6 TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR SECOND WIND
"Second wind" is a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion.
Yep. I need some of that.
Some days...Most days. When I get the crew home from school after a full day, the thought of helping with homework and making dinner (and forcing them to eat) and all the other things that need to happen before (I slam dunk them into) bed, make me envision that old Calgon commercial (take me a way). I completely feel like I’ve already run 20 miles and can’t even fathom where I’ll find the energy to drag myself to the finish line (at top performance with less exertion).
And since I don't (currently) have a chef/housekeeper/nanny/tutor/sister-wife who comes home early with flowers and dinner to swoop in or tag team during what is generally the start of the witching hour, I’ve come up with some ways to give myself (and the littles) a bit of a second wind (that doesnt include closing my bedroom door and watching a recap of The Bachelor until my husband comes home). The goal is to carve out some “self care/me time”as a means to re-energize before tackling the last part of the day.
I find it helpful to have a consistent routine. The first 20 minutes after we walk in the door are for unwinding. So after we haul all of the days junk and belongings from the car into the house and put them away, I set a timer and we spend 20 minutes catching our breath via one of these refreshers:
Dance Break. Any of your favorite music will do. Spotify is my go to as it lets you search music by genre. Do you need a “Confidence Boost” today? Ready for some “This Is Beyonce”… YASSSS! And we’ve been adding songs to our Hilliard Family Jams playlist that really get us moving. It has some fast “dancey” songs and some oldies but goodies too (think Stevie Wonder and the Temptations). Great music just puts you in a good mood. Dancing it out (as often as you can) is always good medicine in my book.
Tea Time. Light a scented candle or diffuse some essential oils and heat up the kettle for some tea (and cookies). The act itself makes everyone feel like they are getting a special treat and we can all appreciate some time to indulge and congratulate ourselves on the day.
Explore the Outdoors. Sunshine and fresh air are good for the soul. There are days when the kids race each other to the mail box and then get on their scooters or just want to hang out on the swings in the back yard. Take a walk around the 'hood. Or use this time to plop down in the yard or on the porch and grab that stack of magazines that you haven’t cracked open. Sit on your stoop and do some fun Pinterest browsing, or dig into tending the container garden (if its not dead) within earshot of the kids.
Quiet Time. On these days we all get to go to our respective corners and do whatever the heck we want. Sometimes we read. Sometimes they watch a little TV or play video games while I grab a shower. Sometimes you just need to ’Veg Out” after a tough day.
Power Through. And then there are the days that you just have to power through. We've all had those long days of work, after school activities, last minute errands where get home very late and just have to keep it moving.
I haven’t tried this, but what about a power nap? Research says 20 minutes is all you need. I’m just afraid I’ll sleep through the timer and wake up after smelling smoke because the little people tried to make themselves dinner.
What I’ve decided is off limits.
I’ve tried it but it just doesn’t work for me. I can tell myself that I”m only going to spend a few minutes on Facebook or Instagram and then I (spiral down that rabbit hole) look up and its been 20-30 mins and I don’t feel energized but the exact opposite. Drained both mentally and physically. So for my safety and sanity, I just can't.
Welp -- That's what I've got. Mixing things up during the week helps keep things fresh. And I'm always open to new ways to catch my breath and conquer that last stretch of the day.