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Do you ever feel tired? I feel tired a lot. I don’t know if it’s lack of sleep, or if it’s more of a mental tired. It seems the more time we have on our hands from convenience, the more tired we become. I was thinking about this this week, and I thought about the different things that I do to overcome feeling tired. I really do think, at least for me, that it is more a mental tired than a physical tired, because I get pretty close to 8 hours of sleep every night, and I exercise everyday, which I notice gives me more energy during the day.

I notice this tiredness also in teenagers. If they have time, excessive amounts of time in particular, they are more tired, more sluggish, less likely to want to get up and move, less helpful, and more grumpy. That’s actually kind of how I feel when I get tired as well, grumpy, less motivated to move, etc. I have fought a number of battles with my kids getting them out the door to an event or activity, because I know that while they are there, they will love it, or it will be good for them to experience.

So, I thought I would share a few things that I do to get past the tired, and move on with my day. The first, and best thing for me to do is to move. I remember when my kids were in Elementary school and they would have a certain number of minutes they had to read. When they were little it was me reading to them, as they got older we would share the reading, and then as they got even older, they would read to me. I did great reading to them, because my mind was busy. I did OK when we read together, but when I had to listen to them read, it all went downhill. They would wake me up and ask me what a word was, or wake me up to tell me we were done. But, being up and moving activates my mind and my body, and if I can’t be moving, at least having problems to work through in my mind helps me not feel so tired.

Apples. I get tired in the afternoon, around 3 or 4 o’clock. And I know that’s when a lot of people snack on sweets, or high carb snacks. A lot of people grab the energy drink, or the high caffeine drink to give a boost as well. But apples are a great pick me up. Apples are a great snack because they are very portable. They have carbs, that will give you a boost of energy, but it’s not all simple carbs, there’s vitamins and minerals that release slowly after the first sugar punch, that can keep you feeling more awake, longer than the caffeine or sugar rush you get from packaged snacks and sugary drinks.

Fresh air. When I get sleepy, there’s nothing better than getting outside. Whether it’s for a hike, a short walk, or just to get up, walk outside, breathe in the clean air, and then come back inside. Part of it is the moving, but there is no substitute for fresh air. I find that often, when I am inside and working on things, not only do I not get outside, but I don’t even look out the windows. So this little break, whether it’s just to walk from our house to our shop to talk to my husband, or to walk further and get in a longer stretch of fresh air and nature, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next task at hand. I feel energized and have a more positive outlook on life. It also gives me peace and calm, so when I am really frustrated with a project, or perhaps my kids, the fresh air and beautiful nature help me to calm down, reevaluate my frustrations, and rethink my approach. I can then go back into the situation in a much better mental place than when I am tired and frustrated.

The last thing I would add, and this isn’t something that for me has been an issue, but for my kids, particularly teens this is where some of the struggle comes in. Showing up. I know that every teenager is different, and each one of mine is unique, but showing up is hard sometimes. Even my teens that love people, that love gatherings and activities, have often found it easier to sit on the couch doing nothing, rather than get up and show up. And the excuse? I’m tired. Now, there is tired, that a lot of teens experience, because they burn both ends of the candle too much. But the things they choose to be “tired” for usually don’t involve as many friends, and have something to do with working more than they would like at that moment in time. So, if I know they are just being slugs, I rarely let them get out of an activity with the excuse, “I’m tired!” I heard someone once say something to the effect of, “never make the decision to do something from the comfort of your bed. Get up, show up, and then decide.”

So, I would like to encourage you to do as the quote at the beginning says, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” Tired is just an excuse to not live your life for the most part. Don’t let it me an excuse any more. What are some things you do to get past feeling tired?

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