So, if you follow along on IG stories, you know that about a week ago I started leaving my phone charging outside of my bedroom at night (more about this later) and I started waking up a few minutes before my house (most days, and also–more about this later). Becoming a mother has really forced me to take inventory of not only myself more often, but of our home/space, what we make priorities and who we allow to be involved in all of the above. It may sound harsh, but i’ve always been a believer in “control the controllables,” meaning, I cannot control what happens in the world, but, what I can control is what happens within the walls of my home. I take this duty very seriously, especially since having children. The walls of our home should be a safe haven from all else, but, unfortunately, with our world being more connected than ever before (via, IG, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc) we never really get that escape that the home used to provide. Did you know that the majority of bullying doesn’t take place on the playground/at school anymore, it now takes place within peoples homes– due to social media. This means that in today’s world, children especially, are seeking a safe, judgment free, what I like to call “love zone,” because they literally cannot escape whatever it is that is happening to them at school and as parents, a lot of us are missing the signs, because us too, are caught up in the world of social media. I hate to be a debbie downer and share this information with you, but I promise to always share (what I see as) the truth with you. What you choose to do with it, that’s up to you :).
As you know, I love me some IG. You can catch me talking on my stories more days than not, connecting with other women my age– from whom I gain a wealth of knowledge and inspiration, and for that, I love IG. Friends, before you start rolling your eyes at me, I want to reiterate, social media IS NOT ALL BAD– but it’s all about how we choose to use it. If you sense yourself feeling jealous, bad about yourself, or exhausted while scrolling, chances are you need a little break. I am known for doing this about every 6 weeks to refresh.
Okay, back to what I was initially supposed to make this post about, oops. How to wake up happier every morning. Obviously, this is going to look differently for me because I am a mom of two young children that essentially dictate my (almost) every move, lol, but, I feel that there are some truths in this that can be applied to any stage of life.
1. Leave Your Phone Charging Outside Of Your Room
As mentioned above, I am sure that I am not the only one guilty of getting into bed at 9pm with the purest of intentions of getting some extra hours of rest, only to realize that it is now 11pm and i’ve successfully scrolled 7 years deep in somebody’s life that I will never meet and/or purchased xyz via IG links. Yup. I should’ve left my phone outside of my room so that this wasn’t even an option. Also, there is a lot of research that is starting to support how dangerous our phones actually are. One of our favorite wellness doctors told us about this study that was conducted in two green houses. Both of the conditions were exactly the same, except one factor. One green house had cell phones plugged in at all times, and the other didn’t. The green house that had the constant radiation of the phone significantly less blooming flowers, and the ones that did bloom died quickly following. The green house that didn’t, as you can probably guess, flourished. That in and of itself is another reason to sleep with a bit of distance from your phone.
One of my new years resolutions was to put my phone down during witching hour. I would say that as of right now I am doing a decent job. The days that I don’t follow through with this are the evenings when I am cooking and sharing my recipes and cooking process with you guys via IG stories, but other than that, my phone is 99% of the time on the counter and I am engaging fully with my children (when they need my full, undivided attention the most). If you don’t know what witching hour is, it’s pretty much the two hours prior to bedtime when your super sweet children turn into little monsters and tempt you to pour a very* heavy glass of wine earlier than you’re proud to admit. just being honest.
So, anyway– scroll your IG, do what you need to do, and when you decide that it’s time for rest, girlfriend, get that rest, and plug your phone in either in your bathroom, or outside of your bedroom door. To ease anxiety of someone needing you in the middle of the night, turn on your do not disturb and add those few people to the list so that you can rest easy knowing that you will only be distracted if you absolutely need to be.
2. Go To Bed Earlier
If you’ve ever been a guest at the Allen house, you know that life pretty rarely happens past 9pm. The kids go to sleep at 7 most nights, R and I usually eat dinner with them between 6-7 and then once they are down, we spend some time connecting– either working out together, cleaning up the house, or our fav is to take a bath together and listen to a podcast/TED talk. Research has shown that going to sleep even one hour earlier boosts optimism, concentration and productivity. aka, all things that I need to be a better wife and mother.
