(Written by Desiree Nordstrom, a WIL Committee member.)
Do you ever feel so exhausted that you fear if you sit down, you might not be able to get back up? Or do you ever wake up in the morning and find yourself looking forward to bedtime? This is often the new normal for a working mother.
Even after the years of sleepless nights that come with having young children, it feels like our bodies continue to operate in an auto-piloted, zombie mode. But frankly, when we examine the facts, most working moms are pretty darn good at operating in zombie mode while still producing high quality work. Sound familiar?
We all know that if mom goes down…the entire family goes down. Here is a go-to “GET List” for ensuring that you not only are able to function properly, but also to give your fatigued body a jump start.
-Get 8 hours of sleep every night – The exact amount of sleep might vary person to person. Find that “must have” amount for you…and protect that time.
-Get some physical activity – Whether you stop at the gym on the way to work or you take a 10 Tips minute break from working from home to push your child in a stroller around the neighborhood. Getting movement in will fight the fatigue by boosting your energy.
-Get organized – The more organized you are, the more efficiently you can complete your tasks, thus freeing yourself to focus on other things. Did someone say nap?
-Get more sunlight – Open the curtains – Sunlight provides our bodies with vitamin D, which contributes to peak energy levels.
-Get down more water – Do you hydrate your body enough to keep it running properly? Breathing, talking, typing, even sitting - uses up your body’s water supply thus causing dehydration which causes a serious loss of energy, as well as other problems.
-Get down the proper amount of food – Do not skip meals, nor eat too much. Neither extreme is worth losing the energy that is required to meet and complete your responsibilities. Great energy producing foods include berries, fish, eggs, yogurt, almonds, carrots, whole grains, and anything high in fiber, but I suspect you already know this.
-Get water on your face – Splash your face – It is something so simple, but studies have shown that splashing cool water on your face may restore energy even faster than other options.
-Get a massage – Yes, I just gave you permission. A massage can counter anxiety, headaches and fatigue. Go for it, and if anyone questions you, have them call me.
-Get some atmosphere going – Tickle your ears and nose – Play some upbeat music and fill the air with a smell that invigorates. An uplifting atmosphere is energizing. Have fresh flowers in your work area, they gladden the heart and strengthen the spirit.
-Get a smile on your face and have a good laugh, even if you force it – Science has documented that smiling and laughing, release endorphins which, as you know, make us feel happier and less stressed by reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Laughing expands the lungs and replenishes the cells, as well as releases suppressed emotions. Smiling attracts people to you, and stimulates a positive attitude, all of which not only increases your energy, but also spreads happiness to others.
If you have any other tips for fighting fatigue, I would love to hear what has worked for you.