Tag Archives: burnout

Exhausted? How to re-energise, boost your immunity and get back to your awesome self

Energise boost immunityYesterday morning my 4-year-old son came in to our bedroom at ‘wake up time’. “Are you really, really, really tired mum,” he said.

“Yes darling,” I said.

“You’re always really, really, really tired mum,” he said.

“Yes darling,” I said.

He sighed and trotted off to wake his little brother. He knew mum wouldn’t play Transformers with him. Didn’t even ask me. Poor kid.

He’s right. I am tired. Since the start of the year, I’ve felt physically and mentally knackered. And I’m not the only one. My friends are feeling it too. Can’t shake the cold. Can’t sleep. No energy. So tired.

Yesterday, after the disappointed child had gone to childcare and my 3rd coffee, I decided something had to be done.

So I got Googling.

Here are 6 energy and immunity boosting tricks I’m hoping will work their magic on my burnt-out body and brain.

1. Body clock work
According to the chi (energy) cycle, the best time to exercise is before 7am. Getting up early sounds like a shit idea when you’re knackered, but just try and get up a fraction earlier each day. I usually get up at 7am when the kids do so 6.30am shouldn’t be too much of a shock to my system (but we’ll see). That gives me time for 20 minutes of yoga or a brisk walk before the mayhem.

The chi cycle say that your energy peaks mid-morning. That makes sense – I’m most productive between 9 and 11am. Ms Chi then recommends taking a nap in the afternoon. If you can’t snooze (due to pesky work/offspring commitments), avoid meetings, confronting conversations and important phone calls at this time. Once you understand your natural rhythm of energy, you can work on the important stuff during your peak hours, increasing productivity along with your energy levels.

2. Eat, shit, live
Ok. Personally, I think bananas taste like arse. But their natural sugars, sucrose, fructose and glucose, give an instant and sustained energy boost – enough for a strenuous 90-minute workout apparently. Packed with fibre, bananas are good for our arses too, and we all know poo problems can make us feel shitty*. So I’m taking one for the team and adding bananas to brekkie. I’m also trying to eat more immune-boosting foods including ginger, garlic, onion, yoghurt, green tea and seaweed (and not just to disguise the taste of banana).

3. Citrus hit
Super-smart medical folks have long recognised the connection between citric acid deficiency and chronic fatigue. Vitamin C also helps you absorb more nutrients from food so eat your oranges first thing in the morning. If you can’t eat citrus, smell it – citrus scents stimulate alertness so slap on a lemony body lotion or citrussy perfume.

4. Caffeine and sugar
Dear coffee and chocolate, your quick energy fixes are my sweet saviours but you’re turning me into a crazed shaking psychopath by the afternoon. This is unpleasant for my children and other humans unlucky enough to come into contact with me during the day. How can we work it out? Love Bec.

Every 5 minutes there’s a study to say coffee is good/bad for you; chocolate is good/bad for you. So what the flip is healthy? The answer is boring as bat shit – it’s all about balance. Don’t overdo it. Get your endorphin buzz from the occasional square of dark chocolate and avoid head-pounding panic by drinking no more than two single espresso coffees a day.

5. Do yoga
Yoga freaks poncing about in their Lululemon can be mildly annoying, but the smug bastards sleep better, relax more easily and are mentally sharper than us. The stretching, slow and controlled movements, and focus on your breath reduces tension and stress. I’ve just bought a 10 class yoga pass. However, I will not be purchasing over-priced spandex to go with it.

6. Say no
Don’t try and be superhuman – being tired can quickly turn into something more serious. Be your own best friend/over-protective PA. Say no whenever you can. Purge low-value tasks from your to-do list. Stop spending time with toxic energy-suckers (you know who they are). And practice some self love.

Given all of the above a good crack but still feel exhausted? Get your thyroid tested. Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism. Visit your doctor if you’ve been tired for ages.

It’s not going to be overnight, but just maybe I’ll be transformed back to my (Optimus) prime in time to help my son save the world from the evil forces of the Decepticons. I’ll give you an update in a couple of weeks.

Image courtesy of gratisography.

6 Feb 2015 – Readers, kindly ignore the ‘bananas are good for your arse’ comment. I was misinformed. Bananas are full of fibre but the “wrong kind of fibre” according to a nutritionist I spoke to today. *Shakes fist at Google.*

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6 simple ways to cope with feeling overwhelmed

how to cope with being overwhelmedI missed a blog post the other week. You may not have noticed, but for me it was a big deal. I’d made a promise to myself you see — when something’s got to give, it can’t be Wellbeing bites. Not the blog.

But it did give.

I made the time, honestly I did. I sat down. Clicked Add New Post… and I couldn’t write.

You see, there were emails flagged in my inbox waiting to be read/actioned, piles of laundry, a messy house, paperwork to be filed, impossible freelance deadlines I’d said yes to, bills to pay, work projects and tasks to finish, a family that needed quality time, and meditation and exercise I wasn’t finding time to do.

I was overwhelmed. “Too much”, my brain and body kept saying. I pushed on. But I still wasn’t getting it done. And what I was getting to was getting done half-arsed.

When you feel overwhelmed, it’s hard to see straight. Here are a few coping strategies that might help.

1. Prioritise and delegate
What truly needs to be done? Really — do you need to clean the bathroom? Will it matter? Will it affect your quality of life? If the answer is no, eliminate it. If yes, ask do I have to do it? Delegate if you can. With what’s left, make a to-do list, order it by priority, and tick stuff off when it’s done.

2. Say no
Do you say yes a lot? Are you constantly trying to please everyone and meet their expectations? Are you scared of looking weak or missing out? Over-burdening yourself leads to decreased effectiveness, and eventually, to burnout. Not productive. Say no when you can. Set limits. You’ll be amazed how much respect people have for you, your time and your talents when you use that one tiny word.

3. Single task
When I’m overwhelmed I tend to flick between tasks, getting nothing finished. Research has shown that you can only process one activity at a time. Multi-tasking makes you feel scattered and even more overwhelmed. Do one thing at a time.

4. Stick to a schedule
Scheduling is not just for work. Book in time for your kids, a monthly date night, time to exercise, a few minutes a day to meditate, an hour a week to write your blog. Use your phone calendar or write it in a diary. Whatever works for you. And stick to it.

5. Sleep
One of the first things to go when you’re overwhelmed is sleep. But sleep is non-negotiable. Lack of sleep causes irreparable damage to our brains. So take a nap, cut down on caffeine and alcohol and find time to exercise — a National Sleep Foundation‘s poll found that people who exercise regularly experience better quality and more consistent sleep than those who don’t.

6. Put it in perspective
I found this quote through my old friend Google. I don’t know who said it — some genuis.

“Being overwhelmed comes from a breakdown of your thoughts about your life, not a breakdown of your life.”

At the risk of sounding like an arsehole, are your over calculating the life altering-ness of this particular problem? Will the sky fall? Look back and you’ll realise that almost all of the problems you’ve ever had are no longer problems. They got solved. It worked out. Trust that this will probably work out too.

Feeling overwhelmed is our body and brain’s cry for help. You can ignore it, let it debilitate or panic you, or see it as an opportunity to slow down, reassess and reboot.

Today I clicked Add New Post, stayed on the page and rewrote things according to my rules.

Overwhelmed with love for Wellbeing bites? Of course you are! Sign up to follow WB by email and I promise I won’t overwhelm you with anything other than you signed up for. 

Image from www.gratisography.com