Wakey-wakey Sleepy Head

Dark and Gloomy at 07:00
The holidays are well and truly over. It’s only the 13th January and already I feel like I’ve been working full on for months. Early mornings, especially during these dark winter months, are challenging. Even my solar powered yellow flower refuses to smile at me in the morning so my husband bought me some pink flowers for a bit of post-festive cheer. Roll on spring sunshine!

Bright and Cheery
I have been thinking hard on how to boost my energy levels. Coffee wakes me up after about the third cup but it isn’t the healthiest option (even if it is the rather dashing George Clooney machine). I’m not grumbling (much) because my productivity has been pleasing up until today when I simply had no energy to concentrate, even though I battled through for a couple of hours. If you are willing to share any tips on how to tackle lethargy, please do share.

Nevertheless, I have edited a good portion of my novel over the past three weeks and written two new short stories – one for a competition and one for a London literary magazine - so things are progressing in the right direction. I have also begun to organise a compilation of the best shorts I’ve written to date in order to create my first collection. 

How do you boost your energy levels? What do you do to add a bit of sunshine into your day when it’s so glum outside of the window?  How is your January going?


Comments

  1. If I find I don't have the energy to write, I try doing something else for a while and coming back to it. That quite often works.

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    1. Thanks Patsy. I do try to do that. Have a great week.

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  2. I would be energized by that snow.
    I don't do coffee, so I drink energy drinks. I also work out five times a week, and even if I'm dragging, I feel better and more alert afterwards.
    Probably the biggest is to get more sleep. I haven't mastered that yet though.

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    1. It looked pretty for about two hours, then it was gone again. Weird weather going on over here. My hubby and I do walk each day but I think maybe a bit more sport on my side might help. Thanks Alex.

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  3. I think cold winter days affect many people like that, Nicola - though not so much me as I quite like it, but husband thinks everything is more difficult just now! You sound very productive though, so all power to your pen.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I don't usually get winter tiredness. Thankfully at least I am being productive for the most part. Have a lovely week Rosemary.

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  4. Aw! What a sweet husband.

    The only thing that works for me is exercise. Getting up and stretching, keeping a regular routine of a workout, getting out and pushing myself every now and then. Sunshine helps too. (Thus the reason I live in Florida. ;)

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    1. Sunshine helps a lot. Thank you for popping by to visit Crystal. Have a great week.

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  5. When I went back to the day job, I felt overwhelmed, but now I'm in the swing of things. As for energy, I drink caffeine and protein shakes. It's been cloudy lately, but I have bright flowers outside.

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    1. I do love bright flowers. REally pleased things are settling down now Medeia. Thanks for popping by.

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  6. If I can I go for a walk because that spruces me up. i always put music on and organize something or create cards but sometimes i realize my body needs more rest so I go back to sleep. A 1/2 maybe all I need. I am hoping to make a scrapbook during these hibernating months. It seems like you have done things already though

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    1. Music is a good energy booster - if the right genre is selected :) - even though when I'm writing, I do need quiet. I enjoy walking (my husband and I go each later afternoon)so I could do a quick walk round the block if I feel the tiredness creeping up. Thanks for popping by Birgit.

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  7. Hi. That sounds like a lot of productivity to me. Maybe it isn't lethargy. Maybe you just need to rest in between creative projects. But if it is lethargy, I found when I quit eating sugar and white flour, my energy levels increased.

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    1. I could try that Karen, thank you. I do tend to nibble on sweet things. Replacing that for a carrot or something veggie is doable for me. I'll let you know. Have a lovely week.

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  8. Nicola, I know what you mean about feeling lethargic at this time of year! Perhaps it's that SAD thing - you know, lack of sunlight but I also feel really tired, even if I have a good 8 hours of sleep. I find it helpful to try to get work done in the morning, when (after walking the dog and a cup of strong coffee!) I'm more awake than at 3pm, say, when I could just put my head on the desk and go to sleep! If I start the day well, with Morning Pages and then straight into writing work, without checking emails or getting embroiled in blogs or social media, then I usually have a fairly successful day - or morning, at least!

