The other day I received an email from a tip of the day subscriber, a mom of 2 that explained how she would love to find the time to workout but she was just too tired.
"I wake up at 5:30, make the lunches, make the breakfast for everyone, dash off to bathe, get dressed to head off to my job by 8am. I finally return home at 6:00 just to help with the homework, settle the kids into the bedtime routine, head back over to the kitchen to make dinner for my husband and I to literally crawl into bed by 10:00 just to do it all over again.
I am from a culture where the woman carries most of the cooking load but I also have a full time job. I know working out and eating better would help me, but I'm just so tired. It's everything I can do to just manage the day to day life that frankly, I don't even know where I would find the five minutes to take this delicious walk you speak of, and my breakfast apple fritter gives me the sugar boost I need to carry me through the morning meetings."
You don't need to be a mom of 2 with her exact setup to understand the situation all too well. I've seen the same tone of emails from university students who have mid-terms, papers and senior thesis and have to deal with foreign food environments, to a man who works double shifts and relies on the vending machines at work.
The one common thread is this:
I really want to make a change but I'm just too exhausted. I can barely keep it together as it is, add one more thing and I'm just going to lose it.
You're in a chicken and egg conundrum. You're probably tired because you the lack of nutrients and oxygen your body craves but you're not making the right choices because you're so tired.
You've got to stop the cycle.
How Stop Being So Tired By "Scratching Your CD"
The best way to stop any cycle is to make a small chip in the rhythm.
Think of it like playing a CD (luckily with mp3's this isn't an issue, but it used to be), the smallest scratch can disrupt the entire song. I want you to make a scratch on your CD cycle of exhaustion. I don't want you to do it tomorrow. I'd like you to do it now, or in the next few hours at your next opportunity.
It can be the slightest change to your rhythm. It can be literally, eating a tomato at lunch today, something you don't normally do. Maybe it's taking a walk and deliver the message personally to a colleague on a different floor instead of just clicking send.
Perhaps you put on your tennis shoes right when you get home from work or class just so you have more of a spring in your step. Maybe you'll do all three! I don't care what it is, but do something to scratch the CD. Even one scratch can produce a different song. One scratch might only mess up one verse, but that one scratch will lead to a few more and scratch up the entire cycle.
Here's the best part: I've seen countless people have more energy to change the overwhelm and create a completely different life for themselves, just from taking this one step. My "CD scratch" was to have a salad at lunch that day.
My physician friend, mom of 3 with a newborn, made a CD scratch to get a jogging stroller. Maybe you need some ideas of how to make a change (here's a great article about the 7 ways to make a change). Whatever you choose, whatever change you decide to make, do it now.
Scratch The CD Of Your Diet
Another change you can make is to take a look at your diet and over time see if you can identify the foods that give you energy and those that don't. If you are following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, even a little bit, know that the foods on the left side of the list generally help promote energy at a cellular level. The foods on the right tend not to. This is a huge oversimplification, but the net effect of following that system is usually an increase in energy.
We have also written a recent article on some interesting supplements that many health experts agree will help boost your energy.
People really liked the suggestions, as well as the links to the research supporting the suggestions.