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Episode 26: Mindful Routines for Moms

Updated: 4 days ago

Woman yawning behind a block
Morning and Evening Routine


Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.

This podcast is a sanctuary for all mothers out there, and we extend a warm invitation to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration. We believe in fostering an inclusive community where we learn and grow together, supporting each other during life's challenging transitions.

Join us as we step out of survival mode and discover the path to thriving, embracing wellness in every season of motherhood. From sleepless nights to new beginnings, we'll explore practical strategies, share heartfelt stories, and uncover the transformative power of self-care and self-love.

Together, we'll unlock the wisdom, strength, and resilience within ourselves, reminding one another that we're never alone on this beautiful, yet demanding, journey. It's time to prioritize your well-being and reclaim your joy, one season at a time.



This is episode 26 of the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast with Autumn Carter, we will be embarking on a transformative journey tailored for all the "wellness wanderers" out there. Join us as we delve into the art of cultivating mindful morning routines designed to provide a grounded start to the day for moms, harnessing the quietude and potential of the early hours. As Autumn often mentions, it's not just about ticking off tasks, but truly embracing moments of self-care and rejuvenation.

But the conversation won't stop at dawn. We'll also explore the science and soul behind bedtime routines, emphasizing the significance of night rituals in ensuring a restorative sleep and preparing for the day ahead. Recognizing the challenges many face in this domain, especially those with an active mind, we'll share insights and strategies to achieve deeper, quicker sleep.

Shifting gears, we'll touch upon the ever-important transition periods in a family's life, particularly the switch back to the school year. As many parents know, recalibrating routines after breaks or off-course days is paramount, and we'll offer a life hack to get everyone back on track seamlessly.

Finally, anchoring the episode, we'll intersperse our discussions with coaching questions, guiding our fellow wellness wanderers towards introspection and actionable takeaways.

Prepare to be enlightened, inspired, and equipped with tools to traverse your wellness journey with even greater intention and mindfulness. Stay tuned for Episode 26 – a beacon for those seeking to find harmony in life's routines.

Key point #1:

In the gentle embrace of dawn, as the world slowly stirs awake, a ritual unfolds in households around the world – the morning routine. With the sun’s first rays, an infant might coo softly, stirring in their crib, while a toddler ventures tentative steps towards a day of exploration. School children prepare for a day of learning, their backpacks filled with dreams, aspirations, and perhaps a lunchbox. Meanwhile, teenagers, often reluctant to greet the day, embark on their own unique routines that are a blend of seeking independence and needing guidance.

Evenings, with their soothing blanket of twilight, tell a parallel story. The toddler's animated tales of their day, the school kid's accomplishments and challenges, the teenager’s quiet introspection – all culminate into the night routine. A familiar bedtime story, a calming lullaby, or even a deep conversation under the stars; each becomes a cherished moment, a tether that binds the day.

These routines, seemingly mundane, hold immeasurable importance. They form the anchor in a child’s life, providing security, predictability, and the assurance of love. As children grow, these routines evolve. They lay the foundation for healthy habits, instill discipline, and become the underpinning of a child's understanding of the world. For teenagers, these rituals provide structure in a world of tumultuous change, granting them grounding amidst the chaos of adolescence.

Yet, these routines are not just paramount for children. For mothers, they play an equally crucial role. They offer a compass in the vast sea of parenting, guiding mothers through the joys and challenges of raising children. The consistency of a routine offers solace during overwhelming days, a reminder of the beautiful rhythm of life. Through shared rituals, mothers also find moments of connection, little islands of intimacy in the bustling stream of life, with their ever-growing children.

So, as we stand at the cusp of a new day or the gentle embrace of night, let us remember: routines are more than just actions. They are the silent sonnets of love, the pillars of growth, and the symphony of life's journey. Let's embrace them, cherish them, and pass them down, like treasured heirlooms, through every stage of our children’s lives.

Key point #2:

In the quiet tapestry of dawn, while the world is bathed in a delicate hue, and again at dusk, as the horizon paints its evening story, there's a profound, silent dance happening within a mother's being. The rhythm of this dance, grounded in routines, isn't just poetic – it’s deeply rooted in science.

Morning Routines: Awakening Mind and Body

As dawn breaks, the body's internal clock, or the circadian rhythm, is at play. For mothers, a consistent morning routine harnesses this natural ebb and flow of biological processes. Here's how:

Mental Clarity and Focus: Exposure to natural morning light stimulates the production of cortisol, a hormone vital for alertness and focus. This helps mothers kick start their day with clarity and purpose. I go outside and play with our dogs while our kids drink their morning smoothies in front of the TV. Half of our kids are natural night owls like me and none of them are very fun until after they have their smoothies. This way they don’t argue with anyone and I get fresh air, sunlight and time with my fur babies.

