July 29, 2013

6 Ways to Wake Up When You Can’t Go Back to Bed.

I’m the mother of a very busy toddler.

I know a lot of people say that they lack sleep after having kids, but I mean this to the extreme—I’ve been utterly exhausted for three years.

Three glorious years, mind you. It’s been worth it.

Still, sometimes you just want to go back to bed…but you can’t…because you’re a mom…and your kid is up and ready to go.

So, for those of you who, regardless of your reasons, find yourself in a place of a less than stellar energy, this article’s for you.

1. Exercise.

Trust me on this one: work out.

Sometimes my lazy feet drag the second my head is off of the pillow—so I know that I need to hit the hiking trail or the yoga studio (with child care, of course) because I’ll never wake up if I don’t. There is no amount of coffee in the world that can equal a sweaty exercise session.

2. Eat well.

Now is not the time to hit the sugar and those other icky, sticky foods that might call your name when your body is energy depleted. Instead, stock up on vegetables and fruit and high-quality proteins.

3. Drink water.

Yep, water. Why? For one, your body will trick you into thinking that it’s hungry when it’s actually tired, and water will fill you up. Additionally, though, being dehydrated causes fatigue too. So drink up.

4. Meditate.

It doesn’t have to take an excessive amount of time and you don’t have to be amazing at meditating. It’s a practice, and it’s never too late to start—especially if you’re tired.

Often I find, even after just a short, five-minute meditation, that I have a hidden reserve of energy I wasn’t aware I possessed.

To begin, come to a quiet seat (and this can be in your car if you’re desperate—which I’ve been many, many times). Next, become aware of your breath. Don’t regulate it quite yet, just become aware of it. Then begin to draw in deep inhalations—breathe into the bottom of your lungs and the back of your heart, concentrating on coming into a deep, rhythmic breathing pattern instead of the shallow chest breathing that we tend to do throughout our daily life.

As you take these deep inhalations, let your exhales happen naturally and completely. In other words, focus your attention more on your inhales, but exhale fully before drawing each new breath.

Notice when your mind wanders away from your breath. Don’t judge yourself, just observe. Envision your thoughts as bubbles, and see these bubbles float away, allowing you to come back to your center and back to your even breathing.

Feel your mind grow steady, to join with your steady breath—and feel how much energy you gain and conserve when your mind is calm and focused.

5. Choose your company wisely.

The company you keep isn’t always up to you. Work and duties call and we must answer. However, make sure that when you’re not at your highest energy level that the friends you pick as companions are people who tend to lift you up.

6. Get outside.

Nature and fresh air are unbelievably invigorating. At the very least, you can try parking farther away than usual and walking briskly towards your destination, but my real recommendation is to spend ideally 30 minutes to an hour walking outside. It can be around your block or on a gravel trail in your favorite park.

Walking itself is exercise, of course, (see #1) but more than that it’s the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your skin that will help you begin to relight from the inside out.

Getting a good night of zzz’s is crucial to healthy functioning, but I definitely think that all of us have our moments and days of lacking energy.

Use these tips to help pick you back up and who knows, when these moments strike for you, you might just find yourself grabbing your running shoes and heading out the door rather than pouring that second cup of coffee.

If you’ll excuse me, I promised my always energy-filled toddler that we’d head out for a walk…



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Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: via Pinterest}



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