Monday, 17 November 2014

The #Earlybird Challenge - an extra hour and less stress

As we hurtle towards Christmas, I don't think I'm the only mummy that is already feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of family admin. There's presents to buy, school fairs to organise, tombolas to donate to, cards to write and plays to find costumes for. There aren't enough hours in the day. Or are there? Last week I teamed up with Free Office Finder who are championing the benefits of early mornings. Get up early for a week they suggested - and seize the day! So I did. And this is what I discovered...

1. Early mornings are quiet

With less traffic on the roads, my children still tucked up in bed and planes not yet heading in and out of Heathrow, there's a lovely calming stillness that's best enjoyed with a solitary cup of Earl Grey. It's like meditating without the chanting.

2. Apparently I have a husband

When my alarm goes usually off I'm alone. I have to grapple with the kids and their breakfast demands and uniform preference peculiarities single-handed. My OH has already hit the motorway early - or is at the gym only to breeze in and out. I seriously couldn't tell a police officer what he was wearing that day if he got lost (my husband that is, I'd assume the police officer was in uniform...) . Instead I actually saw him and exchanged some (albeit limited on my part) conversation and affection. Which was rather good for the soul.

3. It's where calm comes from

If you can sneak an extra 30 minutes alone time into your morning you can ponder your 'things to do list' in an efficient way - and instead of feeling like you spend your life firefighting - desperately trying to remember who has a non-uniform day, who is supposed to be learning lines for an assembly and what on earth you are all having for dinner - you can prioritise your chores. This meant I felt in control and spent less time stressing over the little things.

4. You end up getting more sleep!

If you get up earlier - you will go to bed earlier. One of my great failures in life is not knowing when to call it a night (yes, I'm the one the party hosts have to chuck out). On a school night, this means I'm up making packed lunches, shuffling paperwork and catching up on TV and social media when I should be in bed. Well, last week I was pleased to see that duvet, I can tell you! Which is a far healthier way to be.

So what could you do if you had an extra hour in bed? Would you go for a run, enjoy some gentle stretching or spend more time making a nutritious breakfast? They are so many ways an earlier start to the day can be a healthier one - for both your mind and your body. Try the #EarlybirdChallenge for yourself - and let me know the results in the comment box below. What do you think would make a happy and healthy start to the day if you had an extra hour to enjoy?

Free Office Finder paid me to write this post, but I had to set my alarm and get up all by myself.


  1. Got up early this morning to ferry one child to a school taster day! Does make you feel rather energised for a while, but not sure I could keep it up, although it would be nicer to have more time in the morning.

    1. Just 30 mins 'alone' time first thing is such a treat!

  2. Your words have inspired me to get to bed now, rather than waste time fluffing, and make use of the morning. Maybe that 7min fitness app I've avoided for months...

    1. I'm also a very good fluffer. I think it's prep for retirement, giving you a way to fill the hours when you have a less frantic lifestyle. What app have you got?

  3. I love working out early in the morning. Especially going out for a run, it feels like I am the only one around.

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