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A typical morning for me goes something like this – my alarm jolts me out of a peaceful, happy sleep into reality. After hitting the snooze button a couple of times and being equally surprised each time the alarm goes off , eventually I muster enough energy to get out of bed. I don’t think that I am fully awake until I look at my clock and realize how little time I actually have to get ready.  Needless to say, the rest of my morning is spent in a hurried frenzy. I am sure that almost everyone experiences mornings like mine, but instead of beginning my days in a stressed-out whirlwind, I have decided to stop being surprised at my utter lack of time and be more proactive.
bathroom
In stark contrast to my norm, imagine a world where mornings are peaceful, relaxed, and even enjoyable. I know that  seems unfathomable, but with a few simple steps,  mornings can become a stress-free zone. First off, and this is a big one for me, go to sleep early!  More shut-eye almost instantaneously solves at least half of my morning time-management problems. Miraculously, when I go to sleep at a reasonable time, it is infinitely easier to ignore the impulse to turn my alarm off. It also makes the bags under my eyes disappear and even makes my skin look better. Sleep is a wonderful, wonderful thing (who knew?) so I’m not sure why I try to cheat myself out of it.

Another favorite trick of mine is to allow my products to do the multi-tasking so I don’t have to. Instead of groggily trying to navigate a bathroom filled with various tubes, bottles, pumps and spritzers, I find it much easier to simply use fewer products. One of the best is a tinted moisturizer/sunscreen combination. As long as the SPF is at least 15 (though I usually prefer something higher), it is a huge time (and skin) saver. Plus, the tinted moisturizer makes my skin more  radiant, so time spent fussing around with concealer, foundation, powder, etc. is cut down considerably.

It is important to remember, though, that certain things cannot be skimped on. While I am an advocate for spending less time in front of the mirror caking on make-up and picking out outfits the night before to feel less rushed, certain things are worth the time. The best example of this is breakfast. Instead of shoving left-over pasta or pizza in your mouth on the way out the door, or even skipping breakfast all together, it’s important to make time for proper fueling. It can be simple – vanilla Greek yogurt or toast with peanut butter and banana – but it cannot be ignored and energy in allows me to expend more energy throughout the day.

Finally, skipping over a much-needed shower is also a bad idea. I prefer the night-before shower so I have an appropriate amount of time to dry and style my hair – which is long and needs a certain amount of attention. Then, when I wake up in the morning I can just run my fingers through it or use some dry shampoo. If I do  shower in the morning, though, I try to keep it short and productive. I like to brush my teeth and wash my face in the shower to cut down on time.  I keep a spare toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in the shower stall and come out smelling fresh and clean all over.

After I’m dressed, a quick moment of meditation – some deep breaths (inhale through my nose to a mental count of four, hold my breath for a count of seven and exhale completely through my mouth to a count of eight) and I’m out the door ready to take on the day.

What do you do to make your morning routine easier?

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Aveeno via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Aveeno.

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