SELF CARE


Mornings Made Easy in 3 Small Steps

Elle

No matter which day your week starts on, getting back to work can be tough. For years, I could barely get out the door in time to get to the office each day. I was constantly delayed by traffic and never had time for breakfast (that was dumb).

When I started my current job, I couldn’t imagine keeping a morning structured enough to catch a train. Something had to change, especially when I figured out that my best option was one of the earlier trains (7:10 AM, to be exact).

I started by timing what I did on a regular morning. My mornings went something like this:

6:30 AM – snooze

6:40 AM – shower, brush, etc.

6:50 AM – panic, pick an outfit, pack a backup

6:58 AM – panic, check the fridge for lunch options, run out the door half dressed.

Clearly, waking up is not my strong suit. Instead of pushing my wake-up time (which I’m working on now) I decided to cut down my morning routine.

I started by simply checking the weather the night before. This helped me put together outfits instead of packing a few extra pieces “just in case.” True story, I’ve carried enough extra bits to build different outfits in the office. This also motivated me to start curating my wardrobe and building a uniform.

Next, I tracked my nightly habits and set a shut-down time. With a demanding full-time job, family commitments, and personal projects, it was tough to disconnect, so I reframed the situation. I shifted my mindset from “I can’t stop now!” to “this is great progress, I’ll pick it back up tomorrow.” I’m not suggesting you blow off a deadline here, the goal is is be more energized and impactful when you get back to it the next day.

We (boyfriend and I… ok, mostly he) also started packing lunch right after dinner and I built up a supply of fruit and breakfast bars at my desk. This way, I’m covered for healthy (and budget-friendly) meals without having to figure it out each morning.

Three minor adjustments and my entire day feels better! Starting the morning off with everything ready to go makes catching my train easy. I get to enjoy my walk (instead of panic jog) and even have a few minutes to snap a photo for my next personal project – keeping an outfit calendar.

My mornings are now more like:

6:20 AM – snooze (hey, I’m working on it!)

6:30 AM – shower, brush, etc.

6:50 AM – Get dressed

6:55 AM – Go.

Now if I could just figure out how to cut down the time it takes to style my hair in the morning…