Stress Regulation: Structured mornings reduce the rush and panic, resulting in lower levels of stress hormones. This ensures that mothers can tackle challenges more calmly, benefiting both themselves and their family. I noticed a difference every time I was able to have a morning routine put back into place after my newborn started sleeping through the night. It really is heaven.

Optimal Metabolism: Eating at regular times in the morning, as part of a routine, aligns with the body's metabolic peak, helping mothers maintain energy levels and overall health. I make better decisions and have the energy to keep up with our four kids and two high energy cattle dogs when I keep a meal routine. Meal routines are not just for kids.

Evening Routines: The Embrace of Restful Slumber

When twilight descends, a cascade of biological processes beckons the body towards rest. The importance of an evening routine for mothers is undeniable:

Melatonin Production: As the evening deepens, our body begins to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. A consistent bedtime routine, away from the harsh glare of screens, augments this natural process, helping mothers get a restful night's sleep. I found after listening to Miranda Anderson’s podcast episode titled: “Intentional Bedtime Routine”, that lowering the lights in the rooms my hubby and I are using helps us to fall asleep faster and easier. It was not a big change for us because I was already doing the same thing for our children, for us it was about discussing and setting the intention for ourselves.

Emotional Processing: The quietude of the evening is when our brain processes emotions and memories. A structured routine can create a sacred space for introspection and emotional well-being, crucial for the demanding role of motherhood. This is when I try to write down my top ten things I am grateful for within that day.

Cellular Repair: Nighttime is when the body undergoes vital repair processes. By adhering to a consistent sleep routine, mothers ensure they tap into this restorative phase, crucial for physical health and vitality. This has been my focus this month.

Beyond these scientific merits, there's an overarching benefit to a mother's routines. In the vast canvas of motherhood, filled with unpredictable strokes, these rituals provide a sense of control. They are like the silent pillars holding up the bridge of well-being, ensuring mothers can not only care for their loved ones but also for themselves.

Thus, in the embrace of each dawn and dusk, while nature writes its age-old story, mothers, with their routines, pen their own tale – one where science and soul intertwine, painting a picture of holistic health and harmony.


Segment: Mindfulness Practice:

Here's a simple yet effective mindfulness practice suitable for the tranquil hours of early morning or late evening when the rest of the house is still. You can stretch this out to be 10-15 minutes.

In a tranquil corner of your home, find solace. Perhaps it's a snug nook by a window, your cherished chair, or the comforting embrace of your bed. If feasible, dim the lights to foster a tranquil ambiance. Settle into this space, sitting with your spine erect, letting your hands rest gently on your lap or by your sides, and softly close your eyes. Begin your journey inward with a deep breathing exercise: inhale through your nostrils to a count of four, hold that breath for another count of four, and then exhale from your mouth for a count of six. As you do this, immerse yourself in the sensations - the rhythmic elevation and depression of your chest and the feeling of air flowing in and out.

Shift your attention to grounding next. Zone in on where your body makes contact with its resting surface. Relish in the weight of your body as it grounds you, anchoring you to the earth beneath. Observe the textures you feel – perhaps the fabric of your chair or the cool solidity of the floor.

Start a deliberate body scan. Beginning at your toes, guide your consciousness upwards, paying heed to every sensation, every nuance. Should you discern any tension, breathe into it, and upon your exhale, visualize it dissipating. Gradually, make your way to the crown of your head, allowing a feeling of relaxation to envelop you.

As silence envelops your surroundings, attune yourself to the ambient noises. It might be the soft drone of a household device, the nocturnal serenades of crickets, the birds that come out and sing every morning, or even the comforting thud of your heartbeat. Instead of labeling these sounds, adopt the stance of an impartial observer, simply being present with them.

In the ensuing stillness, embark on a gratitude reflection. Ponder three aspects of your life or surroundings that instill gratitude within you. These need not be grand; sometimes, the mere warmth of a blanket or the invigorating touch of fresh air is enough to evoke profound appreciation. Bask in the warmth these grateful thoughts evoke.

