them at the gym daycare), I usually get to workout without any pint-sized distractions. Which is heavenly on its own. But then I also get to listen to podcasts and audiobooks without my children complaining about how boring they are. So endrophins aside, those 2 things make working out truly glorious for me.

What could be your “during” reward?

Here are some other examples:

  • Only watch your favorite show at the gym
  • Only listen to certain music you enjoy while working out

AFTER

This reward can only be enjoyed once you’ve exercised. Perhaps you take a relaxing bath on days you’ve workout out or allow yourself to sit and drink coffee while reading People magazine.

What activity could be your “after” reward? 

Some examples: 

  • Watching a show you like
  • Scrolling Instagram (or another social media feed)

If you’re like me, when you think “reward” you think sugary treats. But food rewards are going make your efforts self-defeating.  

2) GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Most people benefit from having someone to keep them accountable in their exercise plans. An accountability partner can take many forms, but it generally means you’ve got someone who is both aware of your goals and is keeping you accountable.

For me, this means checking in with my husband about my daily workouts. Knowing my goals, he’s been encouraging and supportive. Always knowing that he’ll ask about my workouts keeps me accountable.

Some other examples of an accountability partner:

  • A workout buddy who you meet up with at acertain time and place
  • A personal trainer (paying someone tends to be really motivating to people)
  • Someone you text every time you workout (my sister texts me and finds it helpful)

What would your ideal accountability partner do?

3) FORGET TRENDS AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE

If you do not like a certain exercise, it’s going to be REALLY hard to get motivated to do it. On the other hand, an activity you enjoy doing has built-in motivation. You’ll naturally want to do it and look forward to it. 

The keys to finding an exercise you love:

  • Explore Everything You can
  • Be Honest With Yourself
  • Don’t worry about how good you are

Remember: there is no ONE holy grail form of exercise that you simply have to do. And just because your friend, the girl down the street, or  the celebrity you follow is way into [insert exercise trend] doesn’t mean that’s the one true path to physical fitness.

There are endless paths to physical fitness!

Like fashion, exercise trends come and go. But forget trends and find what you love.

And be honest with yourself.

If gyms full make you feel self conscious and awkward, it’s going to make it that much harder to go. So maybe you want to get some equipment for home or do workout videos (T25 is my favorite).

If you hate running, it’s going to near impossible to lace up and hit the road. But maybe power lifting is the obsession you never knew you had.

And by the way, you don’t have to be good at something to love it.

I went to my first Zumba class years ago with a good friend who simply loved Zumba. Just before the class began, she admitted she was terrible and she did not disappoint. It was like watching a baby giraffe do hip-hop.

But honestly, she was completely glorious. And I loved her more for it.

Throughout the class, she was in complete bliss–all while getting an amazing sweat. Afterwards, she was on cloud nine and I was in awe of her awesomeness.

Do what you love and forget everything else.

CREATE YOUR  PLAN

With a desire and a plan, you will be motivated to exercise. Building in rewards, getting an accountability partner, and finding an exercise you legitimately love are three ways that you can make regular exercise a reality. Even as a busy mom. Select a strategy (or several) that are right for you, create your plan, and truly get motivated to exercise.

You’ve got this, mama!

Get motivated to workout, even as a busy mom #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

 

5 Clever Ways to Drink More Water Everyday

5 Clever Ways to Drink More Water Everyday

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 Clever Tips to Drink More Water Everyday

You know you need to drink more water, but it just isn’t happening. You get to the end of the day and wrack your brain trying to think if you even made it to 5 glasses of water let alone the 8 everyone says you need.

When it comes to balancing everything in my life (e.g. kids, a home, and a job) the fact is that it’s incredibly easy to forget to drink enough water. Even as an obsessive water drinker. 

And what happens when I don’t drink enough? I feel like absolute garbage. Sluggish, bloated, and my skin starts to get blotchy and break out. It’s like my body is screaming at me to drink me. 

On the other hand, drinking tons of water injects me with energy. Plus, my skin looks and feels fabulous.

