Having more energy to tackle my to do list is at the top of my to do list for October. I have been feeling so sluggish lately, and it takes a toll on every level of my life. On my worst days, I feel uninspired professionally. I don’t give Annie my best. I take things out on Tanner, and my mental health takes a big hit.
The start of a new month feels like a new beginning, an opportunity to try new things and wipe the slate clean. And I’ll be honest: I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The house was a wreck, the dog was being a handful, Annie was whining non-stop. And I had a to do list a mile long. So today is the perfect day to put these plans into action.
Quick, simple workout moves. I go through waves of loving working out and consistently getting at least 30 minutes 5 times a week, then barely getting off the couch for weeks at a time. It is presumably not good for me. It definitely has a lot to do with my mood, but also with Annie’s routine. I never know when she’s going to nap for three hours or thirty minutes.
A couple months after I had AB, I signed up for a subscription to the Tone It Up app at the recommendation of tons of Instagram DMs. I vowed to jump right in and work out every day so I could really give it a chance before my 7-day free trial was up. There are scheduled workouts during the day with chat rooms for support, live workouts with the regular instructors, on demand videos, and a set of daily moves refreshed every day. Even on the days that I don’t feel totally up to working out, I try to at least do the daily moves. If Annie only sleeps for fifteen minutes, that’s enough time to do at least two sets of the daily moves.
And when it’s done, I’m already feeling so much better. That little rush of adrenaline is enough to totally change the course of my entire day. It’s such a small change in my routine, compared to finding a sitter for AB and driving into town for a workout class. That can easily take three hours out of my day. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Getting smart about my coffee consumption. Cold brew coffee generally has a lot more caffeine in it than a regular cup of drip coffee. Depending on how it’s made, some brews can even have twice as much caffeine. Normally, I’ll have two cups of drip coffee in the morning and have at least one iced throughout the day. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that’s A LOT of coffee. Especially when you consider everything that goes inside. I’m a sucker for yummy creamers and pump sweeteners when I’m ordering out. Having a cold brew in the morning means that I only need one cup and I have all the caffeine I need to keep going. Plus, it’s so smooth and doesn’t need anything but almond milk, so no 300 calorie coffee drinks.
But I still really love coffee and find myself reaching for it throughout the day. So I order Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee lattes for in between meals to avoid the sugar crash. It’s got antioxidants like maitake and chaga, plus adaptogens for stress support. It totally counteracts the normal caffeine jitters, and the latte mix is 100% keto friendly.
Getting better sleep. Everywhere I look, people are talking about turning off their phones at 8 pm, ending their work day at 5, etc. And I’m thinking – how???? I’ve been feeling so discouraged lately because it seems like the older Annie gets, the less likely I am to get anything done. Now that she’s crawling, she can get into anything and everything. And heaven forbid I try to confine her within the evil Pack-n-Play.
So, getting better sleep isn’t as simple as getting less screen time before bed. It goes all the way back to the beginning of the day, the beginning of the week, and the beginning of the month. I need to get better at planning out my time and making sure I have space carefully carved out in my day for 1. Annie, 2. Me, and 3. Work. Particularly in that order. So, Annie has someone to go to on Tuesdays and Fridays so that I can batch out all of my work and get as much done as possible on those two days. It’s amazing how much more I can get done when she’s not around. It’s only 9:46 am and I’ve already:
The goal is that I will knock a lot more things off my to do list and be able to totally power down well before bed. Then, I’d like to spend less time watching TV and “vegging out” at the end of the day with Tanner and more time just chatting, going on walks, and enjoying some quiet. And hopefully, all of that will result in me getting some more satisfying sleep and not waking up like an ogre every morning.
Getting out of my own head. Inward reflection is the best way to get out of your own way. There was a time in my life when I was really good at this, and I was so clear on my goals and my next steps. Now, my thoughts do not move linearly. Just now, I am typing one thing and thinking about something entirely different (which is very frustrating because I keep typing the wrong words and going back to correct them.)
Some people meditate, some people do yoga, some people talk to a therapist. I like to do a mixture of everything. And now, I’m going to take a hint from Brighton Keller on brightontheday.com and try brain dumping. She does it before bed, which I think would be beneficial, but I think I’d also benefit from doing it at the beginning of the day. I wake up with a ton of ideas in my head about what is the most important task to tackle right away, special projects I’d like to make time for, and activities to do with AB. Brain dumping is taking all of those ideas and spitting them out into a list.
It’s different from a to-do list, because you might not actually end up doing most of them. And it allows you to look at everything on paper and sort it into manageable to-do lists. I’m going to give it a try for a couple days and I’ll let you know how it works on my stories.
there's a first time for everything, and I share those firsts here every week. to chat one on one, follow me on Instagram @becs.lynk