Depending on the time of day, either set an intention or release the day's events. For mornings, perhaps you might affirm, "Today, I choose joy" or confront challenges with the mindset, "I will handle them with grace." Conversely, in the evening, take a moment to reflect on the day without judgment. Visualize the day's events bundled up, drifting away on a serene river, allowing you space and freedom.

As this practice nears its end, reawaken your senses. Deepen your breath, reconnecting with your immediate environment. Introduce movement, starting with a gentle wiggle of your fingers and toes, gradually becoming more alert. When you feel grounded and present, gently open your eyes. Conclude this introspective journey by placing your hand on your heart, a gesture of gratitude, honoring yourself for this time of self-reflection and the undying rhythm of life that your heartbeat signifies.

This practice is versatile, allowing you to adapt based on what you feel you need most during that moment. Over time, it will foster a deeper connection with your inner self, help reduce stress, and instill a sense of peace and balance in your daily life.


Key point #3:

When considering the development of a morning routine tailored to your needs, a crucial element lies in introspection: What can you do to start the day feeling rejuvenated and equipped for the challenges ahead? Is it the refreshing sensation of an early morning shower? Perhaps it's the gentle awakening of your muscles through stretching or the cathartic release of pouring your thoughts into a journal. Or maybe it's something as simple and fundamental as drinking a glass of water to rehydrate after a long night's rest.

Drawing from my own experience, I've found value in rising before most of my world wakes up, granting me a few moments of serenity and grounding before the day's demands take over. In these moments, I prioritize hydration, starting with 8 oz of water. The benefits are twofold: helping me wake up and sparking my metabolism. I then engage in some gentle stretches, tuning into my body's rhythm and preparing for the day physically. For a boost of confidence and to feel put-together, a quick shower, followed by minimal makeup application, does the trick.

But it's not just about the physical; nourishing the mind is equally essential. Whether it's through reading a passage from a cherished book, practicing Spanish, or simply reviewing my calendar for the day's obligations, I ensure my mental faculties are alert and oriented. Moreover, staying connected, as I often do with a morning message to my husband who usually leaves for work before I wake for the day, not only fosters our bond but also reinforces the emotional support crucial to navigate the day.

The question I'd invite you to ponder is this: Beyond the actions, what intentions underpin your morning routine? What rituals can be incorporated that resonate not only with your needs but also with your aspirations? As you craft this routine, it's pivotal to focus on its deeper purpose—nurturing your well-being, equipping you to take on the day's roles, and grounding you in your journey as a mother.



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Key point #4:

Not leaving tasks for the next morning within the context of a morning routine is akin to decluttering one's mental space. It promotes a sense of order, reduces anxiety, and fosters a feeling of accomplishment that sets a positive tone for the day ahead. Let's explore how ensuring tasks are completed in the evening can enhance morning peace:

When you wake up to a home and a day that's free of yesterday's leftovers, you're effectively allowing yourself a fresh start. Whether it's a clean kitchen, a laid-out outfit, or an organized workspace, having these areas tidy provides a refreshing environment to begin the day.

Morning can often be a time of rushed decisions. By taking care of tasks the night before, you're reducing the number of choices you have to make in the morning, preserving your mental energy for more significant decisions as the day unfolds.

Completing tasks the day before offers a sense of accomplishment that can positively impact one's self-esteem. This can translate into motivation and momentum in the morning.

By not leaving things for the next day, you minimize unexpected challenges or forgotten tasks that can disrupt the morning flow. Being proactive provides a cushion against last-minute rushes.

Instead of playing catch-up with yesterday's tasks, you can utilize the morning for activities that invigorate and prepare you for the day ahead, be it exercise, meditation, reading, or a leisurely breakfast.

With fewer distractions from pending tasks, the morning can become a time for focused activity. This can be especially valuable if one's routine includes creative or strategic work that requires deep concentration.

The act of ensuring everything is in its place the night before strengthens personal discipline. Over time, this routine can bolster one's ability to maintain order, which contributes to an overall sense of well-being.

In essence, the peace derived from not leaving things for the next morning isn't solely about the tasks themselves but about the psychological and emotional benefits of organization and forward planning. By creating an environment where each morning starts on a positive note, free from the lingering concerns of the previous day, one paves the way for days filled with greater productivity, mindfulness, and serenity.


Lifehack segment:

Lifehack: The "School Week Simulation

When trying to get your family back on track with school routines after a break, summer vacation, or just some off-track days, consider running a "School Week Simulation." Here's how it works:

Announce a Practice Week: Tell your family that the upcoming week will be a "practice week" for school routines, even if school is still a few days or weeks away.

