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16 Ways to brighten your morning


Need to make your mornings feel less like a struggle? We’ve got you covered with plenty of tips for making your mornings so much better.

The night before

Woman packing lunches the night before

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  • Fill up the gas tank — not only will this save time, it’ll save your fingers from falling off in the cold or your makeup melting in the heat.
  • Pack lunches — your kitchen is already a disaster from dinner anyway.
  • Figure out what you/the kids should wear (maybe pick two options, just to avoid fights or a personal crisis if you wake up feeling bloated).
  • Can you make breakfast ahead of time? Put pancake batter in a squeeze bottle, chop fruit, make an egg casserole and use a coffeemaker with a timer.

Rise and shine

Woman putting on slippers

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Getty Images
  • Wake up to music, not a blaring alarm
  • Or try light — setting your light to a timer isn’t a surefire way to wake yourself up, but it might begin the process and save you from being jarred away by an alarm.
  • Keep your slippers close to the bed to avoid cold feet
  • Make time for cuddles — why not wake up your kids or honey by cuddling up beside them for a couple of minutes instead of yelling down the hall? It’ll make their and your mornings better.

Get moving

Woman walking dog

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  • Brush and whiten those teeth — a brighter smile will make a brighter you.
  • Take the dog for a walk — it’s hard to plan for yoga in the morning; quality canine time is easier.
  • Enjoy that coffee — we recommend Life Is Good. The brand donates 10 percent of its net profits to kids in need. Not only will you satisfy your caffeine fix, but you’ll also satisfy the needs of someone less fortunate. Win win! Wanna try before you buy? Life is Good will be handing out cups of coffee (and other awesome prizes) at Penn Station from 7 a.m. to noon on March 6.
  • Have a piece of dark chocolate with breakfast — scientists say that dark chocolate has antioxidants that are actually good for your heart. Maybe shave a piece into your cereal or oatmeal? Or eat it from the wrapper.

And off you go

Happy family in car

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  • Winter? Fluff your coat in the dryer to start out your day warm. In the summer, grab a bottle of cold water to avoid needing to hit the drive-thru for something cool.
  • Place backpacks by the door.
  • Decide on a commuter DJ rotation — end fighting over the radio by setting up a DJ schedule. If it’s Katey’s day, she picks the music and no one gets to argue.
  • Make that 10-year-old a personal assistant — remember when he could barely say “Mama”? Now he can read. If you’ve browsed your emails during breakfast and know they’re safe, why not have him dictate your response while you drive? He can see what mommy does for a living and he might even learn some new vocabulary words.

Even though we completely agree that Life is Good coffee is a great way to start your day, they did sponsor this post.
Seem overwhelming? While putting all these tips into action would certainly change your morning game, it’s totally cool to just pick a couple that seem the most manageable. Even doing one from each section will help make the mornings seem less like… mornings.

More tips for moms

Work-at-home mom’s guide to getting things done
6 Easy ways to jump start your mornings
15 Seriously flexible jobs for working moms

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