Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting Through the Day on Zer0 Energy

As I started my day today, I found myself wondering how I was ever going to survive a full day? My child got up at 4am for a feeding. She struggled falling back to sleep after eating so I snuggled with her and rocked her back to sleep.

After laying my peaceful, sleeping baby down, I raced to my bed to fall back to sleep; only to lie awake waiting for sleep to come. The dog then wanted outside so I took him out. It all went downhill from there. The dog wanted to play, the baby woke back up; needless to say, I did not return to bed.

While in the shower I began to consider how I would ever find the energy for the day. Along with being a new mom, I have a full-time job and I (for the most part) run our household. As I focused on getting through the day, here are some tips I thought I would share with you. You know, in case you ever pull an all-nighter and have to survive the next day! 

1. Breathe.
A few months ago, I took a class on using yoga in therapy sessions (read about me here) and learned that you actually breathe through one side (right or left) of your nostril at any given time. Meaning, we don't naturally breathe through both nostrils. To learn more go to this article.

So, we did this breathing exercise at my training and I have been using it ever since:

Take your finger and cover your left nostril. Breathe lightly in through your right nostril, exhale out through your mouth. Repeat for 1 minute. 

Now, take your finger and gently cover your right nostril. Breathe in lightly though your left nostril, exhale through your mouth. Repeat for 1 minute. 

Do this throughout your day, as often as possible.

2. Shower.
Taking a shower is a good way to start the day fresh. Now, the temperature And length of time will depend on what works for you. I find a long, warm shower a good way to start my day and get me going. My husband would say that would put him to sleep. He prefers a cool, quick shower to wake him up. Now that would send me running back to my covers!

3. Hydrate.
Water, water, and more water. This is vital for any reason you didn't sleep, but especially if loss of sleep from partying! Alcohol can be extremely dehydrating so drink plenty of fluids! Water can help give you that burst of energy you need to get through the day. Focus on drinking 2 glasses right away (like now) as you begin your day. Then, constantly keep water with you for the remainder of the day. Shoot for at least 2 glasses of water at each meal as well. As much water as you can do will help you with energy. Why not start now?!?! Go ahead, I'll wait!

4. If caffeine must be used, keep intake to a minimum.
Oh yes, caffeine can do wonders! I can almost taste it just thinking about it in my insomniac state! Caffeine can lift you up quickly but also will make you crash hard. Try to refrain from this if possible. I sometimes will have a few sips of coffee, just enough to get me going, but not enough to make me crash later either.

5. You have to move it, move it.
The more you sit still, the more you will want to sleep. As you go through your day, pick today as the day to go out of your way to get more body movement. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, do a few jumping jacks, or walk for a few minutes. Any exercise (although brisk as you don't have the energy for a workout)can help get your energy going! So take a few minutes to dance! It will pay-off as you survive today!

6. Turn music ON.
I forgot about this until I was in the middle of jamming out to, "All the Small Things," by Blink 182. Play at least one song you love to blare, sing, and dance to. This will instantly give you a pick-me-up!

7. Power nap.
If this is possible, take a nap at some point in your day to rejuvenate yourself. As a mother, this is rarely an option but power naps do help!

8. Take Quiet Time.
Okay, so power naps aren't always possible. Find a few minutes to just be still. Clear your head. As in, stop thinking. Do this several times during your day. Silent moments can be just as rewarding as power naps.

9. Reward yourself for surviving.
You will have more motivation to get through your day if you have something to look forward to. It could be something you already had planned, like a dinner date with a friend or something that will motivate you in that moment, like "I will get to take a relaxing bath, if I get through this day". Either way, knowing you will be rewarded makes survival much more appealing.

10. Do what you HAVE to do.
Set your priorities. Stick to the things on your list that must be done today. The rest can wait until tomorrow. If you can, delegate tasks to others. Cut yourself some slack today.

11. Take frequent breaks.
Come on, you're exhausted, so give yourself a break. Frequent brain breaks will help you to clear your head and refocus on what you are doing. Just make your breaks short and brief.

12. Eat.
Like with water, you need to give your body fuel. Eat something. I am always on the go so I shoot for 3 meals and a few snacks during the day, but most research I have seen says 6 small meals each day.

You willl especially want to focus on quality (which I am sure you already do anyways) with your food. Fast food and big meals are heavy and can quickly put you in a slump. Combined with exhaustion, this could be a train wreck waiting to happen. Instead, you will want to focus on the healthy stuff. Think lots of fruits and vegetables. 

Now if you are anything like me, you are thinking fast food sounds quick and easy. Yep, this is one of my many addictions (don't worry, I didn't have any today):

Don't even drive near those tempting food joints! You could also be the opposite and not want to eat at all. But your body will thank you, even if all you can manage is a banana.

So for whatever reason you are running on Zer0 sleep (maybe you had too much fun partying last night, were studying for a big exam today, or maybe you have a kid), I hope you find these tips helpful. At our house, long gone are any reasons of exhaustion besides baby...

Good thing she is soooo worth it!

What other tips do you have that get your through your day when you are exhausted?

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