While the benefits are endless, drinking more water doesn’t have to mean a major life change. These 5 strategies will give you simple ways to start drinking more water and start feeling better.

1) Get a water bottle you absolutely love

While it may seem silly, having a water bottle that you love and that meets your unique needs will make all the difference when it comes to getting enough water.

If you don’t like your water bottle or it’s inconvenient to use, you’re not going to use it. It’s that simple. You won’t carry it around, you won’t throw it in your purse, and you won’t drink from it.

On the other hand, fining a water bottle that makes you happy is going to make it much more likely that you will actually use it. Before you pick your water bottle, decided what’s important to you.

Questions to consider:

  • What size do you need? Too big, you won’t carry it around. Too small, you’ll constantly be refilling.
  • Do you want it to keep water cold?
  • Do you want a straw or a wide-mouth lid?
  • Easy to drink on the go?
  • Where will you be storing the water bottle wile on the go?

There is no one size fits all for everyone. Now, I love giant water bottles. But there are plenty who would never carry around a 32 oz water bottle. It’s too bulky and inconvenient.

For me, finding a water bottle was like dating. I had to go through a lot over the years before I found the one I really wanted to settle down with. I’ve had various Nalgene and Camelback bottles (which were great), but last year I found my water bottle soulmate in the ever-trendy Hydroflask.

There’s a reason everyone’s got one: spill proof, keeps water cold FOREVER, easy to drink on the go, no condensation on the outside, gigantic. It was everything I ever wanted in a water bottle. Downside: gets dinged up easily. 

5 simple tips to drink more water everyday #drinkmorewater #healthylifestyle

5 simple tips to drink more water everyday #drinkmorewater #healthylifestyle

2) Drink a full bottle before each meal.

Since I struggle with any kind of tracking method (e.g. calorie counting) I need simple cut and dry rules to follow. This one really works for me.

I have my 32 oz Hydroflask and I make sure to fill it up all the way and empty it before each meal. That means I’m getting a least a whopping 96 oz a day.

If you want to make it even easier to track, get 3-4 separate bottles (of whatever size works for you) and fill them and put them in your fridge. This way you can actually see and track progress without having to write anything down. As you go through the day, just make sure you empty them all out.

3) Mix it up with flavored water

If you are a big soda drinker, you’re probably going to need a bit of flavor to make drinking more water doable. Plus, it’s just nice to mix it up. Options like La Croix and Spindrift (my personal favorite found at my Costco) are perfect flavored options. Since we don’t drink soda or juice at our house, my kids think it’s a huge treat to drink Spindrift.

4) Drink a glass right after you wake up

This is a part of my daily morning ritual. Not only will drinking a glass of water upon waking give you and immediate energy boost, it’s also going to sneak in an extra glass every day without even trying.

5) Track it

There are a variety of ways that you can track your water consumption. If you keep a paper planner, you can track it there.

Or you can use an app like Daily Water Tracker or Plant Nanny (a more whimsical option).

What works for you?

Drinking more water doesn’t have to upend your whole life. You can do it simply and easily. It’ll make all the difference in how you feel and how much energy you have. 

Find a water bottle you love and pick the method(s) that will work best for you. Drinking more water will immediately make your body feel better.

You’ve got this!

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Perfect At-Home Workout for Busy Moms

After the birth of my first kid, I was bound and determined to get into great shape despite cancelling my gym membership. I was carrying 30 extra pounds that I needed to work off.

So with barrels of motivation and a set of P90X DVDs, I set out to work.

But adjusting to mom life and trying to fit in a super long at-home workout was seriously tough. I couldn’t manage 20 minutes without my baby fussing.

Some days, it’d take hitting pause a dozen times to be able to actually get through the entire workout.

Then I found out I was pregnant again. And before I knew it, I had a 14 month old and a newborn. Working out at all seemed daunting with 2 little ones. So how on earth would I be able to block out an uninterrupted hour to fit in a workout? 

That’s when I found Shaun T’s T25, which was a total game-changer. I knew I was involve from the first workout. 

