I think this one applies to all of us. I talked recently about how I got myself into a bit of a funk and killed my muse. I’d still been pushing the envelope and getting myself exhausted. We all tend to do it these days. We have jobs, home, kids and if you’re crazy like me you also have something that’s just as demanding, like writing.
After getting myself to a point where I could no longer concentrate, and thinking that maybe I might have some kind of serious illness, I realized that while there’s not a lot I can do about the demands on my energy but there is a lot I can do about the way I handle it. Point being, there’s things we can do to kick fatigue’s ass.
1. WIND DOWNI have a lot of trouble turning off and going to sleep, and having a constant writers brain doesn’t help. You can still achieve good quality sleep if you wind down. The last two weeks I’ve tried to plan my time so I stop writing half an hour before bed and do something to wind down. Reading, catching up with twitter, something quiet that doesn’t make me think too much.
2. PAY YOUR DEBTSDid you know when you miss sleep you acquire a sleep debt? This is a real scientifically proven thing, looky here I even have evidence! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_debt
Sometimes you just got to pick a night and make yourself a priority. Put that laptop, book, crochet down and go to bed early. An extra hour once a week may help to pay off some of that debt.
3. BEWARE OF STIMULANTSWhen were exhausted, there’s the temptation to prop ourselves up with stimulants. I started with coffee, then coffee and Barocca, then coffee, Barocca, and Pepsi, then coffee, Barroca, and Hairy Lemon… you get the picture. The last week I’ve cut back. I try to only have two stimulants in the morning and none what’s so ever after lunch time. I’ve found the less I have them the less I need them and the better quality sleep I’m having.
4. HEALTHY HABITSI’m not going to lecture on this one because I’m no saint here. But I think we all get that if you’re having a problem with fatigue sugar can be a real enemy. Regular healthy meals can keep that blood sugar balanced and stop that bottomed out feeling that comes from a blood sugar crash.
Going for a walk, if you can find the energy when you're in the middle of a funk, can get those endorphins going and keep you restored. I will exercise soon, I will…
5. ASK FOR HELPI could list this point three times. There’s a big difference between whining that you’re tired and actually asking for help. Last weekend I did something break-through. I told my hubby how destroyed I was and asked him to help me. I went to bed early and the next morning he got up and took care of the kids.
I slept for thirteen hours solid. Yep, instead of my usual six hours I got more than twice that! Some of that debt got cleared, because I’m feeling human again. My productivity is climbing and I’m on my way to being fully recharged.
All it takes is a few small adjustments and we can kick that fatigue in the ass.