How to Make It Through The Day After A Sleepless Night

Mums sleepless night

After suffering a sleepless night myself recently, I was compelled to add a lesson on how to cope with exhaustion to my new Working Mum’s Toolkit course: after all, so many parents are coping with broken sleep every single day, whether it be due to children waking in the night or not being able to switch off after hectic days. 

Getting through the day after a sleepless night takes some consideration: you’ll immediately be tempted to rely on quick fixes – an extra coffee, or three; a snatched chocolate bar; grazing on endless carbs – but these can be the things that make you feel worse in the long run.

So, what should you do when you’re feeling exhausted and fatigued? Here are just a few pointers to help you through the day:

Food

Today is going to be tricky on the food front, it’s likely you are going to be craving sugar and carbs. When you have sugar or white carbs, your insulin is going to spike, and then you will feel a massive drop that will make you feel more tired. Instead, eat proteins and fats to keep your energy up: this could be scrambled eggs, avocado, a big handful of nuts (brazil, almonds and walnuts are ideal), greek yoghurt with nuts, blueberries and a little honey. 

Caffeine

You may be reaching for the caffeine today – but avoid energy drinks altogether as they don’t have the best things in them. Instead have one or two cups of black coffee or tea – if you typically add sugar, try to bring that down. Have all of your coffee before midday, as it can stay in your system for 12 hours – if you are waking in the night, your body could still be breaking down that caffeine. Stop any caffeinated tea after 3pm at the very latest. 

Meditation

I regularly meditate as it tops up your sleep bank. Right now, as a parent, you might be sleep deprived – many of you may have accumulated sleep deprivation. Try doing a 10-20 min meditation every day – you may think you don’t have time, but trust me, it will make you more productive and will help you take on the day with ease. If you need guidance, try the Insight Timer app.

Workload

With work today, things may feel difficult or draining so try to shift your day around in terms of what you had planned to do. 

  • Focus on easier tasks if you can. Do some admin, do your expenses, sit in a meeting and don’t feel you have to hold the fort on everything. Make things simpler for yourself.
  • You may find that you can’t be your most articulate in meetings, but don’t think that the world is going to come crashing down – you may be surprised how well you can pull yourself together.
  • Try to focus on one thing: if you have lots of tabs open in your computer, or Slack and Teams, close most of those windows, so you can focus on one tab at a time and work through things one by one.

Evening

Once you get home, and you’ve collected your children from school/childcare, try to switch off from work. Please don’t be a martyr and say you have to work later: is anything that urgent that it must be done tonight? If you log back on to work, or anything that will overload your sensory system, then it will be even harder for you to switch off – your adrenal system will keep firing up and you will feel more awake again.

Wind down

Start to wind down early. Instead of watching TV or scrolling instagram, do some light stretching, perhaps go for a short walk (10-15 mins) to help you wind down slowly, take a bath, or read a book. Put yourself to bed early and give yourself permission to rest. Don’t get a second wind of energy – focus on getting deep nourishing rest.

I hope these might help. Exhaustion is so challenging, and often very hard to vocalise at work, when we feel colleagues may not understand or we fear showing weakness. Please be kind to yourself and look for ways to make life simpler where you can.

The Working Mums Toolkit: Balance Work, Motherhood and You

Being a working parent is relentless, exhausting and overwhelming: there’s so much about being a working mother that no-one tells you… or a guidebook on how to do it. That’s why I created my new course – The Working Mums Toolkit – to help working parents navigate the juggle of balancing careers and home life (plus much more, click here to find out more).

The course is currently available at a launch price of £37 – the price will double post launch. Sign up now and learn how to be less exhausted, have less Mum guilt, more boundaries and confidence. Over 30 tools and resources with mini audio, videos & checklists.

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It can be hard making the change from full time to part time, compressed or staggered hours (or other types of flexible working). So here’s some quick tips on protecting your non-work day or hours. It’s important we set our boundaries and set expectations for both you and your employer, as well as your colleagues who may also work flexibly. If you start to check and reply to Teams messages on your day off, then should your colleague too? 
Tag a friend or colleague below who may find this helpful. Or add what works for you below. Olivia x 
#flexibleworking #flexappeal #flexiblework #returntowork #returntoworkmums #careertips #careercoach #worktips

It can be hard making the change from full time to part time, compressed or staggered hours (or other types of flexible working). So here’s some quick tips on protecting your non-work day or hours. It’s important we set our boundaries and set expectations for both you and your employer, as well as your colleagues who may also work flexibly. If you start to check and reply to Teams messages on your day off, then should your colleague too?