Set the Alarms: Mimic the typical school morning routine. Everyone gets up at the same time they would if they were going to school.

Morning Drill: Everyone follows the morning routine—brushing teeth, getting dressed, having breakfast—as if it's a school day. Even pack lunches!

Study Hour: Designate a specific hour (or more, depending on age) in the day for "study time." Children can read, work on puzzles, or engage in educational online activities.

After-School Activities: If your child has extracurriculars during the school year, mimic the schedule. For instance, if they have a dance class or soccer practice, use that time for a dance session at home or a kick-about in the garden or park.

Dinnertime and Wind Down: Have dinner at the same time you typically would during the school year. Follow it with the regular wind-down activities, whether that's family time, reading, or watching a bit of TV.

Bedtime: Ensure everyone goes to bed at the regular school-night time. This will help reset their internal clocks.

Review and Adjust: At the end of each day, discuss what went well and what felt challenging. Adjust the routine as needed.

Celebrate the Practice: At the end of the "School Week Simulation," celebrate with a fun family activity or treat, acknowledging everyone's effort.

The "School Week Simulation" helps families adjust to school routines in a low-pressure environment, making the actual transition smoother and less stressful. By practicing the routine, you're establishing habits, so when the real school week rolls around, everyone's already primed for success.

To make the transition smoother the next time around, try not to stray too far from their school routine for the mornings and evenings, then make a non school day routine so your children know what to expect throughout the day.


Key point #5:

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting hues of amber and twilight across the sky, our homes become a canvas of shifting light. For adults, particularly those navigating the spirited pathways of parenthood, the coming of night isn't merely a curtain call to the day's act, but the gentle prelude to tomorrow. It's a whispered promise that despite life's frenzies, there's a sanctuary of calm woven into the tapestry of our evening rituals.

Science and nature weave an intricate dance, one in which our bodies are eager participants. The circadian rhythm, our innate biological clock, beats in synchrony with the day's ebb and flow. It doesn't just mark our periods of wakefulness and sleep but is intertwined with hormone levels, body temperature, and even our moods. As twilight deepens, a surge of melatonin, the sleeping hormone, courses through us, signaling it's time to unwind.

To honor this natural symphony, about two hours before your intended bedtime, begin dimming the lights in your home, especially in spaces where relaxation beckons. This gentle reduction in illumination is more than ambiance; it actively supports the increase in melatonin, nudging us closer to restfulness.

Now, with this softened glow, let's paint the picture of a nurturing nighttime routine for an adult graced with the laughter and challenges of children:

Tech Detox: Move away from screens and electronic devices. The blue light they emanate disrupts melatonin production, putting a spanner in our body's natural sleep readiness.

Quiet Time with Children: Share a story, recount the day's little joys, or just embrace in a warm cuddle. These moments build bridges of connection that time can't erode for you or them.

Warm Comfort: A mug of caffeine-free herbal tea or a glass of warm milk not only calms the senses but can aid in easing digestion, prepping the body for sleep. This is something I enjoy doing during the winter. If you have a small bladder, try wearing socks to bed instead.

Personal Reflection: Allocate a few moments to journal or meditate. This mental exhale helps process the day, allowing for emotional tranquility. I prefer to meditate myself to sleep.

Gentle Movement: A series of stretches or some yoga can dispel physical tension, ensuring body and mind both drift towards relaxation.

Prepare for Tomorrow: By setting out the next day's attire or noting down key tasks, morning pressures ease, replaced by purpose and clarity. Doing this releases my mind from having to go in circles over the next day's tasks to make sure nothing is forgotten. I can clear my mind because it is all written down.

Gratitude Ritual: Reflect on three daily blessings. This shift from challenge to gratitude nourishes positivity. I have a family gratitude journal that we write in. I find myself going to sleep feeling peace when I write in it before bed.

At its heart, a nighttime routine is more than a sequence of tasks. It's an act of self-love, a commitment to the belief that no matter how demanding life gets, we deserve moments of tranquility. For parents, these rituals not only replenish personal reservoirs of strength but also model the importance of self-care for young eyes watching. As the night deepens, may every parent find solace in their rituals, and in doing so, gift both themselves and their children a world filled with dreams and the promise of a hopeful dawn.

Key point #6:

Falling asleep with a busy mind can be like trying to calm a stormy sea. However, there are methods and strategies one can use to find tranquility and usher in a deep, restful slumber. Here's how:

Darkness: Ensure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Darkness triggers the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep.

