Lifestyle Magazine

Self-Care: Time Management

By Bren @Virtual_Bren

Picture This

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You wake at 6:00, drag yourself out of bed, curse the morning-show DJ’s too-cheerful banter as you stumble into the bathroom. You got to bed at 11:30, because you couldn’t miss the latest episode of [insert favorite prime-time TV show here], and you had to watch the local news at 11:00. The combination of cliffhanger and disturbing reports kept you tossing and turning.

You slept six hours, if that.

You shower while the coffee brews, drink your first cup while you’re blow-drying your hair. Your second cup is downed along with a Pop Tart straight out of the package as you check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You notice the clock, and your heart starts thumping wildly in your chest.

If you’re not out the door in ten minutes, you’ll be late again.

You force your laptop to shut down, yank something dress code-appropriate out of the closet, pull it on, and realize you forgot your Spanx, which are non-negotiable. You pull the outfit off, apply the Spanx, pull the outfit back on, shove your feet into shoes, grab your purse. You take one last gulp of coffee, make peace with both the fact that gum will have to replace tooth-brushing, and that you have to put your makeup on while you’re driving. You rush out the door, harried and out of breath, without a moment to spare.

You’re a mile down the road before you think about the lunch you forgot to make and pack.

Been There, Done That?

Most women have, and that scenario can be compounded immeasurably if children and/or pets are part of the equation. For some of us, a morning like that might even be more the norm than the exception because our days are more frantic hamster wheel and less Zen Yogi.

Make a Change

Three things come to mind that could prohibit such a frenetic, sleep-deprived start to the day:

  1. DVR that prime-time program to view later, or plan to watch it either via On Demand or online, and abstain from the late-night news. You’ll gain at least an extra hour of sleep, and a heaping helping of peace of mind.
  2. Make your breakfast and lunch at night. Right after dinner, make up a bowl of overnight oats for breakfast, and prepare a healthy sandwich and a serving of fruit to bring for lunch. Don’t forget to fill your reusable water bottle while you’re at it.
  3. Pick one. Either check your email or check your social media sites. The one you don’t pick can be checked at lunch, or wait until after work. I understand this can be hard if you have several social networks to manage, and your A.M. inbox is inundated with blogs and newsletters to which you subscribe, but if it’s a choice between your overall health and seeing how many “likes” and comments last night’s status update received, there is no contest.

Now Picture This

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You wake at 6:00, stretch your refreshed body, smile at the joke the DJ on your local radio station’s morning show just made. You stretch again when you’re on your feet, hum along with the song that’s now playing.

You slept for almost eight hours, and you’re refreshed.

You shower while the coffee brews, and drink your first cup while you blow-dry your hair. Your second cup is enjoyed along with a warm bowl of strawberries and cream overnight oats as you read My Girly Parts’ latest post. You notice the clock, close your inbox.

You have twenty minutes before you need to leave for work.

You shut down your laptop, brush your teeth and apply your makeup in your well-lit bathroom mirror. You choose an outfit, dress from the Spanx out, collect your purse, and your lunch and water from the fridge, and head out the door.

A mile down the road, you’re singing along with a catchy tune.

It Doesn’t Take Much, and It Goes a Long Way

The changes suggested are small in size and large in impact. Ten minutes invested at night to prepare breakfast and lunch for the next day rewards you with healthy choices. Viewing a TV show at a more reasonable hour the day after it airs gifts you with an extra hour of sleep and sets you up for a great day. Choosing to handle one aspect of your digital life at a time creates breathing space for mind and body.

Put yourself and your well-being first. You’ll be amazed at the result.


Make just one change to your morning routine that will create space for a much better start to your day. Please share in comments what that change will be so we can cheer you on.


Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped (frozen work great)
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener (I use raw sugar, or agave syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt

Combine ingredients in a bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, eat it cold, or warm it in the microwave for approximately two minutes.

Experiment! Substitute your favorite fruit, or 1/2 cup pumpkin purée with a dash each of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg for Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats.


Thanks so much for reading, and thank you, Brenda, for the opportunity.


~Ellen M. Gregg

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