Happiness, Wellness, Work Life Balance
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Guest Post: The Well-Planned Wife on the ripple effect of tiredness

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly yawning and fighting off that heavy eye feeling? If you’re one for the 8am, 10am, 2pm and 3pm coffee pick-me-up, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate how you manage your energy levels.  No surprises, sleep and food intake play a big role in how active and alert we feel throughout the day.

Today I’m sharing with you a guest post on the ripple effect of tiredness from my friend Mel who blogs over at The Well-Planned Wife. Mel was fortunate enough to recently attend Dr Libby’s Beautiful You Weekend in May and she’s sharing with us what she’s learnt about getting the most from everyday.

Lessons from Dr Libby: the ripple effect of tiredness

I thought I’d share another thing I learnt at Dr Libby‘s Beautiful You Weekend in May and it’s a topic that particularly resonates with me at the moment.

So many of us feel tired regularly, and most of us just ignore it and keep on going (or reach for that chocolate at 3pm). But guess what? Feeling tired isn’t a signal that you need some chocolate or caffeine, it’s your body telling you that you need to do things a little differently.

If you know exactly what I’m talking about then you need to take some time to reflect on what else is happening in your life when you’re tired – is it that you’ve actually not slept well the night before? Are you stressed? Have you said yes to too many things?

I’ve talked a bit in a previous post about your sympathetic nervous system and how it’s activated when you’re stressed. Known as the ‘red zone’, it’s not a good place to live – it’s important that most of your time is spent focusing on your parasympathetic nervous system (which is the calmer, ‘green’ zone). Unfortunately, if this balance is out of whack your sleep can definitely suffer.

But when you fail to get enough sleep, you’re likely to wind up feeling more than just tired. This is what I’m calling ‘the ripple effect’ of tiredness. When you’re tired, you tend to make bad health choices – you eat ‘comfort’ food and you skip the gym. This really just compounds the problem and makes you feel worse.

“It is very difficult to be patient and kind with yourself and others when you are filling yourself with stimulants such as too much caffeine and refined sugars and eating a diet high in processed foods that is virtually devoid of nutrients,” Dr Libby.

I’m unfortunately doing this a fair bit at the moment – pregnancy is tiring! I’d love to have a solution to share with you, but that’s something I’m working on.

I guess my advice (and what I’m trying to do), is to be kind on yourself and just make small changes.

  1. The first step is awareness, so as I suggested above start identifying what it is that makes you tired.
  2. The next step is to change just one thing. For me, it’s taking the time to start writing meal plans again, so I can have more healthy food choices at my fingertips.

Hopefully this will make me feel better about myself as well as less stressed, and consequently help me sleep better as well.

On a personal note, I also find that starting my day with protein helps keep me moving and focused – my body needs the fuel! Regular exercise and when I can, a full 8+ hours of sleep, also does wonders! Would love to hear what your tips are for better quality sleep and improving energy levels…

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