Why is it important to streamline our evening routine? We all have busy schedules in the afternoon, juggling after school activities, sports, trying to figure out when are we going to eat dinner and what will be for dinner? By the time we get home, we are all exhausted and we are struggling to get our children to take a shower, brush their teeth, get them to bed. And finally, when it’s quiet in the house, we are too tired to even have an adult conversation or read a book.
Try some of these tips for a more relaxed and more accomplished week.
1. After school activities - Review your next week’s calendar on Sunday
Is your child’s afternoon schedule busier than a CEO? Do you feel like you are a taxi driver trying to get your kids to different after school activities on time? One way to get ahead of the game is to review your weekly calendar on Sunday. Figure out which day will be just packed with sports, which would be a good day to hop into the grocery store and which day you might need to call for carpooling help. Knowing the game plan ahead of time prepares you for a less stressful week.
2. Homework hour- determine when and where schoolwork will actually happen
Reviewing your weekly calendar on Sunday gives you an idea which days your child will have more time or less time for homework. We try to squeeze in more work on days when we do not have any sports practices.
The next question is where should the homework be worked on? I always assumed everybody does their homework at their desk in a quiet room like I used to. Until I realized that my older son, Vincent, is better able to concentrate when he is on his bed with the music on. Watch your child and be supportive of your child’s learning abilities. They will be able to focus better and learn more if they are in the environment they thrive in.
3. What motivates your child?
Motivation is another big question. Some children come home and dutifully complete all their homework assignments before they do anything else. Or you might be the mom who has to nag your kid every five minutes to sit down and do the homework. Try to learn what motivates your child? Playing outside in the fresh air for half an hour before homework? Or watching a show or sports event on TV that is coming up? When your child is motivated, he is more likely to complete all his work successfully.
If your child resists doing his homework, you may simply ask why he does not want to do it? When you learn his pain-point, you will be able to help him overcome the situation.
4. Dinner time – veggie plate before dinner!
Not only vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins but they are also hydrating after a long day at school. I like to prepare a platter in the morning so when my super hungry boys get home, they happily munch on the carrots, cucumbers, and celery while dinner is getting ready (or while they change into their sports gear).
5. Shower and bath time – make it fun!
There are some days when personal hygiene just does not seem to be very important to our loved ones! It’s weird, isn’t it? Instead of power struggles, try to mix things up: changing the shower gel or soap from basil to grapefruit flavor, bringing out the new bamboo or power toothbrush, or showing a new bath toy for the little ones. Once Cooper was super upset about something and I surprised him by creating a spa-like feel in the bathroom with candles, gentle music, and super bubbles. I still remember the look on his face how surprised, happy and appreciative he was.
I talk a lot about creating routines but sometimes changing things up a bit can bring a little excitement to the otherwise usual routine.
6. Set the diffuser with lavender, clary sage and roman chamomile essential oils
These essential oils are well known to promote relaxation and feelings of calm. I like to start the diffuser right around shower time to set the tone for the nighttime routine. The smell of these oils helps the brain remember that it’s going-to-bed time. Inhaling roman chamomile reduces anxiety, clary sage has a calming effect, lavender reduces the feelings of uneasiness. Have you tried ylang ylang? It smells super nice and it helps put the body into a relaxed state. Essential oils work especially well when your child refuses to go to bed or having a hard time falling asleep.
7. Read a book together
Regardless of the age of your child, there is something magical about reading a book together. Look forward to those cozy moments of enjoying the book, the laughter and the discussions.
8. Talk about the best part of your day and gratitude
Remembering the fun events of the day will help close the day with a good feeling. Talk about what was the best part of the day and why. Discuss who are you grateful for today and why. Both you and your child will definitely go to sleep with a gentle smile.
9. Massage immune-boosting oil blend on their feet
While we are discussing what made us happy during the day, I like to rub my immune-boosting blend on my boys’ feet and massage it in. The oils and the massage help them ease their tension after a long, busy day. Especially on cranky evenings.
Immune boosting blend:
10 drops of Thieves essential oil
5 drops of Lemon essential oil
5 drops of Frankincense essential oil (also promotes relaxation)
1 drop of Oregano
Fill the rest of the 2 ml roller bottle with coconut or your other favorite carrier oil.
10. Breathing and visualization
Now that we read a book, talked about what made us smile, and enjoyed a foot massage, it’s time to turn the lights off. Some kids go to sleep instantly, but some have a hard time falling asleep. Teach your children, or do it with them, how to focus on their breath and visualize a place where they like to be. There are lots of breathing techniques out there that you can try but my favorite one is simple: just close your eyes and feel how you slowly breathe in, pause for a second and slowly let the air out. That is all you focus on. Your breath. In this calm, relaxed state, walk them through a magical place that your child enjoys being in. If you are not sure where to start, there are lots of apps to choose from that help you with relaxation and breathing.
Let me know if you or your child is having a hard time in the evening to relax and fall asleep. I can help.
Do you need help figuring out how to turn your crazy busy week into manageable, stress-free mornings and evenings? Contact me for a free 15-minute chat to see how I can work with you to streamline your busy day.
Are you interested in trying out essential oils? The Young Living starter package has all the basic essential oils that you need. I am happy to show you how to use them and give you a free recipe book to get you started.
To Your Health,