Day 01 – Wake Up Earlier | 31 Day Stress Reduction Challenge

31 Day Stress Reduction ChallengeAs a personal challenge, I have decided to embark on a 31-day challenge to lower my stress level, and make staying at home not so overwhelming. Each day, I will focus on one area of my life that can be cleaned up or addressed to help make my life just a teensy bit easier – and less stressful.

Day 1 is simple, but takes a bit of thought. You can always wake up a little earlier than you do now, I am sure you can go without sleep if need be. But that just adds more stress.

The concept of waking up earlier is about reducing stress. It is not a set time – everyone starts their day at a certain time; it is also not a set amount of time earlier than you are currently waking up. It is about making a conscious choice to wake up in such a way that you reduce your stress first thing in the morning.

I realize that every morning starts out stressful for me. I wake up every morning to a toddlerist (cranky, hungry toddler) in my face asking for breakfast. In her best caveman speak. Usually with a toy plate under my nose and a request for the cartoon du jour. She then waits for me to stretch, open my eyes and roll begrudgingly out of bed. No negotiation for 5 more minutes would work with my adorable yet insistent toddler.

If I try too hard to get her to give me a minute to wake up, it usually results in crying and her younger brother then waking up. Now I have to stumble in the kitchen for food for the toddler and bottle for the baby as I am attacked by two starving beagles (p.s. they are always starving – they are beagles). Now the entire house is awake at 6:03am and my day was just downhill from there.

Now I could wake up at 5 am to start my day, get my coffee, get everyone’s food ready, feed the dogs, get dressed, put on makeup, and then get an hour’s worth of work in before my adorable cherub woke up. Ha. Ha. HA!

But then I need to be realistic. I am sometimes up till midnight working on projects for my clients. I am dead tired at 6 am. So I think back through my morning routine. What stresses me out is not being able to take 5 minutes to wake up in the morning. I like to wake up on my own terms (and I know 10 am is a dream in this house).

So my first order of business in trying to de-stress my life is to wake up five minutes early. Now I have time to stretch, open my eyes, check my emails, go to the restroom, and just relax for 5 minutes. I tried that this morning and my daughter was slightly taken aback by mommy sitting up in bed ready to get breakfast for her.

One day, I will have it ready before she wakes up.

Till Tomorrow!

Ready to join in? Here is the series to date!

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More Servings of the Halfway Homemaker


  1. I started getting up earlier recently so that I can get some things done before my four almost four year-old children wake up. It makes all the difference in the world! I think that is a great way to start your 31 day stress reduction challenge.

  2. I am a early riser & always have been, thank goodness my 6 are no longer babies or toddlers (youngest now 9 oldest 18) but I so remember needing that extra stress free time in the mornings.
    Now I go for a sunrise walk & take pictures as I drink coffee or oil pull or whatever (I post pics on my FB page & instagram of these peaceful moments) Great post, I will be back to read more

    1. I am learning to enjoy the morning calm. I will definitely check out your pics!

  3. I’m the same way…up late meeting deadlines for clients, and then exhausted in the morning. I think my kids would be shocked if I was up and dressed before they got up! But it would make life less stressful for sure 🙂

    1. I am finding that my body gets used to it, as long as I don’t fight it. And if my daughter by some fluke doesn’t wake up at 6:00, then I drift back to sleep or get a little more work done. Either way, it isn’t as much of a shock.

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