Ten minutes in and I felt like I’d worked out for 45 minutes. And before I knew it, the 25 minutes was up and I felt like I’d just conquered the world.

All I needed to do was muster the energy to hit “play” 5 times a week, and I experienced some incredible changes in my health.

Suddenly daily exercise was far less daunting. With eleven 25 minute workouts to choose from, I had plenty of different options depending on my mood (and soreness level!).

Here’s why I think you might just love T25 too:

T25 is the perfect workout at home for busy moms

T25 is the perfect workout for busy moms

 

What You Get

  • 9 DVDs
  • 11–25 minute workouts that mostly require ZERO equipment
  • Loads of intense cardio
  • strength training for every muscle group
  • 3 minute cooldown after each workout



Why It’s AWESOME

1. The workouts go by soooo fast.

Twenty-five minutes is nothing, my friend. But those 25 minutes a few times a week will bring huge changes to how you feel. Since each workout is broken up into exercises that you do for 30-45 seconds, there’s no time to get bored and the 25 minutes really do fly by.

2. You just have to press “play”.

No need to load up your kids and go to a gym. Or research and plan a workout. You don’t even have to put on workout clothes! Honestly, some days I’d just do it in my skivvies not wanting to dirty any extra laundry. You just gotta hit “play”.

3. Shaun T is delightful.

While I’m sure they exist, I haven’t yet met anyone who doesn’t like Shaun T. He’s engaging and super motivating. I just listened to him on a podcast and it just made me love him more.

4. Modifiers make it so you can do it at many levels.

When I first started, I used a LOT of the modifiers. But as I got in better shape I was able to drop them. It’s great because you can be at a variety of fitness levels and still get a killer workout.

5. You don’t have to follow the 10-week plan.

If following a plan works for you, then you’ve got one included in the DVD set. 

But if the thought of being locked into a plan stresses you out, no sweat. You can create your own routine. You’ve got 11 great workouts to choose from. If your goal is to work out 4 days a week, then pick out 4 workouts you want to do and press play 4 times.

Do the workouts you want to do.  Or you can switch up the workouts with running/walking. The options are endless.

6. You don’t need a bunch of equipment.

Most of the workouts just use body weight and a whole lotta sweat. A few call for a mat (for ab stuff) and a set of weights or a band (which actually comes with the DVDs).

7. You get an hour’s worth of workout crammed into 25 minutes.

With just 24 hours a day to work with, I’m always looking to use my time as efficenitly as possible. WHen it comes to getting a fabulous and quick workout, I don’t know of anything better.

8. Easy to workout before kids are up.

I’m a big believer in making the most of the morning hours and especially morning exercise, especially doing it before your kids are up. Because the workout is so quick, you can get up just 30 minutes earlier and be done with exercise for the day with no distractions and children demanding to be fed breakfast.

T25 is the perfect at-home workout for busy moms

 

Why it may NOT be for you

While amazing, these are legitimately intense workouts. You get a serious bang for your buck, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Literally. If you have a health issue or are completely starting from ground zero exercise-wise, these might not be the best exercises to start with. As always, be safe and smart about how you pursue greater health and consult a doctor is you’re unsure.

T25 is Awesome

But if you’re ready for some uh-mazing workouts that you can quickly fit in whenever you want in the privacy of your living room, then T25 might be answer you’re looking for. It’s the perfect way for crazy-busy moms to get in regular exercise without forking over the money for a gym membership.

Have you tried the workouts? Let me know what you thought of them.

 


A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Self-Care

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Self-Care

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Self-Care

 

“Take time off…the world will not fall apart without you.”  (Malebo Sephodi)

As moms, we often put ourselves last on our list of priorities. With all the balls we juggle daily, we are afraid that if we spend even a little time on ourselves, all the balls will drop and we will fail spectacularly at this whole mothering thing.

And even if we do manage to do something for ourselves (like take a nice bath or go out with friends) we often end up feeling guilty about it.

But taking care of ourselves is not a privilege we must earn.

