Waking up early every day for school is hard! If you hit the snooze button on your alarm a few too many times, you may find yourself having to rush to make it to class. In the process, you might leave books behind, forget your lunch, and end up looking like you just rolled out of bed — literally! Preparing a few things the night before and streamlining your morning routine can help prevent frantic mornings. You can get ready quickly and still arrive at school fresh, prepared, and feeling your best.
EditPreparing the Night Before
- Make and pack your lunch at night. Start making your school lunch right after you finish dinner, since you’re already in the kitchen. Once it’s packed, put your lunch bag in the fridge overnight. The next morning, grab it and put it in your backpack right before you head out the door.
- If you tend to forget your lunch, you may want to put a reminder sticky note on your bedroom or bathroom mirror.
- If you usually buy your lunch, make sure you have enough lunch money, then pack it away in your bag.
- Pack your backpack before you go to bed. When you finish your homework, put everything back in your bag so it’s ready for the next day. Make sure you put anything else you’ll need, like permission slips, special projects, pens and pencils, into the bag.
- Put your backpack by your bedroom door before you go to sleep. That way, you can grab it as you walk out.
- Set out your breakfast so you can grab and eat on the way. It might be tempting to save time by skipping breakfast, but this can actually make it harder for you to maintain your routine. Plus, you won’t be feeling your best unless you fuel up first! Go for easy, portable options like granola, yogurt, breakfast bars, trail mix, juice boxes, and bananas.
- Choose and lay out your entire outfit before you go to sleep. Looking for an outfit in the morning can seriously slow you down. Pick yours out the night before instead. Don’t forget to lay out socks, shoes, underwear, jewelry, and makeup (if you wear it). Be sure to wash and iron your clothes before you lay them out.
- Take a shower at night instead of in the morning. Taking a shower at night can save you lots of time in the morning. Not everybody likes to shower at night, though, and you may need that invigorating morning shower to start your day. However, give it a try a few times. If you can get used to it, you’ll be able to sleep for an extra 15 to 30 minutes!
EditCreating a Bedtime Routine
- Choose a bedtime and stick to it every night. Be consistent about what time you wake in the morning, too. Your body likes routines, and the quality of your sleep will be better if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Aim to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep on school nights.
- Set a reminder on your smartphone that alerts you when it’s 20 minutes before your bedtime. That gives you enough time to wash up, brush your teeth, and get into your pajamas before it’s time to hit the sack.
- Set your alarm clock before you go to sleep. Try to give yourself at least 45 minutes to get ready in the morning before you have to head out the door. If you think you can get ready faster, go for it! It really just depends on what you have to do in the morning to get ready.
- Try putting your alarm on the other side of the room if you hit snooze a lot. That way, you have to get up and walk across the room every time it goes off. You can also try setting an alarm on your smartphone to go off about 10 minutes after your first alarm clock. That way, if you snooze through the first alarm, you’ll have backup.
- Stop keeping your phone near your bed. When your phone is nearby, it’s hard not to pick it up and check your social media. The light from your phone can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it more difficult to wake up. Put your phone out of reach.
- It’s okay to check your phone before you go to bed, but don’t get in bed with it or sleep with it.
- If you routinely can’t wake up in the morning, try turning off your phone, computer, and video games an hour before bedtime. You’ll feel sleepier faster.
EditGoing through Your Morning Routine
- Wash your face. Splashing some cold water on your face first thing in the morning may seem horrible, but is very refreshing once you get used to it. Gently clean your face with a warm washcloth and some face wash.
- Brush your teeth and use toiletries in the same order every day. Try to do your morning routine in the same order every day — the more you practice, the easier and faster it will go. Try brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant, and checking your hair and face in the same order.
- Put your clothes on as soon as possible. Lots of people like to putter around in their pajamas in the morning, but if you have somewhere to be, this wastes time! Get into the habit of getting dressed as soon as you get out of the bed or shower.
- Choose simple hairstyles. Brush your hair and style it simply, so you don’t spend a lot of time on your hair. Ponytails, messy buns, and loose hair are all great, simple looks.
- Streamline your makeup time. There are several ways to minimize your makeup time. You can wear less makeup, try basic looks, or save easy stuff like lip gloss or concealer for the ride to school. If you love getting dolled up for school, try laying out your makeup the night before in the same order you’re going to use it.
- Take advantage of waiting times. If you have to wait for a sibling to get out of the bathroom or for a hair straightener to heat up, use that time to get ready in other areas. For example, if you can’t shower until your sister gets out of the bathroom, eat breakfast or double-check your backpack while you wait.
- Drink a small amount of coffee or tea (optional). Overloading on caffeine won’t make up for a lack of sleep, but a regular serving size of coffee or tea will help you feel a little more alert when you start your day. Don’t drink more than 1 cup or add a ton of sugar to it — you’ll crash before lunchtime.
- Eat a quick but substantial breakfast. Never, ever skip breakfast, even when you’re running late. You’ll be miserable and hungry until lunchtime. If you’re worried about running out of time, put a banana or granola bar in your backpack as soon as you get up.
- Check your backpack before you leave. Packing your backpack the night before when you’re more relaxed will help you leave more quickly, but it’s a good idea to give your bag a quick final check right before you leave. If everything’s in there, head to school!
- Avoid electronics when you’re trying to get ready for the day, as they will distract you and take up your time.
- You may want to make a checklist to make sure you have everything you need for school.
- Get some pumping, sing-a-long music going when you wake up!
- If you have glasses, clean them the night before so they will be ready for the next day.
- If you tend to spend forever in the shower make a Playlist with the first 3 or so songs ones you like. Then make the rest songs so hate so you will hurry up and get out of the shower so you can turn the music off.
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