“I’m so glad I’m tired right now” – said nobody, ever.
No, I’m not into it myself. Obviously it serves a purpose, there’s no denying that. But it seems that feeling tired comes up at the worst times.
When we wake up.
When we head into work.
When we go home from work.
When our partner wants to make some sweet love.
When we have pretty much any commitment, ever.
Lately I’ve been more tired than usual, as I’m trying to break in a new routine which includes a couple of 12 hour days (I’m totally NOT a night owl on school-nights). With Isaac being away for seven weeks it has meant that I’m doing everything around the house, including cooking dinner every night, even when I get home at 8:20pm. I ended up just having tuna & crackers for the first couple of those shifts because I didn’t feel like cooking a full meal right before bed. I’m usually an 8:30pm bedtime kinda gal – 9pm is like my crazy late night during the week. How many hours of sleep do you usually get per night? I get around eight. I NEED around eight. Or else, beware…
With all this in mind, I’m keen to get back to my usual energetic state. So I started to make a few changes, and so far this is the outcome;
- I cancelled our HelloFresh service. This is usually perfect for us as it keeps our meals interesting and it’s quite affordable. However, with Isaac being away it meant that I had to cook EVERY night as we only receive enough ingredients for dinner and lunch the next day. This would be fine, had I not committed to working until 8pm twice a week, and 7:15pm once a week. Even so, sometimes the meals required a fair bit of prep work for just one person, and I wasn’t eating until 8pm even when I did get home at the usual time.
OUTCOME – Now I’m making most of my meals in advance, this week I made a slow cooked chicken & vegetable soup, and zucchini slice which meant I had at least a good hour to actually chill-out before going to bed.
- I added a proper lunchtime walk each day. I was already going for a bit of a wonder around at lunch, but wasn’t going far or getting up any sort of decent pace beyond what you’d describe as a ‘meander’. EDIT: I’ve now trialed adding in a lunch-time gym session in too, 30 minutes of Pilates or a HIIT session is all it takes!
OUTCOME – Since I added my ‘proper’ lunchtime walks, I feel WAY more energetic for the entire afternoon and have actually felt like being active in the evening (i.e. Bike ride or dog walk), and not just curling up on the couch with my dinner. My mood has improved drastically from this alone.
- I removed sugar from my morning routine. I was in quite the habit of having a cold Milo and a piece of (healthy) home made Banana bread for breakfast. The Banana bread is fine, there is no issues there. I make it myself, I know there are no nasties (I’m happy to share the recipe, just ask!). But the Milo…while I love it, does contain 8.2g of sugar ‘per serving’. Also having the dairy every morning probably wasn’t the greatest for my skin.
OUTCOME – I’ve replaced my Milo & Banana bread habit with a new, more sustaining breakfast. I’m now having warm oats with coconut, bluebs, hemp seeds, chia seeds and Mayver’s nut butter mixed through plus a Ginger tea. This gets me well into the late morning before I feel snacky.
- I’m boycotting the lollie bowl and Friday afternoon drinks at work! We have an overflowing bowl of lollies at our Reception desk, which I cover for an hour so that our lovely Administration Officer can enjoy her lunch, and generally I’m quite snacky by this time, so a couple of those lollies would usually end up in my hot little hands. And every Friday afternoon from around 4pm the office winds down, and heads to our private kitchen for wine and an assortment of potato chips.
OUTCOME – No lollies + no extra sugar while I’m sitting around on my butt = an all-round win. I’m not huge on lollies anyway, so it’s not hard to boycott them. It was more out of convenience that I was using them as my bridge to lunch. No wine and chippies on Friday, obviously escaping without a huge excess of calories. Alcohol, no matter which one, ends up exactly the same in your liver, and I’m not a huge drinker so it feels good to have put my foot down. Potato chips for some reason have always made me bloated, but I eat them sometimes because they’re so damn good. Last Friday I swapped them for a Kombucha and some grapes & seasoned almonds. Felt. Way. Better.
- I changed my attitude. I felt so weighed down with all my new responsibilities, feeling like I had so much to learn and do, with so little time! I have genuinely been enjoying my new job in the city, that’s certainly no lie, but I’ve never worked in the city before so I’ve never had to catch a train to and from work, or walk among the hustle & bustle every morning and afternoon. It was a lot to get used to, when it’s quite known that I like the open air and a bit of space between me and the next person. Add to that, I committed to working at a local Pilates studio to help the owner out at the front desk, so he could actually go and live his life a couple of nights a week. Again, I love the job and the studio and I was stoked they thought to ask me, but it means that twice a week I’m not home until after 8pm. And that’s a big deal for me. I really, really, really, really, really like my down time (just goes to show how much I like the place!).
OUTCOME – Yup, lots of changes and new things, but am I grateful? Heck yeah. So instead of allowing myself to feel flustered if people cut in front of me while I’m trying to board or get off the train, or while I’m walking down the road to work, I just breathe and remind myself I’ve got plenty of time. Their actions (even if blatantly rude, let’s be honest) don’t need to affect me. The awesome thing about these new roles that I’ve taken on is that I was chosen. Me. I impressed them with what I had to say, and how I said it. My past career and everything I’ve worked for meant something to these people. And that is awesome.
- I made time. It’s short and sweet – but I was reminded by the lovely Eva from Ladies Up that there is always time if you really want it. If that means you’ve got to get up earlier, then do that. You’ve got to make the most of every minute that you can, to do the things you want to get done. It’s no secret that I don’t want to be working for other companies, and so I use my spare time to work on this – being here with you. On my lunchbreaks while I’m eating my Zucchini Slice, I’m sitting there tapping out these very words, before I head out for some fresh air on my walk.
OUTCOME – By using my time more wisely, and reducing the amount of times I hit snooze, I’ve been able to fit so much more into my day. And just being grateful for what I got done, rather than frustrated that I didn’t do XYZ…
It’s tiring being tired. I get it. But we’ve got these things we want to get done, and they’re not going to get done without us! Just as with exercise, the more you do it, the more a habit it will become. Train that muscle of determination, get past feeling tired.
20-minutes of Pilates, anyone? You can even bring me to your office, a park or the gym! Done and done with plenty of time to eat.