It’s Monday morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee. The fragrance of caffeine fills my nostrils as I hope it will wake me up. I take a sip, no magic wake up powers are in effect yet. It’s the holidays, everything is piling up, to-do lists, appointments, meetings and social gatherings are filling my schedule. I feel tired and lethargic, nothing seems to get me out of my tired funk.
Anyone else have a case of the holiday sleepy’s? Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do you still feel exhausted, maybe even fatigued. Well, you are not alone and apparently I am not either. According to NHS.Uk “Many cases of tiredness are due to stress, not enough sleep, poor diet and other lifestyle factors.” During the holidays, we are all facing another level of stress and anxiety, and dietary changes with all the sweets, and there is a good chance this is a leading cause behind your exhaustion. So let’s take a look at how we can combat this tiredness and re energize for the holiday season!
Please note, if you feel you’re suffering from an overwhelming tiredness that isn’t relieved by rest/sleep, you may have an underlying medical condition and you should talk to your doctor.
Quick Tips to Re-energize this Holiday Season
One of the best places to start to re-energize is to get moving. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, do 20 minutes of stretching, or just start by taking breaks away from your desk. This is so hard to do when you are tired, because it’s the last thing you feel like doing. My suggestion, don’t think about it, just start by putting on your athletic clothes and sneakers. This action alone triggers your mind that it’s time to start moving. Then see where it takes you, step outside or roll out a mat and start small (15-20 mins).
That’s right, you heard me sister, eat more! Eat more small meals throughout the day. Carbohydrates are actually transferred into energy in your body. Enjoy more small meals and snacks throughout the day instead of a couple larger meals to help your body get more energy. I recommend snacks like bananas, peanut butter and crackers, or celery and hummus. In addition, check in on your overall diet. Are you getting enough protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, or calories? Are you getting too much of anything? I have a total sweet tooth, so I know my sugar intake is always high, especially during the holidays. Instead of focusing on cutting my sweets, I focus on eating more protein and grains. If I can grab a peanut butter snack before reaching for my candy pile, I often eat much less sweets naturally.
The average recommendation for sleep is 8 hours a night for adults. Very few people actually thrive off of less than 8 hours. I know for some with kids, babies, puppies, or night shifts, this may seem impossible. In which case, embrace the afternoon nap! Check out the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker for a full research paper on the importance of sleep, the history of sleep, and the chronic side effects of a lack of sleep. We are moving away from a culture of pride for staying up all night, and looking at those individuals as a liability. When you don’t sleep enough, your body has no time to recover and process, leaving you more likely to have emotional outbursts, making mistakes at work, or being an irresponsible driver. According to Walker, your health is on the line too “the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.” On the contrary, when you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night you can actually be more efficient, more motivated, healthier and more energized throughout the day!
The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Drink More Water
When is the last time you actually measured how much water you are drinking in a day? You should be drinking about 6 plastic water bottles worth of water a day (more for men)! Drinking has shown to boost your metabolism, enhance your skin health, alleviate digestive pain, and maintain a healthy blood pressure. When your body feels better, you feel more energized!
Also, limit caffeine. Honestly, I look forward to my morning cup of joe, so I probably won’t be giving that up, but I could probably replace my afternoon cup with a decaf tea or water. Where could you cut some caffeine?
Sign up for Therapy
Sometimes it seems counterintuitive to put another appointment on your schedule when you are busy, but a therapy appointment can really help put things in perspective. Talking through our problems, stresses, and worries can alleviate a burden, the burden that is making you tired. I have recently tried out online therapy through BetterHelp/ReGain and I have been pleasantly surprised! It is super easy to create an account and get started with a therapist (you can even switch your therapist at any time if you don’t feel you are clicking). Once you start to vocalize everything you are going through, you will begin to learn to prioritize or even deal with some underlying traumas that are holding you back from being energized.
Do Something Fun
Finally, go have some fun this holiday season! I always come up with one thing each week that I am looking forward to during the holidays. It’s a wonderful time of the year for festivals, holiday gatherings and volunteering, so take advantage of it. Perhaps you are looking forward to wrapping presents, decorating the tree, stopping at the Christmas Market, or driving around to see all the lights. Just remember, it’s never too late to start a new holiday tradition! Setting your mind on fun activities ahead can keep you motivated to wake up each day and get through the weekly grind.
Have a Happy Holiday!!
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