It’s a human need. And more than that, it’s 100% necessary if we want to be the best moms we can be. We are better equipped to take care of our children, families, and countless duties when we are taking excellent care of ourselves.

But, of course, it took me a looooong time to figure that one out.

I used to feel like I had to “earn” self care.

There are few things I find more relaxing than sitting in a super hot bath (complete with essential oils and epsom salt) and reading a good book.

I find it soooo relaxing.

But I’ve always felt like I had to “earn” a nice bath. I had to be really really deserving. Like if I’d run a marathon or something.

Once I had kids, that feeling compounded. Suddenly, in under 5 years I went from zero kids to 4 little girls 4 and under. All while working a job.

And it was just as crazy as you’re imagining.

If I had a hard time making time for myself before, how on earth was I going to do it now? I always had more to do than time to do it.

So making time to take care of myself felt like I was taking away from everything else. It felt like it was taking away from taking care of my kids.

But that was completely wrong.

Taking care of myself = taking better care of my kids.

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

It means leaving survival mode behind.

While it took a huge shift in mindset to actually plan and execute proper self care, it has made such a difference in my life and family..

I’m a better mom. I’m more patient. My body is healthier and I feel more balanced.

Which means I’m so much better prepared to handle the stress and difficult situations that naturally arise in my day.

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

Rejuvenating Mornings & Evenings

First off, self care will look different for every mom. It all comes down to what rejuvenates YOU physically, mentally, and spiritually. But as our mom days are often packed with non-stop chaos (or is that just me?), I fin mornings and evenings to be the optimal times for quality self-care.

Changing my evenings and mornings has quite literally changed my life. 

Before my kids are up, I almost always read uplifting books, exercise, shower and get ready for the day (hair up, clothes on, and perhaps some mascara). I often meditate and I sometimes write in a journal.

These practices nourish my mind, body, and soul and set me up to be a happy, patient mom ready to tackle the crazy that will inevitably come my way.

In the evening, after I put my 4 small kids to bed, I wind down first by unplugging from technology. This is when my husband and I can finally talk and really connect.

Almost without fail, I take a hot bath with epsom salt and essential oils while I read and relax my mind and body. I breath deeply (this method is pretty fantastic) and will sometimes meditate if I am still having trouble shutting off my brain.  

But that’s me. These practices renew me daily, help me sleep well, and feed my mind, body, and soul.

Self-Care will look different for each of us.

To create your self-care routine, you’ll need to reflect what activities bring YOU peace and relaxation. When can you find time in your day to spend some time on yourself? Before you can do that, there are a few steps you need to take to make room for self-care in your life. 

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GETTING STARTED

Step 1: Create Your “White Space”

Imagine a white piece of paper with writing on it. There are margins on all sides and spaces between the paragraphs. There is clear organization and flow. The white space provide direction and organization.

Okay, now imagine another piece of paper with crammed writing covering the entire surface. Overwhelming, huh? Not sure where to start or end and there are no white spaces to be found.

Which paper best resembles your life? The one with rests and white spaces? Or the one that is so full it’s impossible to make heads or tails of what is going on?

To fit in self care, we need to cut out activities that aren’t important. We need to create the white space in our lives. 

To say yes to self care and better mental and physical health, you may need to say no to other things.

Step back an evaluate what you spend your time on.  Don’t let good things get in the way of doing THE BEST things. Don’t worry about fulfilling anyone’s expectations for you or what other people are doing. Evaluate what will be best for you and your family. 

For me, this meant saying “no” to a lot of outside demands. It also meant not trying to fit in work after my kids went to bed. I used to stay up super late grading papers, cleaning, and working on a host of other things that I could never get to during the day. To get better sleep and make the most of my mornings, I needed to completely change my evening routine.

Step 2: Guard the “White Space” in Your Life

If you’ve cut out the non-essentials, you’ve created the white space in your life. If you are anything like me, your natural inclination is to look at that white space and want to fill it all up.

Instead, guard that white space with ferocity. That white space equals balance and your sanity. That white space allows you to fit in the much needed self-care activities that will improve your mental, physical, and spiritual health. 