3. Wake Up Earlier
The beautiful thing about going to sleep earlier, is rising earlier. When was the last time you caught a sunrise? I have seen more sunrises and full moons since becoming a Mama, and instead of being upset about the fact that I walk hallways at night when the world is silent and rise before the sun– I try to focus more on the simple gifts that God provides in those moments– aka, a full, shining, moon & the power of a morning sunrise. Pure. Magic (if you let it be). When I am able to wake up on my own, before my house, I love to brew a cup of coffee and either do a quick 10 minute meditation, or read a bit in a daily devotional. However I start my day is how my day goes. Ever noticed that? Wake up pissed. Then you get in your car and spill your coffee all over you. Then someone cuts you off. Then you’re rushing to get to work on time? yeah, not coincidence friends. Give yourself peace in the morning, you’ll never go back. Obviously, life happens– lately Leni hasn’t been sleeping like she was prior because she is wearing her helmet.. and truth be told, if I had to sleep in a helmet, I prob wouldn’t be sleeping that great either. So, lately, I have been squeezing in all the moments of sleep that I can get to make up for more nighttime waking. Be flexible, but remember– the first accomplishment/test of your day is getting out of bed.
4. Fresh Flowers
Maybe this is just me, but, it’s kind of hard to be pissed when you wake up to fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are a staple on my weekly grocery list. I tend to separate the bouquet and place small amounts of flowers all over the house. My favorite? Next to my toothbrush on my sink. Why, you ask? Because the first thing I do upon waking is stumble into my bathroom to brush my teeth and rinse my face and something about a few fresh flowers being there helps to wake me up. Give it a try. $6 in weekly fresh flowers (Trader Joes has $5.99 flowers) will do a whole lot more for you than $6 in Starbucks.
5. Wake Up To A Clean Space
As I have said in previous posts, one of the things that is a sure fire way to start my day off rough is dishes piled in the kitchen sink from the night before– the same goes for a mess all over my bedroom. I will be honest, the laundry piles never end. I love doing laundry and folding clothes, but I struggle with the final step– putting the clean clothes away. But, I try my best to at least tidy up my bedroom a bit before going to sleep so that when I wake up the space is clean. I’ve always said– the state of my space is the state of my mind.
6. Inspire Yourself
This looks different for everybody, as I said before, I really enjoy a daily devotional, morning meditation, etc. Lately I have been using the Calm app and I really love it. Guys, turn the news off and turn something positive on– or, take a few moments to become comfortable with silence. The world is going to do what the world does..and lately, it hasn’t been doing the most positive things (for lack of better words), so stop filling your mental space with all of the horrible things that are happening and fill your space with good things. I am not saying that we should be ignorant and ignore the state of our world, but, I am also not saying that we need to feast our eyes upon it first thing in the morning…or, as background noise in our homes all. day. long. If you’ve ever stayed at our house, I am willing to bet our house on the fact that you have never seen us with the news on. We have found that this is what works for our family. To each their own.
7. Set A Morning Routine
Whether this is an indulgent Vitamin C facial serum, a nice cup of coffee, or both, doesn’t matter. Just start your day with things that you look forward to.
8. Lose The Blackout Curtains
For a while I really loved the idea of blacking out my bedroom. Once I started paying attention, I realized that it was a lot easier for me to get out of bed when I was able to see a slight bit of light through my blinds. I am not saying to have zero light cancelling objects in your room– but, the sun rises in the morning and sets at night for a reason… stop trying to fight it.
9. Invest In Matching Pajamas
Why TF did this take me so long? I probably would’ve been a happier human being a lot sooner in life if I would’ve spent $29 at Target on cute matching PJs sooner. There is something about a matching PJ set. If you haven’t adventured this yet, do it– you’ll thank me.
10. Invest In Good Bedding
We literally spend almost half of our lives in our bed. When you think about this alarming reality, it makes spending $90 on a silk pillowcase and a couple hundred on nice sheets a whole lot easier. Make your bed something that you look forward to. Also, as mentioned in posts before– make your bed. No matter what kind of day you have, at the end of it, you’ll be thankful to walk in to a bedroom with a made bed.
oh, happy day. xo, G