The cheery co-hosts of the “3rd Hour of Today” show are just like countless other families when it comes to being caught up in the frenzy and chaos of the Christmas rush. Every morning, and most especially during the holidays, Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, and usually, Craig Melvin put on their smiles and expected calming voices to send millions of their viewers off to seize the day. For some, the mid-morning crew might be a workplace respite, while for others, just a chance to let mom or dad peek in and catch a breath between chasing the kids or the work-from-home routine.

Many “3rd Hour of Today” fans know that the broadcasting family on the morning show comes together in the wee hours before dawn to fulfill their duty of sending most of their demographic off to their jobs by 8 AM. This morning, December 23, Craig Melvin was away, so lifestyle contributor, Jill Martin, completed the foursome, and all the hosts were very forthcoming about sharing morning routines that truly made a positive difference for them and their families. For one, gratitude and reflection eased the transition every morning, while others planned ahead to avoid unnecessary decisions and stalls in starting the day. One host has initiated a very personal spiritual habit with her husband that already is making a difference in just four days.

Down to the minute

As he often does, Al Roker segued into the conversation by citing a study that indicated that morning routines help several people, but not all. Some people start to stress before getting out of bed about failing to fulfill the routine. Deferring to the guest host, Roker asked Jill Martin how her day began.

She said that she always begins “by writing a word, whether it's one word or five,” in her gratitude journal. She also lights a candle. Martin insists that her daily practices “set the mood,” but she doesn't forget coffee before coming to the studio.

Expectant mom-again and meteorologist, Dylan Dreyer, frequently credits prayer and divine providence for the blessing of bearing a second son, due in early January, after her struggle with secondary infertility after the birth of Calvin, 3, with her husband, Brian Fichera.

Even with her faith-filled outlook, Dylan admitted that her morning routine “has nothing to do with gratitude or candles” and there's no time to write in a journal. Dreyer has every minute of her morning calculated “down to the minute like a science.” Remember, Dylan is the one that prepares spreadsheets to ensure everything is ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Dreyer's 29 minutes to “out the door” include her 20-minute shower, which has been another “3rd Hour of Today” topic of discussion. Her clothes and everything for Calvin is taken care of the night before.

Sheinelle Jones is known for her mom-devotion, too. Her spirit and energy were on display when she shared her holiday tradition of creating family dance routines.

She allows herself only 14 minutes before rushing off to her “3rd Hour of Today” shift, depending on whether she took a shower the night before. If she didn't get her preferred nightly cleansing, then she allows 24 minutes before heading to work.

Sheinelle revealed another morning practice that she and her husband, Uche Ojeh, are finding to be very cleansing, refreshing, and renewing in a deeper way.

A few minutes that make all the difference

Sheinelle Jones was a little reserved about sharing the “new routine” in her household since it only started about “four days” ago.

The new tradition already seems to be taking hold and making a very positive difference.

“We pray every day as a couple now,” Jones revealed. She says that their devotional time lasts “four minutes, three minutes, not some long thing,” but the impact is certainly felt. She noted a recent example of letting her husband sleep instead of waking him for the few minutes, and he told her he really missed the time of prayer.

Like every family with children, Jones related how so much of the day’s communication is around “functionality,” such as whether this or that child got to practice or whether a bill got paid. The parents of three find that their days go better and the talk is more meaningful since the added spiritual segment to the day.

Sheinelle Jones announced just a few days ago that she will be stepping away from “Weekend Today” to spend more time with her family. She will be staying with the third hour team.

As for Al Roker, he falls into the “night before” planning club as well. He does make an additional call to catch up with current weather trends and he’s back to morning workouts. He probably takes a few minutes to grind the fresh blend coffee he frequently brings in for “3RD Hour of Today” and the earlier segments.

Giving a few minutes for the soul can be just as essential as stopping for a java jolt, and the lift lasts much longer.