It is about 4pm in the afternoon and I feel like I need toothpicks to hold my eyelids open. Exhausted doesn’t quite seem to cover it. This is the time of day my body seems to go into under drive. My brain starts losing concentration, I don’t have much patience and my eyes literally hurt at the effort at keeping them open. Yesterday at this time, I was in a work telecon and I started to speak, then completely forgot what I was saying, like literally left them hanging mid sentence… luckily someone else picked up the slack and I went back to staring vacantly into space.. (which begs the question as to why I am using this clearly bad time of day to write a blog post… that is a good question… one I can’t answer but will be my excuse for not pumping out an extra-ordinary post)…
Interestingly though, there is one thing which usually improves my afternoon slump… and it actually starts in the morning.
As much as I would love to snuggle under the blankets in the morning. Especially when it is freezing cold outside. The facts unequivocally confirm that starting my day with some kind of movement…sets the tone for the entire day and weirdly (since it is sooo long after).. helps me bypass the afternoon slump without as much effort.
On that note, I think you can guess where I was this morning. That’s right…under the nice toasty warm doona enjoying a sleep in (yep, that’s right peeps…stayed in bed until 6.39am… you’d think I’d be soo well rested).
Which brings me (FINALLY…i hear you say)…to the point of today’s post…which is the 2nd point in my Ten Steps to Work Life Awesomeness…MOVE DAILY
I purposely use the word “move” rather than exercise. Because the word exercise has a lot of connotations for many people. And actually, you really don’t have to do a crazy 1hr Body Attack session for it to have impact. Infact, I was reading in Sarah’s most recent “I Quite Sugar” book (don’t worry, I won’t actually be quitting sugar any time soon, but reading about it makes me feel very virtuous)… that the most recent research tells us that just doing a bit of light movement is much better for us.
There are three things that really stick in my mind when it comes to committing to a daily movement routine
1) Just put your shoes on amd walk outside. That’s it. If you focus on that piece of the puzzle, it seems so much easier than forcing yourself to commit to three one hour cardio sessions per week etc etc. Because the chances are pretty high, if you put your shoes on and walk outside….you’ll keep walking, hell, you may even run. You may decide to drive to that gym class or go do some weights. But often the hardest part is just getting started. So focus on just getting started, then let the rest come naturally (and on those days when you really do just walk outside, and then walk back inside again…it really really doesn’t matter).
2) Just Fricken Do it. This is Michelle Bridges slogan. I like it though. Because often we expect to always feel motivated or in the mood to go out and do some sort of exercise. But the reality is, most of the time you don’t. Consistency is the most important thing. So don’t stop and think about whether you should or shouldn’t, or how long you should go for, or if the weather is nice enough. Stop thinking and just do it. Coming from an overthinker, this one really works for me.
3) Just move more. I spend a lot of time just sitting staring at my computer screen all day. So I have to make a conscious effort to move more in my day. Walk the kids to school, walk around the block in my break, use the “stand up” desks at work (has your office caught onto this fad, thought I was uber cool when I went in and wound my desk up all the way. Feels totally weird standing up and working). When I am feeling slumpy, I know it is because I have spent too much of my day sitting still, not simply moving.
So…this brings me back to my afternoon slump. I nice reminder from my body that I missed my daily movement today, and I’m paying for it.
Time to get my routine back on track. To get out of bed, put my shoes on and just fricken do it… I know I will thank myself for it (and hopefully you’ll be thanking me too!).
Good vibes and lollipops to you all (Oh wait…no lollipops… hula hoops…because you can do exercise with those…it’s true, I’m thinking of doing a course with my sister, but that is a story for another day)…