Temperature: A cooler room often promotes better sleep. Aim for a temperature around 65°F (18°C).

Noise Control: Consider using earplugs, a white noise machine, or soft calming music to drown out disruptive noises.

Limit Screen Time: The blue light from phones, tablets, and computers can suppress melatonin production. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

Mindfulness and Meditation: Guided sleep meditations or progressive muscle relaxation can help divert your focus from racing thoughts, grounding you in the present and relaxing your body.

Deep Breathing Exercises: Techniques like the 4-7-8 method, where you inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts, can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm the body and mind.

Journaling: If your mind is busy processing events or tasks, jotting them down in a journal can act as a form of release. It can also be useful for noting things you're grateful for, which can shift your mindset.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Both can interfere with your sleep cycle. Aim to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This consistency reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle.

Visualization: Imagine a place or scenario that makes you feel calm, safe, and happy. Dwell in the details of this place and let it take over the busyness of your mind.

Read: Choose a calming book, preferably a physical one (to avoid blue light), which can act as a distraction and tire your eyes.

Warm Bath: The rise and then fall in body temperature after a warm bath or shower can promote feelings of sleepiness.

Limit Liquids Before Bed: This reduces the chances of mid-sleep disruptions like bathroom trips.

Herbal Teas: Chamomile, valerian root, and lavender teas have properties that can help some people feel calm and sleepy.

CBD: Some find that CBD oil can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep, though it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying.

While these strategies can be effective, they might not all work for everyone. It may require a bit of trial and error to find the combination that suits you best. If sleep problems persist, it's crucial to consult a healthcare or sleep specialist, as there could be an underlying issue that needs addressing.


Segment: Coaching Questions

Here are ten coaching questions tailored to the topics we've explored:

Mindful Morning Routine:

What three activities or practices make you feel the most grounded and ready to face the day? How can you incorporate them into your morning?


When you envision your ideal morning, what does it look and feel like? What steps can you take to align your current routine with that vision?

Mindfulness Practice:

How do you currently manage stress or overwhelming emotions during the day, and how might a dedicated mindfulness practice support or enhance that?

Setting Priorities:

What are the non-negotiable tasks or rituals you want to ensure happen in your morning, and what can be saved for later in the day or delegated to others?

School Year Transition:

Reflecting on past transitions into the school year, what challenges did you and your family face, and how might you proactively address them this time around?

Children's Involvement:

How can you involve your children in establishing and maintaining the morning and bedtime routines so that they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility?

Nighttime Rituals:

What elements of a nighttime routine do you believe would be most beneficial in helping you wind down and prepare for a restful night's sleep?

Technology and Sleep:

How does your current relationship with technology in the evening impact your sleep, and are there changes you'd like to make to create a more restful environment?

Family Dynamics:

How can you communicate with your family about the importance of routines, ensuring everyone understands and respects the shared goals?

Consistency and Flexibility:

While routines provide structure, life can be unpredictable. How can you remain consistent with your routines while also allowing for flexibility when needed?

These questions aim to facilitate introspection, helping mothers identify their unique needs and preferences while crafting routines that enhance well-being and family dynamics.


Episode summary:

In the latest episode of the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast with Autumn Carter, we embarked on a journey tailored for our community of "wellness wanderers." Together, we delved deep into the profound art of establishing mindful morning routines, highlighting the essence of self-care and rejuvenation that mothers can infuse into the start of their day.

Moreover, the significance of bedtime rituals was explored, emphasizing the science and soul behind winding down for a restorative night's sleep. Understanding the challenges many of our listeners face, especially those with active minds, insights and strategies were shared to help achieve more profound, quicker rest.

A pivotal discussion revolved around the transition periods in a family's life, particularly the switch back to the school year. Autumn provided a valuable life hack for families to recalibrate their routines seamlessly after breaks or off-course days.

For those eager to apply these insights into their daily lives, free resources have been made available on Listeners can find a comprehensive worksheet to guide them in creating their own personalized morning and evening routines, as well as a block schedule to streamline their day.

Looking ahead, tune in next week as we discuss decluttering life, one area at a time. This transformative journey aims to free up space and time in our lives. As we declutter and everything finds its place, you'll discover an easier evening routine, rooted in the peace of a well-organized home.



Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.

If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.

Sharing our podcast with others is an act of caring, and I invite you to spread the word by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Your support is deeply valuable to us and enables us to reach more mothers who are seeking transformation and empowerment.

If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website,, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.

Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.

Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.




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