3 Ways to Motivate Yourself on Zero Sleep
Welcome to Motivation Mondays for Moms! Here, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned to keep my motivation going strong on very little sleep while my toddler streaks around the house with his garbage truck and the twins throw food on the walls. Let’s be real- this won’t be an every Monday thing (I’m a sucker for alliteration). But stay tuned for another motivational post on an occasional Monday, here and there. xo, P
One of the first lessons I learned being a mom: It’s remarkable how the body can adapt to lack of sleep.
Pre-motherhood, I was pretty strict about sleep [HA! hahahaha]. If I got less than 8 hours, I would lament over my “insufficient” sleep and let it completely overtake any chance at a positive and productive day.
Now, of course, a scenario like that is completely absurd. When the twins were newborns, one would literally take the odd hours to wake up while the other opted for the even hours. Even with them “mostly” sleeping through the night (meaning one trades the other for a full night of sleep so mom never gets a full night of sleep), I live in a world where I’m high-fiving my husband in the morning if I got a consecutive 4-hour stretch of sleep. And if I get a 5- or, dare I say it, 6-hour stretch?? My energy is the stuff caffeine-addicts can only dream of.
But on the days when sleep isn’t great (maybe I got a 2-hour stretch, if I’m lucky?), I’ve quickly learned that letting the rest of the day go to pieces isn’t helpful for my babies, for my toddler, for my husband, and most certainly, for me.
So, I’ve come up with a few rituals that I try to practice every day… but especially on the days where I’m operating on little sleep and zero motivation to pull myself out of the “Well, this day is off to a terrible start” negativity trap.
Early to Rise
I never was a morning person… or so I thought. And then I had kids and realized that the morning is truly the ONLY time when I’m guaranteed to have a few minutes to myself. Those minutes have magical powers- both for your productivity and overall happiness/outlook going into the day. So instead of getting back into bed after the 5am feeding, I’ll push myself to get up. Applying Mel Robbin’s “5-Second Rule” tactic helped immensely with this. [Whenever you feel yourself stall at doing something, just count: 5-4-3-2-1 and MOVE]. Just get yourself to brush your teeth and then go from there. And then do what you need most that morning, whether it be some exercise, reading a book, praying, meditating or just staring out the window while drinking a cup of coffee in pure, golden silence.
Set Aside 10 Minutes
Another revelation since having kids: Working out doesn’t have to be 30 to 60 minutes long every time. It can be 10 minutes while they’re eating breakfast or playing. The night before, I’ll pick out which online workout I want to do or write up my own list (ex: 4 rounds of 20 kettle bell swings, 20 dips, 20 air squats and 20 lunges) and get moving. Keep your workout clothes next to your bed (or heck, wear them to bed if it gets you motivated). I’m not ashamed to admit that I workout in my pajamas most mornings because I can’t spare much time in case my toddler decides to have an early morning.
Getting out of the house is a huge motivation surge. Finding a workout class or gym you genuinely LOVE is double motivation. Or just setting a weekly coffee/playdate with a mom friend to remember what it’s like to have adult conversations. But you know the one thing that will make it SO tempting to cancel every time? When you have to refresh the diaper bag and get the snacks and fill the water bottle and get the baby’s bottle and now the baby just had a blowout just as you’re walking out the door and… there are just so many THINGS and it’s EXHAUSTING, and wouldn’t it just be easier to stay at home? But… if you had that diaper bag, bottle, snacks, water bottle all prepped the night before, you can always avoid that tempting excuse and just get OUT. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself every time that you made the effort. 🙂
What tricks work for you when your motivation is lacking? Tell us in the comments!