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

Via Jennifer S. White
on Jul 29, 2013
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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}




About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


4 Responses to “6 Ways to Wake Up When You Can’t Go Back to Bed.”

  1. kimberlylowriter says:

    Thanks for these! I could have used these this morning!

  2. Thank you for your feedback! I know from reading your articles that you also have a small child, so we're blessed with both wanting to be wide awake so that we don't miss a thing and also with at least an occasional morning that makes that a challenge! Hope you don't need these tips tomorrow 😉

  3. @MaxZografos says:

    One addition to #6. If at all possible, walk barefoot on grass or any soil. This grounds your body and makes you feel better instantly. Also a question. What types of proteins do you recommend?

  4. Absolutely. It's great stimulation for the root chakra, if you're a chakra enthusiast at all (which I am).

    I'm not a nutritionist, so I specifically left that blank, because honestly I think there are better people to ask! However, if you're asking me, I've found that for me in my body nuts are excellent. Specifically things like almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts. I'm not a soy person with all of the insanity there, so I wouldn't recommend that. If you're a meat eater like me, I'm a huge believer in how the animal was raised, treated and what it was (and wasn't) fed. You'd be surprised to find out that all over our country there are many small, local farmers who choose organic and humane ways to raise animals. These days, my favorite protein source is eggs from free range, local chickens. (Yesterday, after I wrote this, I made myself a jalepeno, fresh salsa and olive omelette with three such eggs—then went on a walk 🙂

    Thanks for your feedback and addition!