Step 3: Build Your Self-Care Routine

Again, your self care routine may look very different from mine. But you want to make sure that you are including activities from the 3 core areas: physical, mental, and spiritual.

Below are just a few ideas to get you started. Pick a few of the following and try them out this week.

Body/Physical

  • Exercise regularly
  • Go for a walk or hike
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Have a dance party with your kids
  • Ask your partner for a massage
  • Get 15 minutes of sun (with sunscreen)
  • Snuggle with your spouse or children
  • Take a nap
  • Take a hot bath with epsom salts and/or relaxing essential oils
  • Spend time in nature
  • Smell you favorite things

Mind

  • Declutter a problem area
  • Journal
  • Start a file on your computer writing favorite memories of your kids
  • Read
  • Go outside and be in nature
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Go somewhere by yourself
  • Laugh–watch a funny youtube video, read a comic
  • Complete a task that’s been nagging at you
  • Start a book club

Spirit

  • Read something uplifting
  • Go on a date with your husband
  • Try a new type of food
  • Cut out negative people on social media
  • Call/email an old friend you haven’t talked to in ages
  • Unplug from all electronics
  • Meditate
  • Recite Affirmations

Most important: Get started

Mamas, you are so important. So much rides on your capable shoulders. Make sure you give them a break everyday (even it’s a small one). And remember, self care is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Implement your own selfcare routine and let the benefits seep into your life.

You’ve got this, mama!

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

 

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

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10 Strategies for Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep

10 Strategies for Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

10 Strategies for Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep

Sleep literally impacts every area of ours lives. Yet how often does quality sleep fall very low on our list of priorities?

Most moms are not getting quality sleep. Why? You are balancing children, a home, endless responsibilities and maybe even a job!

And what comes last? You.

But sleep deprivation is literally killing people through the associated health problems that come with it. And like the oxygen masks on an airplane, if you want to help other people (i.e. your kids) you need to make sure your mask is on.

Simply put: You need better sleep.

And making just a few changes to your routine can dramatically increase the quality of your sleep and your life.

After the birth of my 4th child, I finally started to make sleep a priority. So I researched a bunch and then implemented these strategies. And guess what happened?

I was happier, more patient, losing baby weight was much easier, and my skin looked amazing. 

That’s when I became a true believer in the power of a good night’s sleep. Here’s how you can get one tonight:

10 strategies for moms to get better sleep.

 

10 STRATEGIES FOR MOMS TO GET DRAMATICALLY BETTER SLEEP

1) Schedule enough sleep every night

Adults needs no fewer than 7 hours of sleep a night. While some will proclaim that you can function perfectly well off something like 4 hours of sleep a night, that is complete and utter nonesense.

You know exactly what 4 hours of sleep feels like and it’s doesn’t feel good. 

Sleep experts are adamant that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Failure to get enough sleep can be disasterous. Sleep deprived people are more likely to get into accidents and make fatal mistakes

And I know that this is so hard for us moms. You’ve put the kids to bed and after a long day you finally have a few seconds to yourself.

You want to decompress with some Netflix. And maybe even have an adult conversation with your husband. 

And you may have to wake up with you child several times a night.

Whatever the case, figure out when you need to go to sleep at night to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. 

2) Avoid screen a few hours before bedtime

Screen are everywhere. And they are destroying our sleep. In our digital age, avoiding screens takes serious planning and willpower.

But you can do it. 

Have a screen cut off time at least 2 hours before you plan to go to sleep. If you can, keep your phone and other screens out of your room entirely.  

I’ll admit, this one was a struggle for me. The hubs and I used to have this nightly ritual of watching an episode (or five) of Forensic Files in bed. It was our time to spend together after a long day and, frankly, it’s crazy good.

BUT it wasn’t great for my sleep. DItching screens before bedtime has dramtically improved my sleep.

10 Strategies for Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep.

3) Stop eating a couple hours before bedtime

Eating heavy foods before bed will sabotage your sleep. Think about the last time you tried to fall asleep with an overly full belly. You probably had a hard time getting comfortable.

