By Shani Petroff
I recently got back from a little trip. I had an amazing time, but while I was gone my work piled up. It needed to get done. It didn’t matter that I was tired and jet-lagged; I had to be productive. I needed to focus, I needed to stay awake, and I found myself turning to food. And not the healthy kind. My defenses were down and it was so easy to turn back to my old bad habits. Only the sweets and fried food didn’t make me feel good and they didn’t wake me up. If anything, they made me more sluggish. I’m still shaking off that tired feeling, but now I’m doing it in a way that will not only wake me up, but also will give me more energy!
Going to Sleep on Time. Yes, I have things to do, but if I do them when I’m exhausted, it’s not going to be my best work. In fact, when I’m sleepy, I wind up procrastinating more and vegging out by the TV instead of getting anything worthwhile accomplished. So, I’ve now chosen to go bed at a decent hour, and to be more productive during the day.
When I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is work out. Yet, it helps wake me up. So even if it’s something simple, like a couple sets of jumping jacks or dancing to some high-energy song I have on my iPhone, I try to kick-start my day with some sort of movement. (I usually do some simple stretches first, too.)
When I’d try to make myself stay awake, I’d always think, well, it’s harder to sleep when you’re eating. So, I’d snack constantly. But eating just to eat is a huge waste of my SmartPoints® budget, so now I keep a huge container of water nearby and make sure I’m constantly sipping away. It helps me up my water intake and avoids wasting my SmartPoints values. (I also keep produce like baby carrots and grapes around, so if I do feel like I want a snack or something to munch on, I have easy, mess-free, 0 SmartPoints-value food nearby.)
I don’t feel like cooking when I’m tired. I want easy. Often, for me, that means delivery, takeout, or stopping by a market that has prepared meals. But when I’m sleepy, the devil on my shoulder tells me, “you deserve to eat all the junk food in the world. It’s been a hard day.” Only, that’s not what I really want, and when I do that, the next day I feel awful. So, I’ve started writing down exactly what I’m getting, and I don’t let myself waver. I order my salad and don’t ask for onion rings, too. I don’t let myself grab a candy bar in the checkout aisle, or pick up a pint of ice cream as I head home. I make a plan and stick to it.
I find the better my habits are, the more energy I have. So, my goal is not to just do these things when I’m jet-lagged, but to implement them year-round.
How do you try to beat that tired feeling? You can find me on Connect @shani!
Read more Shani Weighs In.