On a recent night, I found myself up at 3:45 am, sitting in my son’s room, desperately trying to get him back to sleep.
On nights like that, when I’m up in the middle of the night, I also find myself anxiously looking at the clock and thinking about everything I need to get done in the office the next day.
As a working mother, getting everything done is hard enough as it is.
Working after being up in the middle of the night, sometimes most of the night, with your little one is harder still.
Here are 5 ways that Motherly mamas stay focused at the office after a sleepless night with baby.
Get your priorities straight.
You’ll likely be moving a bit slower and having a harder time staying focused, so take a few extra minutes at the start of the day to prioritize what’s on your plate for the day.
Try picking the top five things you need to get done, and focus on those before anything else.
If you accomplish them—AMAZING. If you don’t, hopefully you’ll have made a dent on top-priority items.
And hey, you showed up.
On the roughest days, that totally counts.
This is easier if you work from home or have a flexible work schedule, but if you can, take a nap.
It doesn’t have to be a long nap (we know you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare.)
Just a 20-minute power nap can increase alertness, stamina and help your long-term memory.
You can also try a magical experience called a caffeine nap (you drink a cup of coffee before a short rest) so that you’re waking up at the same time the caffeine hits your system.
Allow yourself to take breaks.
Take breaks even if you are overwhelmed by everything on your to do list.
Breaks will help you refocus, especially when you’re exhausted.
One of our Motherly mamas keeps a beverage nearby for micro-breaks and rewards every time she finishes a task.
Every 10 to15 minutes, she stretches, hydrates and resets.
At least once an hour she gets up to walk around, and every four or five hours, she goes outside for what she calls a “real break.”
This is all about survival.
Go outside and take a walk.
The exercise helps to get the blood pumping, and sunlight helps regulate our bodies’ natural rhythms. Neurologist and sleep specialist Clete Kushida tells Everyday Health, “Getting bright light in the morning syncs the [brain’s circadian pacemaker] and enables the brain to remain more awake.”
Nourish your body.
We know it’s tempting to eat quick snacks high in sugar when you’re super exhausted, but your best bet is to fuel yourself with high quality foods.
You need all the extra help you can get today to look alive, and eating poorly will only make it harder on you.
Try healthy snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, chia pudding, nuts, a banana or whole-grain toast.
Oh—and tonight, it’s dad’s turn to get up.