Mornings can be a challenge—you’re trying to get to work, you might have multiple kids to get ready and there can often be an element of chaos as everyone runs around trying to get their things together. Sometimes, it’s an accomplishment simply getting your teen out of bed in time to catch the bus. However, the way you (and your teen) start the morning can carry over into the rest of your day, impacting your energy and stress levels. Encouraging your teen to implement a more consistent morning routine can positively affect their overall health and reduce your manic morning madness.
The Night Before
Avoid feeling rushed and scattered in the morning by planning ahead the night before. Ask your child to make their lunch for the next day. Have them lay out the clothes they’re going to wear and encourage them to organize their books and assignments. Preparation and relaxation go hand in hand.
Set an alarm and get out of bed the first time it goes off. Waking up early and consistently can reduce stress by simply giving you more time in the morning. Research out of Texas University also showed that “morningness is a predictor of better grades in college.” While this study focused on university students, it’s safe to say that early-rising is a good habit to encourage.
Approximately 31 million Americans (about 10 percent of the population) skip breakfast every morning; make sure your teen isn’t one of them! ‘Breaking the fast’ is extremely important. When you don’t eat breakfast, your body goes into energy conservation mode, slowing your metabolism and sapping your energy throughout the day. According to an article in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, kids who ate breakfast consistently were less likely to be overweight and evidence suggests that eating breakfast might improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades and attendance.
Ok—getting your teen to the gym in the morning might be a bit ambitious, but getting up and moving in the morning can give you an energy surge that’ll last throughout the day. Whether it’s going for a short walk or doing some morning yoga in the living room, exercise gets your blood flowing, helping you feel more awake. It also releases endorphins, boosting your mood as you face the day.
Encourage your teen to take a few moments in the morning to enjoy their quiet time and focus their positive energy. Meditate, breath deeply, visualize or simply bask in the stillness of the morning. Your teen’s life is filled with movement; a little quiet time in the morning can have positive benefits.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A positive morning routine starts with a good night’s sleep. Encourage your teenager to go to sleep at the same, reasonable time each night. The same study that showed that early-risers get better grades also linked night owls to lower GPAs. Teens are often busy with part-time work, their studies and after-school activities. Be there for your child as they attempt to manage their time and emphasize the importance of a good night’s sleep. If you need a few arguments for a solid night’s sleep, remind your teen that sleep makes you smarter, improves your mood, protects your heart and helps you make tough decisions.
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