Having always been a busy woman, I personally attest to the stress-relieving power of this simple practice.
As a college student who also worked part-time, I completed a 5-year program in only three by taking lots of units each semester and going to summer school. After graduation and into my twenties I became the mother of three children, worked full time and attended graduate school. I slept, at most, six hours a night and packed a lot of living into each day’s remaining eighteen hours.
Over the last twenty years–yes! I’m almost 50!–I’ve kept myself just as busy. And so, I’ve always prepared for each morning the night before.
When my children were still young we selected their clothing the night before, reviewed homework and assignments, had evening bath times, and stowed school-ready backpacks near the door they used to head out to the bus. As they got older, they handled more and more of this prep work themselves, and each developed great organizational skills.
Now that they’re grown, my routine is just a bit different. If I’m going to the gym or taking an early morning yoga class, I lay out my clothes and shoes and make sure my bag is packed and ready before I call it a night. If my day requires professional attire, I hang those garments on pegs just inside my closet, with shoes and accessories on a stool below. If I’m going to the post office, the items to be mailed are on the shelf near the door to the garage so they won’t be forgotten. Tea bags are in cups awaiting hot water, and the next night’s dinner ingredients are in the fridge. Shopping lists are tucked in the side pocket of my handbag, water bottles are in the car. All this is organized the night before.
In the morning, there is no panic, no anxiety, no emergency, no worry. I am ready for my reduced-stress day!
This is the most recent installment in an ongoing series elaborating on 52 proven stress relievers identified by researchers at Texas Woman’s University.