For the last nine months, I’ve been tired. Really tired. More tired than I can ever remember being. My fatigue has been pregnancy-induced, so thank heavens the worst part is over… sort of. Isn’t it a cruel irony that when you’re finally able to sleep again, you have a newborn waking you up all night?! Life. Gotta love it.
Anyway, tired or not, I still have things that need to get done, kids to care for, and a home to run. I’ve learned a few tricks the last few months that have really helped me accomplish things despite exhaustion, so I thought I’d detour from my normal posts and share what I’ve discovered.
1. Get dressed and put on your sneakers. This sounds simple, but it has helped me a lot. When I have real clothes and sneakers on, my energy level goes up. It’s easier to get to work and not be tempted to crawl back into bed…because who wants to wear shoes (or worse, a bra) in bed? Seriously!
2. Crank up the tunes. I love Pandora, because I’ve trained it to play mostly songs I like and I get a whole variety of genres. But my secret weapon for boosted energy is The Beach Boys. Call me a nerd, but listening to “Surfing U.S.A.” or “Fun, Fun, Fun” does it for me every time. I can’t help but feel a little more pep! It doesn’t matter the type of music as long as it affects you.
3. Get moving. The hardest part for me is always getting started. When I’m really worn down, I could sit on the couch staring at nothing for an hour. But if I’ll just get up and get some blood flowing, usually the fatigue eases and I feel better than I thought I would.
4. Don’t sit back down. This goes hand-in-hand with #3. If you’ve already conquered the hardest part, which is just getting started, don’t stop for a sit or you’ll have to fight to get up again. I try to set a determined amount of time that I’ll work. For example, I’ll say in my mind, “I’m going to keep going until 4:00, then I can sit and rest (a.k.a. browse Pinterest) until 5:00 when I need to start on dinner.”
5. Work smarter, not harder. Lately I’ve only had a limited amount of energy to spend each day. I’ve tried to think about efficiency… limiting the number of times I run up and down the stairs, trying to accomplish everything in one room before I go to the next room, that kind of thing. I usually have a pile of stuff at the top of the stairs that’s waiting to be taken down all at once instead of making separate trips every time something needs to go to the basement. It’s amazing how hard stairs get when you’re packing 30+ pounds of baby with you 24/7! I also think getting help is part of working smarter. My husband and kids have been great. Even my four year old has been washing walls and putting away folded laundry. He even volunteered to follow me around and pick things up off the floor for me… he said my tummy was just too big to do that. Haha.
If you are struggling with fatigue, my heart goes out to you. It’s tough! You should definitely talk with your doctor if you haven’t already. There are all sorts possible medical explanations, and your doctor may be able to help you feel better. But if you’ve just got too much on your plate and you’re worn down, I hope these tips will help you get things done until you can get rested and start feeling better!