Do you ever wonder how other parents seem to be able to get everything done they need to in a day while you’re struggling to even get off the couch? Every parent has a sleepless night here and there. Some parents have very few sleepless nights (lucky, lucky people) and some have many sleepless nights. A sleepless night can take the wind right out of your sails. So, how do you stay motivated to keep up with your day-to-day obligations and stay in a decent enough mood to not break down over every little thing? Well, I hate to break it to you but honestly you have to find what works for you. There is no cut and dry answer or blanket statement that can act as a “One size fits all” solution. But, I’ve compiled a short list of my best tips from my endeavors to keep the right attitude to conquer what I need to despite my sleep schedule, or lack thereof. Hopefully it can help you start your journey in finding what works best for you and your family.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is stay on top of your fluid intake. This is something that I struggle with personally. It is not very often that I am deliberately thirsty. But, I strive to make sure I get enough fluids in me each day. Yes, much of those fluids are coffee in the morning, but the rest is pretty much water. Sometimes I will drink a sugar-free juice mix concoction. That keeps me drinking more throughout the day because it’s delicious. Everyone’s needs for water consumption are different so I don’t want to make any general recommendations for that. I will say, however, that a basic measurement tool can be observing your, um, outflow of fluid. Generally speaking, the clearer your urine is, the more hydrated you are. Staying hydrated really helps keep up your energy levels. 55-60% of our bodies are made up of water. So, when you’re dehydrated, it’s like you’re missing part of your body. On your worst days, hydration can be a total game changer. So, get to drinkin’!
You are likely resisting movement with every fiber of your being when you’re exhausted and sleep-deprived. But, I’m here to ask you to resist the resistance! Studies have shown that movement early on in your day can increase productivity exponentially. Also, endorphins help boost your mood and overall set you up for a better day. I’m not talking about crazy boot camp movement here, but some kind of gentle exercise, even for 5 minutes can do wonders for your mood and productivity. Take a walk, do some yoga stretches, run in place or some combination of those things. Every little bit helps. Plus when you incorporate movement into your morning you can be one of those people who go around bragging about how you work out every day. You want to be that person, right? Right?! Yeah me neither… But, I’m just saying, you COULD if you wanted to…. 🙂
Keep your eyes on your own page.
The reality of our present day is that social media is a HUGE part of our daily lives. We see our old high school buddies out there scaling mountains. We see our 3rd cousin twice removed receiving awards for their charitable acts. We see people with seemingly perfect lives that we feel we never could achieve. All of these are just tiny excerpts of someone’s life that they’re willing to share. Remember that on social media you NEVER get the whole picture. So, focus on what YOU are doing. Your life is the only life that you have complete control over. You get to touch other people’s lives in several ways, especially your children’s. However, you are the person most profoundly affected by your actions. You are the one responsible for your own happiness. One of my favorite quotes is from Sara Sutherland Dean of “The Shameless Mom Academy” podcast: “At the end of the day, nobody cares how you’ve lived your life except you.” This resonates because it’s SO TRUE! Sure, people may be judgmental in the short-term or care for a weekend that you didn’t volunteer to help with the school play. But ultimately, we need to remember to ask ourselves what is going to matter most to us when we are in our final hour. Will we be saying, “I’m so glad I took care of myself and made time for my family” or “Man, I just wish I could have made more other people envy me”? That’s the beauty of this life. You get to decide what you’ll be saying at the end of it. You get to choose how to live it in a way most meaningful to you and your core values. Do your thing, and let others do theirs. In the end, it’s your life that matters most to you. So, remember this and make it count, even when you’re tired.
Acknowledge your accomplishments.
As you go about your day, try to take note of all of the things you accomplish. Now I don’t feel that you need to overtly celebrate every tiny victory. But just noticing that you accomplished something on your list can give you that little feeling of satisfaction. Took the dog for a walk – Win. Showered today – Win. Kept child alive all day – Win. You don’t need to make earth shattering progress in order to acknowledge and appreciate your accomplishments. Remember that we are all just humans. Even the most successful among us are still just regular people. There is nothing specifically special about them other than they found the mindset and the way to make their goals become a reality. You accomplish things every day. When you are at your most tired and exhausted is when you most need to use this practice. Acknowledge your daily “wins” even when you are feeling good because creating the habit will help on those days that you maybe are not feeling so good. You are already doing the dang thing every day. OWN THAT! Acknowledge that! You deserve it. We all do.
Think of yourself.
As parents, doing things that seem selfish can be very difficult. However, I would like to propose a way to do something selfish without feeling guilty. Every day, think of your future self. When you are looking at the dishes that need to be washed and you have the time to wash them but not the drive to do so, think of yourself. Think of how you will feel in a couple of hours when you get to relax instead of doing the dishes because they’re already done. (Thanks, ME!). Thinking in this way is not only a wonderful opportunity for a little self-care, but it can also act as a vector of motivation to stay productive. We never want to feel like we have wasted the whole day away and just postponed the inevitable. But, sometimes we are just tired AF and we don’t wanna! Considering your future self can be a powerful tool to get our butts moving and getting things done. We think of how our actions affect others all of the time, but think of how they will affect ourselves less frequently. You deserve that glass of wine or cigar or couch sit at the end of the day, not the pile of dishes or laundry you couldn’t bring yourself to do earlier in the day. So, treat yourself and get it done so you can veg out and recoup without stressing.
I hope these tips will help you feel a little more sure that you can stay motivated despite your 3 hours of actual sleep. Cut yourself a break. A stated previously, we are all human and no one can do it all every dang day. But, we can do our best every day and feel proud of that, regardless of our sleep schedule. Now go get your coffee and get after it!
Much love and productive vibes,
Momma Caped Nerd ❤
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