What time do you get up? Do you manage to sneak an hour or so to yourself before the hurly burly of the morning starts or do you hug your pillow until the sun is high in the sky?
I have long believed that getting up early is the key to staying sane: that giving yourself proper time to ease yourself into your day makes all the difference and gives you a headstart on whatever may come your way and it seems that I am in good company…
In her "Book of HouseHold Management", Mrs Beeton informs us that the mistress who rises early will almost certainly run a house that is orderly and well managed….
" Early rising is one of the most essential qualities which enter into good household management, as it is not ony the parent of good health, but of innumerable other advantages. Indeed, when a Mistress is an early riser, it is almost certain that her house will be orderly and well managed. On the contrary, if she remains in bed till a late hour then the domestics, who, as we have before observed, invariably partake somewhat of their mistress’s character, will surely become sluggards. To self indulgence, all are more or less disposed, and it is not expected that servants are freer from this fault than the heads of house’s. The great Lord Chatham thus gave his advice in reference to this subject:-"I would have inscribed on the curtains of your bed, and the walls of your chamber, "If you do not rise early, you can make progress in nothing."’
But how to make such ambition possible for those of us who have to be dragged out of bed?
1. Do away with black out blinds (except for the kids, for whom they are invaluable!!) and heavy curtains and learn to wake up with the morning sun.
2. Choose an alarm that does not shock you awake, but wakes you gently with an ascending beep or your favorite radio station.
3. Set the breadmaker, so you are woken to the scent of freshly baked bread wafting up the stairs…
4. Wear something snuggly to go downstairs.
5. Prepare a morning tray before you go to bed in the evenings: your favorite coffee mug or teacup, fresh fruit and a tiny good morning candle.
6. Open the windows in your morning room to let the fresh chase away the cobwebs and get washing machine going (it sounds nuts, but it makes me feel like I’m getting the house in order!!)
7. Then use your time to savour a good breakfast and take a milky bath (a truly gentle way to greet the day), or tick one little job off your housekeepers to do list, listen to the sound of silence, go for an early morning walk, get your morning routine out the way or snatch time for the creative endeavours you dream of…
And if all else fails and you just can’t meet the morning with a smile, then make a point of staying up after everybody else has gone to bed occasionally and learn to enjoy the unparalleled calm of a sleeping house…
**This article was originally posted on my Housekeepers Gazette.**