Personally, going to sleep on a slightly empty stomach (3 or so hours after eating) is best for my sleep quality.

4) Stop caffeine after mid-afternoon

This one is pretty obvious. Caffeine is a stimulant and it will make it hard to fall alseep. If you rely heavily on caffeine to get through your day, then your body is literally begging you to make sleep a priority.

Better sleep will reduce your dependence on caffeine. Stop the caffeine after the afternoon and then get to bed early.

5) Make your bedroom a sanctuary  

Do you find your bedroom relaxing? Is it a reprieve from stress? If not, making some changes will drastically change your sleep and even your mood.

You can invite amazing sleep into your bedroom by creating a bedroom sanctuary. This means eliminating distractions, lights, screens, mess–whatever will make it hard to shut off your brain and keep quality sleep at bay.

6) Exercise

Research shows that exercise significantly helps people to sleep better. If you aren’t a regular exerciser, it’s best to start out easy. Vigorous exercise might zap you of your energy during the day. For ideas on how to fit in exercise, check out my post 6 Gym-Free Ways For Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout.

7) Practice deep breathing

Do you have trouble relaxing and shutting off your brain? Even if you’re exhausted, is is a struggle to quiet your busy mind? Then try deep breathing exercises.

A simple one to try is 5-5-5 breathing. Breathe in for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts, and breathe out for an additional 5 counts. Repeat a few times and you will feel your body starting to relax.

8) Meditate

Meditation is also fabulous.  It’s great at any time of the day, but it’s especially helpful for relaxing and preparing for sleep. There are so many great guided meditations for sleep on the internet. I personally love the UCLA guided meditations. Here’s one for sleep.

9) Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday

Research shows that creating a reliable body clock where you go to bed and rise at the same times each day improves sleep quality. Your circadian rythym(the body’s 24 hour internal clock) works best when you have regular sleep habits.

As a busy mom, this will take planning and willpower.

I have found that moving my “me time” to the mornings as opposed to after the kids are in bed has had a really positive result. For tips on maximizing your mornings, check out my post here.

10) Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Just like creating bedtime routines for your kids helps them fall asleep, relaxing bedtime routine will help you fall asleep and sleep soundly. Some examples of nightly rituals include:

  • Take a relaxing hot bath: When you get out of the bath, your body’s rapid temperature drop naturally relaxes you and will help you sleep deeper.
  • Read a book: Reading can be relaxing and put you right to sleep.
  • Lay out your clothes: preparing for the day can help calm your mind
  • Sexy time: Studies show that sex before bed will help you sleep more soundly.  

11) Keep room nice and cold

Love to keep your bedroom freezing and pile on the blankets? Well, you’re in luck! It’s actually good for you. Sleeping in a cold room helps you sleep better and is actually better for your overall health!

Get better sleep tonight

Mama, your sleep is so incredibly important. You are the engine for your home and family. Making sure that engine is running well means that you need to get quality sleep.

You don’t have to try every single strategy above to start seeing really positive results. A few changes to your routine can be lifechanging. Pick a few strategies that seem doable and try them for a week and see what happens.

You deserve a good night’s rest. You can do it!

9 Tips to Make Waking Up a Breeze

9 Tips to Make Waking Up a Breeze

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9 Tips to Make Waking Up a Breeze

Despite wanting to wake up early, many of us find the task overwhlemingly difficult. Like, climbing Mt. Everest difficult.

You can snooze-button your way through an entire morning, which leaves you feeling pretty crummy. You desperately need some new strategies. Luckily, these 9 tips will make early mornings easier.

These tips are divided into 2 categories:

  1. preparation
  2. once the alarm goes off in the morning.

If waking up is a struggle, it’s never going to change without preparing the night before.

9 tips to make waking up early easy

9 tips to make waking up early easy

PART I: THE PREPARATION

1) Go to bed early

This is essential since you don’t want to be operating on a sleep deficit. Sleep deprivation basically leads to a host of health issues including weight gain (ugh) and even a shorter lifespan. Yikes!

