Working Mom, You Have NO Energy left. Now what?
What to do when your energy is down and out!
You are down and out. You are exhausted but there is work to be done (always)! Your mind is overwhelmed with thoughts of your to do list but your body is screaming for rest. You’re torn between stopping and going, between listening to your body or your mind.
You want to do it all!
So what is the right choice?
If you choose go you’ll don your supermom cape and plow through the work. Will it be your best work ever? Maybe. Will you be happy with the results? Your mind will say, “Yes! Accomplishment is AWESOME!” But your body will say, “Must stop! Sit down! For the love of your body, PLEASE!” but you trudge on. Mind over matter!
If you choose stop you sit still. You catch your breath. Your body says “Oh, thank you for this break. You needed this.”. On the other hand your mind is yelling at you with self-negative thoughts like, “You should be working! You are wasting time! You can’t afford to stop! Get up, you can do this!” Guilt and shame bubble up.
From this perspective it looks like either way you lose. But there’s hope! Here are 5 ways to revive your personal energy so that your mind feels accomplished and your body gets the break it deserves.
Become aware of how much personal energy you have
Becoming aware of how much energy you have is empowering. This involves paying attention to how your body feels and how much activity it has had. It involves in looking back and realizing what emotions affected you.
Emotions affect your personal energy. Were you stressed, worried, or extremely excited? Emotional intelligence is a huge player in personal energy management. If you feel lousy maybe it’s because you’re tired or tense about something.
When you get good at recognizing your personal energy level you can share this with others. It helps clue them in on why you are acting the way you are. Being honest is powerful plus it shows others that you are aware of your actions.
When you are aware of the amount of energy you have it actually gives you a little boost of energy. It’s like giving yourself a break. Why am I tired? Oh yeah, the baby work up three times last night and I also got to bed late. When you realize your energy is a bit low you tend to ease up a bit on how much work you'll take on.
Give yourself an order to take a timeout
Last night, before I had to marathon three baths, I laid down and took a timeout. I looked at the clock, to be aware of what time it was, and then told myself I’d lay down for five minutes. There were many temptations to get up, like screaming children and hearing the frustration in my husband’s voice, but I remained still with my eyes closed. I repeatedly told myself, “You’re not getting up until 6:07.”
By giving myself an order and permission to lay down I was managing my personal energy. I had very little energy left and knew that if I didn’t take a timeout I was going to get frustrated with the kids for doing <fill in the blank>. This compromise satisfied my body and my mind.
If you can’t take a time out take a deep breath
Something so small, like a few deep breaths, is powerful and beneficial. It’s funny that we have to remind ourselves to take a deep breath. But when you're in a stressful moment, like when requests are coming at you like rapid fire, it's easy to forget how good a deep breath feels. This will take practice. When you feel energy dipping (if you can) close your eyes, shut the world out, and gets your bearings.
Take one right now, feel a little better? Your heart rate and blood pressure has slowed down leaving you a bit more relaxed. If you want help in practicing deep breathing check out what Harvard Medical School has to say.
Remember your priorities
In that moment, when you’re down and out, remember what is most important to you. Because you’ve already done the work on your values and priorities quickly make a mental list of what your current priorities are.
What items on your to do list support your values? When you have created this updated list leave everything else for the next day because it’s truly not important (and you now know that). You have limited personal energy at the moment but because you have this list overwhelm decreases because your plan supports your VP’s.
Find some love
If kids are around get a hug from them for an awesome energy boost. If the kids aren’t around, stare at a picture or video of your kiddos. Smiling is something both the body and mind will love to receive. Getting some love centers you and makes you aware of what truly matters, and that’s love.
Now I want to hear from you!
Are you feeling down and out right now? What advice from this post will you apply so you can revive your personal energy? Tell me all about it over on my Facebook page, I really want to know!