Tag a friend or colleague below who may find this helpful. Or add what works for you below. Olivia x

#flexibleworking #flexappeal #flexiblework #returntowork #returntoworkmums #careertips #careercoach #worktips

The words I needed to hear this week, three weeks away from maternity leave…I hope these bring you some comfort too x

The words I needed to hear this week, three weeks away from maternity leave…I hope these bring you some comfort too x

Creating a new dialogue with your Imposter can be so helpful. You can say things like:
- Thanks for that, I used to lack confidence in myself, but now I believe in myself…
- I know I can do this and I’m learning and growing everyday…
- I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m going to make sure I balance my time, energy and not work myself into the ground to prove my worth…
There are so many self-affirming and confidence-boosting things you can say to yourself to create a new narrative in your mind. 
What do you say that’s helpful in these moments where your Imposter shows up? I’d love to hear. Olivia x

Creating a new dialogue with your Imposter can be so helpful. You can say things like:
– Thanks for that, I used to lack confidence in myself, but now I believe in myself…
– I know I can do this and I’m learning and growing everyday…
– I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m going to make sure I balance my time, energy and not work myself into the ground to prove my worth…

There are so many self-affirming and confidence-boosting things you can say to yourself to create a new narrative in your mind.

What do you say that’s helpful in these moments where your Imposter shows up? I’d love to hear. Olivia x

Something a bit different today…
Notes from my journal that I’ve just shared with my subscribers. Here’s an excerpt for you too. PS I’ve got one spot left in Feb for either one client or a corporate speaking slot. Please get in touch Asap if you’d like to take it!
—
Living with Imposter Syndrome is like being in a boxing ring with an opponent who is far stronger. Where they attack the weaker player until they are broken, bleeding on the floor and confidence is shattered.
They call you names and say things like: 'If only you were like her, you'd be so much better at your job...'.
I allow myself to be beaten up by my Imposter, almost continuously. I forget to treat myself with kindness, or compassion. It's easier to bruise and batter myself with criticism.
Some days the Imposter will be magnified like when I'm the most 'junior' person in the room. My voice constricts, I feel anxious, wondering if what I say will make sense or be clear. Other days I'm filled with confidence. I'm always on tenterhooks - wondering if my Imposter will show up that day…

Something a bit different today…

Notes from my journal that I’ve just shared with my subscribers. Here’s an excerpt for you too. PS I’ve got one spot left in Feb for either one client or a corporate speaking slot. Please get in touch Asap if you’d like to take it!


Living with Imposter Syndrome is like being in a boxing ring with an opponent who is far stronger. Where they attack the weaker player until they are broken, bleeding on the floor and confidence is shattered.

They call you names and say things like: `If only you were like her, you`d be so much better at your job…`.

I allow myself to be beaten up by my Imposter, almost continuously. I forget to treat myself with kindness, or compassion. It`s easier to bruise and batter myself with criticism.

Some days the Imposter will be magnified like when I`m the most `junior` person in the room. My voice constricts, I feel anxious, wondering if what I say will make sense or be clear. Other days I`m filled with confidence. I`m always on tenterhooks – wondering if my Imposter will show up that day…

There are many things you can do as a Manager supporting your team member/s to return to work after maternity leave. Here are some ones to get you started and reflect the conversations I’ve had with clients on they wish they had been supported, or what they didn’t know like how to organise KiT days…
Right now I’m working with a company to coach all of their returners and at the end of next year, I will have supported 10 of their women to return. If you’re a HR Manager or you’d like to find out more then send me a DM.
I’d also love to hear, if you’re a Manager, what things do you do to support women back into work, or what do you wish your Manager had done…? Let’s chat in the comments ⬇️
Olivia x

There are many things you can do as a Manager supporting your team member/s to return to work after maternity leave. Here are some ones to get you started and reflect the conversations I’ve had with clients on they wish they had been supported, or what they didn’t know like how to organise KiT days…

Right now I’m working with a company to coach all of their returners and at the end of next year, I will have supported 10 of their women to return. If you’re a HR Manager or you’d like to find out more then send me a DM.

I’d also love to hear, if you’re a Manager, what things do you do to support women back into work, or what do you wish your Manager had done…? Let’s chat in the comments ⬇️

Olivia x