Most adults need at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. Decide what time you want to wake up, subtract 8 and you’ve got your bedtime!

2) Make sure you are getting quality sleep

Quality sleep is essential to feeling well-rested, yet it’s not always easy to come by as a busy mama. Check out my post 10 Strategies For Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep.

3) Have everything set out for the morning

Have everything you can possibly think of ready to go (check out this post to help develop your own awesome morning routine).

I work out every morning, so I lay out everything: socks, shoes, clothes, sports bra, and headphones. If I’m going for a run, I leave out my house key lanyard. I even have a big glass of water ready and waiting by my bathroom sink (see step 8).

This also makes it less likely that I will skip out on my workout!

4) Set your intentions for the morning the night before

To make you morning happen, you need to mentally prepare yourself to pop out of bed when your alarm goes off. This can take many forms:

  • Visualization: This is a powerful strategy that I use. I visualize myself smiling and popping out of bed and going through my morning routine step-by-step. If you are grumpy in the mornings, visualize yourself happy and energized. Repeated visualizations will have a major impact on your morning outlook.  
  • Plan: Create a written plan with what time you will get up and each thing you plan to accomplish in the order you plan to do them.
  • Use an accountability partner: Get someone to hold you accountable for waking up early. This could be an early morning exercise buddy, or someone that you simply check in with to stay accountable. Letting someone else know of your plans makes you more likely to keep them.

 

5) Have the right alarm situation

Making sure you have an alarm set that you will not “snooze” til the end of time is essential. Luckily, there are a lot of options:

  • Alarm across the room: This serves 2 purposes–it gets lights and technology away from you when you’re trying to sleep (thereby improving sleep quality) and it makes you actually get up and out of bed to turn it off. This was a game changer for me.
  • Alarm across the room AND alarm on phone by your bed: This is my preferred way to wake up. I keep a really soft alarm on my phone by my bed that gently wakes me up. My alarm across the room is set for 3 minutes later. Since I don’t want to disturb my husband, I get up easily with my gentle alarm and turn off the other alarm before it even goes off. 
  • Use Step Out app: This app is completely genius. If you can hit snooze a million times without even thinking, this is the app for you. You can set it up so that in order to turn off the alarm, you actually have to take 10 or 20 steps. And by that point, you are awake! It’s awesome.

BTW: Try and get an alarm that isn’t horribly annoying. If the sound is too grating, it’ll put you in a bad mood the minute you hear it.

PART 2: THE MORNING

So you’ve done everything that you need to do the night before to prepare. Clothes are laid out. Alarms are set. You’ve visualized your morning and you have some accountability set up. You slept a solid 8 hours and the alarm goes off.

Here’s what’s next:

6) Smile first thing

I know it sounds super cheesy, but smiling and telling yourself how excited you are to wake up (even when you feel like you want to die) really works. It actually will help make you happy and excited to wake up. Fake it til you make it, baby!

7) Pop out of bed, turn off the alarm, and beeline straight to your bathroom.

Don’t even let yourself think about getting back into bed. You’re already up if you had to get up to turn off your alarm. Make it second nature to then head straight to the bathroom without even giving it a thought. . 

8) Drink a glass of water and brush your teeth right away

This is going to start to really wake you up and get into your morning routine.

Drinking water starts getting your body systems revved up and will give you some energy.

Brushing your teeth not only gives you something to do as you are trying to wake up, it actually wakes up your mouth. By this point, you are at least halfway woken up.

9) Put on your exercise clothes/clothes and get busy with your morning!

You’re still probably waking up, but getting dressed and physically preparing for the day is going to really help you keep waking up.

To make the most of your day, I HIGHLY recommend working out first thing and getting it out of the way.


For more one making the most of your mornings, check out my post here

You can do it!

Trust me, if I can train myself to be a morning person, absolutely ANYONE can! These tips will leave your snooze button in the dust and walk you through exactly what you need to do to make early mornings happen.

You’ve got this!

9 tips to make waking up early easy