I run out of steam about 6 p.m., though there are many more things I want to do in the evening/night. If I drink coffee, it's hard to get to sleep. If I tell myself I'm just going to lay down for a half hour to "re-charge" I never get off the couch again.
I know you like to be careful not to over exercise, but do you ever do a mini cardio or a 15 minute sitting meditation in the evening to recharge? Thanks very much!
Hi! Thank you for your question 😀 It is one that I relate to so strongly. Having PMDD and endometriosis means that I cannot remember the last time I was able to go out for dinner with friends. I am usually in bed by eight, and easily sleep around twelve hours – often more. Then I wake up shattered, and it all begins again! This last cycle has been particularly brutal, so I am going to join you in this attempt to regain some energy. I definitely miss going out past six pm and having energy in general.
I really wish I was the sort of person who recharges by exercising. I have been finding it hard to stand lately, let alone work out, but being active really does takes away energy dips. When I am fit, I have no issues with energy. And working out in the evening definitely gives you a little boost – especially cardio (like you mentioned). It may be worth trying out an evening routine, just to get the blood pumping. Or making sure you are being active every day, however that may look for you. As far as meditation is concerned, I am definitely more of a morning meditator. I find it to be calming and grounding, making me ok with how I feel. It is my little shield between emotion and reaction, but it doesn’t exactly set me up on an energy high.. I find it makes me more ok with the fact that I am tired. But everyone is different – maybe it will help for you. It could be worth looking into more activating meditations like Kundalini exercises.
Lets start with the coffee. I am with you - if I have any after midday I start to feel jittery and scattered at night. I actually found I had the best energy when I gave it up (after dealing with the most awful month of withdrawal). I didn’t have the peaks and dips, just a steady stream of energy all day. But I truly love the taste, so no matter how long I give it up, I always find myself back on it. It could be worth trying to quit and seeing how your energy levels stand up. I make sure I only have 1-2 cups a morning these days, and if I go over that, I crash significantly in the afternoon. Green tea is always a delightfully civilized replacement that I find to be more mentally focusing. It still has caffeine, but way less.
Next I would say to look at your sleep schedule. Count back 8 hours from whenever you need to be awake for work. This should be your bed time. As much as it rules, try not to sleep in on weekends – it messes up your sleep schedule for the week. I have always had trouble falling asleep, but have found that a combination of magnesium, low lighting, cool temperature and reading to be perfect for getting me sleepy. And when it comes to sleep verses training, sleep always wins for me. I will not give up a few extra hours for that 5am workout.
Diet is definitely worth a look into. Refined sugar gives you a little boost, but is followed by an inevitable crash. Try to focus your diet on lots of vegetables and plant based fats. From there, ensure you’re getting 30 or so grams of protein with each meal, along with some high quality carbohydrate sources such as sweet potato, quinoa or legumes. Keeping your blood sugar relatively stable and off the rollercoaster of refined sugar will do wonders for your energy. I aim to eat every three hours after fasting for twelve hours (between dinner and breakfast) and find that keeps me mentally focused. Also look into your vitamin levels to make sure you aren’t deficient in anything – low vitamin D, iron etc. can all leave you tired. In this vein I recommend taking a multi vitamin each day with B groups included. I am not a huge fan of taking a million supplements, but I do feel that a good quality multi can keep all your bases covered.
Maybe when you’re tired try a micro nap. I have never been a big nap person, I prefer to just sleep at night, but some people swear by a 30 minute recharge. Certainly if I have had an early start on set, a midday nap can be exactly what I need to get me back on track energy wise. I have friends who will often nap before going out at night – maybe that’s worth a try!
Finally, maybe you should embrace the fact that you are more of a morning person. I fought against this for ages, and would stay up super late. I was subsequently always tired. The older I got, the more I realized that I was working against my natural rhythm. So I started to go to bed when I was tired (9-10ish) and found my energy levels improved hugely. Instead of fighting this, I just started to schedule things for the day or early evening instead. And when I started to honor my bodies natural sleep cycle, my energy improved and I was able to go out every now and again later on… Just not every night. This is the base line I hope to get back to with my own energy levels. But in the meantime, I am enjoying every breakfast/coffee/chill catch up with my friends. There is plenty to do with friends that doesn’t involve crazy late nights, especially on the weekends 😀
I hope this helps!