As the first week of teaching began, I found myself feeling utterly and completely exhausted. I didn't know how I was going to get through the zombie phase, but I found a few little "tricks" to help me push past it. I share them with you, in case you need to power up too!
You have to force yourself to get moving.
On Monday and Wednesday, I did a one hour yoga class, Thursday was a 54 minute elliptical workout with changing resistance, and today, I made up a weight lifting circuit of 6 moves doing 10 reps of each. I did the circuit twice with a 10 minute bike in the middle and 25 minutes on the arc to follow. Total time was 55 minutes. It was really hard to make myself go to class or keep moving (I'm out of shape after doing whatever I wanted all summer), but once I was done, I had SO MUCH MORE ENERGY. Each time, I took advantage of the new burst of motivation and used it to my advantage to make dinner (Monday), clean my kitchen (Wednesday), clean the apartment and fold laundry (Thursday) or power through work emails (today).
2.) Start Eating Healthy
When I'm eating healthy food, I'm eating SO MUCH MORE FOOD, and for that reason, eating healthy can be a bit inconvenient (because you have to plan ahead). But honestly, good nutrition pays off big time in helping to avoid the afternoon slump. Snacks this week include: grapes and cottage cheese or cheddar cheese, apple and peanut butter, cucumbers or bell peppers plain, or a Stacy Smoothie. For lunch, I ate lots of salads (one version I love to makes involves lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of this dressing--it's so good).
3.) Resist the Urge to Stay Up Late
At 11:05PM last night, all I wanted to do was stay up and watch just one more episode of The Tudors, my Netflix obsession. That choice would have had me falling asleep during my workout. Screens of all kinds make it easy to lose track of time. Make sure you set your own bedtime (just like your parents did when you were a kid) and stick to it.
4.) Stop Snoozing.
I first wrote about how to avoid snooze and why here.
Hitting snooze equals stress in the morning and stress in the morning only means you feel more exhausted earlier in the day. Today, I ditched snooze and was 10 minutes early instead of right of time. I get a feeling of calm when I have a few minutes before my students start walking in, and I swear, it makes me a more energetic teacher. The energy seems to last all day too.
5.) Power Your Morning
Coffee, peppermint soap in the shower, and eating some protein first thing are all things that help me feel immediately awake. Find what makes waking up a little better for you and use it. I'm going to change the alarm sound on my phone--I associate it with too much negative. I need to wake up to something new! I wrote some other positive morning tips here.
Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! I hope you get lots of rest and get to do all the things you most want to do!