A simple morning routine for tired mums: get your day off to the best start!

Sleep deprivation is pretty much a part and parcel of motherhood. And so I have spent years trying to catch up on missed slumber, pleading with my children to go back to sleep at 5am, repeatedly snoozing my alarm until the last minute, snatching a rare weekend nap, then finding myself battling to stay awake late at night as I try to get just half an hour of time to myself after a long day. 

Then a few months ago, when the clocks went forward in spring and I was dreading how I was going to cope, I had an idea. What if, instead of wasting my time fighting against the early start each morning, what if I just embraced it? What if, instead of trying to stay up late at night for a few moments of me-time, what if I simply got up whenever I woke and had that time at the start of the day, before the rest of the house had risen?

Fast forward a few months and I now have a simple four-step morning ritual that gets me off to a great start, even if my morning has begun at silly o'clock! 

A simple morning wake-up routine for tired mums

1. ALARM. For the days that I've not already been woken by a small child, I have an alarm set so that I wake up in plenty of time to get myself and the children ready for the school run. I used to always have loud, piercing alarms that would wake me with a shock, but now I have a simple melody (you could choose your favourite song) that starts quietly and increases in volume, which is a much gentler way to start the day. And no snoozing! Whether it's my children or my alarm that have woken me up, the key is to get up!

2. YOGA. As I know it's unlikely that I will get through a full yoga routine before the children wake up, I simply do some simple sun salutations. I find it really invigorating and energising so if I only have a few minutes that's what I'll do.

3. SUNSHINE. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the release of serotonin, the mood-boosting hormone, which also increases alertness and cognition. So as soon as I can, I open the blinds and sit by the window to drink my coffee while reading a page of a book or magazine. In the winter months, I'm looking forward to maybe watching the sun actually rise, which is something I never thought I'd hear myself say! 

4. CITRUS. Citrus smells are another thing that boost serotonin, so I have made them part of my morning wake-up routine by diffusing essential oils. You can keep it simple with something like [affiliate link] grapefruit essential oil, or buy a premade blend such as Wake Me Up from my talented friend Sallyanne at Holistic Kitchen. Another idea is to add a drop to a damp flannel and rub it all over before stepping into the shower for a quick mood-boosting aromatherapy treat, or simply go for a citrussy soap!

I have been pleasantly surprised to find that by getting up earlier I actually feel more refreshed and ready for the day. I get to enjoy a coffee in the calm and quiet, read a chapter of a book or a page of a magazine, listen to the birds' dawn chorus, and just be. If you're also finding yourself juggling your need to sleep with your need for some me-time, give this a try. But you don't have to get up early to make your mornings better, just make these four little steps part of your routine and see if it makes a difference to how you feel. And let me know! 

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