Tweaking my tired levels, now with 800% more science!
Back in Japan almost a decade ago (!), I created mood cards to help my students get comfortable expressing how they were feeling beyond “I’m fine.”
We used these cards in bunches of different games. I haven’t used them much since, mostly because I haven’t seen their application in a corporate I.T. environment. Still, there’s one card on my mind a lot these days:
With fewer than ten weeks between now and meeting my second little one, I am tired ALL THE TIME. All emphasis required!
I’m only a little tired on the best of days. Those are one sleepy face days. On the worst of days, I make 483 trips to the break room because I can’t fall asleep while on my feet. Those worst of days rank five sleepy faces on a tired scale of five sleepy faces.
Most days, I rank three sleepy faces on this scale. I’ve tried various tactics to see if I can adjust where I fall on the tired scale any given day . . . or moment. Here’s a breakdown of results to date:
Drinking a cup of tea
There it is! A small but pleasing surge of energy. Yes, this will do, up to a couple of cups a day.
Eating a candy bar
After five minutes:
Oh, yeah. This is what I’m talking about!
After twenty minutes:
Oh, man. Oh, man. What was I thinking. Was I thinking? Would anyone notice if I took a nap under my desk?
Actually taking a nap
Yeah, I haven’t actually tried this one. I spend three hours a day in my car, so forget about a car nap. And under my desk? Even less comfortable! Also, I can only figure the people who recommend this telecommute 100% of the time and don’t have to worry about being awakened to the question, “I’m sorry, am I interrupting your beauty sleep?”
Taking a walk
Like I said before, I can’t fall asleep on my feet. Unfortunately, the deepest impacts of this one last only
hoursminutes post walk.
Propping up my feet
Zero discernible impact. Maybe the folks who recommended this didn’t mean I should be working with my keyboard on my knees at the time?
Trying really hard to not be tired
It turns out this takes a lot of energy. I don’t recommend this strategy to anyone who is tired, pregnant or not! (Sadly, it took a couple of weeks of
trialerror and error to reach this conclusion.)
Accepting that I’m more tired than usual and slowing the heck down
Understanding I’ll be wiped out all day by huge bursts of output, I slow down to a steadier, more sustainable pace. It can feel a little boring, but it also feels a lot less exhausting. I highly recommend this approach to expectant mothers and other tired people. I walk a little slower. I type a little slower. I think a little longer before weighing in. It turns out those little investments throughout the day do a lot to keep the tired beast at bay.
This can be a little hard to embrace, but with a little practice, it’s clear this is much more pleasant than 11 a.m. swallow-your-soul levels of exhaustion. This one’s a winner!
It’ll probably be a little while till I’m back to full throttle.
And when I say “a little while,” what I mean is, “until my still unborn littlest one is sleeping through the night.” (Just a month or two, right?)
But that’s OK. It doesn’t feel quite as bad now that I’ve given up fighting it!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m past due for a cup of tea.
What helps you keep your tired in check?
And am I interrupting your beauty sleep?