You're either a morning person or not. I have come to enjoy the morning. In this extra time I am able to get centered and focused for the day. There are many benefits for getting up a little earlier. These benefits include having time for breakfast, time to focus on and prep for the day, even a short workout or time to do things that will start your day on a positive note. I know at the end of the day I don't have the energy or desire to do my hobbies, so getting some hobby time in the morning allows me to smile and enjoy the day better.
When the house is quiet, you are able to relax and get the day planned, so that you can balance family-work-life. This is also the time to put dinner into the crock pot so that you have a tasty meal ready for everyone already made come dinner time. Before the rush of the day, take time to do something that will put a smile on your face.
Exercising even 15 minutes in the morning will help you to keep the extra weight off, will help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and keep you in shape. I used to say that I would exercise when I got home from the day, but there were always things that came up at the end of the day and exercise would not happen.
Even setting your alarm for 15 minutes ahead of your normal wake up can allow you to read your book or eReader for a few minutes. This can help jump start your brain. Trying to avoid things like television can be beneficial here as we tend to get less active physically and mentally when we watch. Even having it on in the background is a distraction. Traffic info is necessary, but can be more easily, and quickly, found on a website like Google Maps or 511.org.
We need to not forget what we eat for breakfast as well. Empty calories like coffee house drinks or puffed rice cereals may taste good and are quick, but they lack things vital to keeping you alert and responsive through lunchtime. It is important to make sure that you start your day with some protein, as this will help boost your metabolism and get your brain ready for the day ahead. Here are some of my favorite breakfast meals - oatmeal with nuts or dried fruit, smoothies (milk alternatives, fruits, a nut butter of some kind and veggies), eggs or even yogurt with granola!
Whatever you feel you need to do, it is also critically important to not beat yourself up or get frustrated if life interrupts and doesn't allow that personal or nutrition time. Part of centering yourself is trying your best to not get pulled to one side or the other.
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Ben Franklin