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    1. I do the very same thing (except walking the dog as we don't have one :)) I do find that I get a lot of writing/editing done whilst in my morning stuper. That's probably why my productivity hasn't suffered much. By 3 o'clock, I am usually spent and then concentrate on the blog and emails etc. Thank you so much for spending the time to share your own experience. I am so relieved it is not just me. Have a lovely weekend.

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  9. It gets pretty gloomy over here and the lack of sun can really pull my mood down. Luckily my two kids keep me busy enough to not let it affect me too much. Music and I'd say a change of rhythm can help. If you can, go to a museum, take a brisk walk outside or invite friends for tea, that usually cheers me up. :)

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    1. Thank you for the tips, Elise. I think it's time I organise an afternoon tea party :) Have a lovely weekend and thanks for popping by to comment.

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  10. I felt exhausted the other afternoon so went to bed for an hour's siesta. Take a nap if you need one. And don't feel guilty about it.

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    1. I think I need to work on the 'guilt' thing, Lynne. I seem to swim in that quite often which does not help the mood, one iota. But I'm remaining confident that this year I will reap the benefits of my hard work. Thank you for commenting.

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  11. I feel your pain:) Our youngest baby keeps waking us up in the night, so getting inspiration to go to work, let alone write can be trying. I just keep telling myself that sunny days are ahead:)

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    1. Oh, those sleepless nights... thank goodness I was a young mother and had lots of energy back in the day :) It's hard to believe sunny days are ahead when I look at the blizzard outside the window :) Thank you so much for your comment Mark. Happy writing!

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  12. Oh, I do like that dashing machine and those pretty flowers! :) I was really sick for the first week of the month, and I'm just starting to get back into the groove. Getting inspired by a TV show or book helps boost my creative energy. Have a great weekend!

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    1. There is so much sickness about at the moment. I'm glad you are feeling better Christine. I have been reading a lot of different genre of late which does help to keep the creativity flowing. Thanks for popping over Christine.

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  13. January is a yucky month for me as far as energy levels go. You seem to have been really productive though. Good luck with the short stories.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy! Have a great week.

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  14. I hate these dark mornings and evenings, too, Nicola. Roll on Spring! You do seem to have achieved a lot, though. I''m interested to find out how you organise your shorts for your collection as that's something I plan to do after submitting my 'ms' to the NWS. Good luck with it!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I'll let you know about the short stories. For now, I have just collated my favourites to date (a variety of genre) ready for editing and re-writes. I'll organise them after that. Have a lovely week.

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  15. When I slump over the keyboard, I go for a long hike--usually up a steep trail. That shakes me awake and I come back with tons of energy. That's my best tip.

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    1. Thanks for that, Lee. Have a great week!

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  16. When I lived in Vancouver BC, I'd pretend it was sunny. It had to be sunny somewhere. Boy, it rained a lot on the coast. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Imagination can work wonders :) Best of luck with 'White Light' Anna. Many congratulations!

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  17. Nicola, I love a good old-fashioned stretch and a yawn! Failing that, a mug of lemon and ginger tea usually does the trick. Chin up!

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    1. The zing of lemon and ginger tea sounds appealing. Will give that a try. Thanks Julia. Have a lovely week.

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  18. Cold weather tends to make us more sleepy. Taking a walk helps to energize me.

    Good for you on those edits and short stoties!

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    1. Thanks Chrys! Lovely to 'see' you. Hope the new newsletters are a hit! :) Have a great week.

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  19. Hi Nicola,
    Going for a walk, even when I really don't want to go...apart form the exercise, it's good thinking time too. Try it. Just ten minutes, followed by a warming beverage upon your return will definitely pep you up.
    I also eat a lot more fruit in the winter months. Blueberries, raspberries, etc added into porridge or yogurt seem to energise.
    Good luck, and be sure to let us know how you get on...

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    1. Thank you, Maria. I've just got back from a quick (round the block) walk, despite the freezing weather. Now for that hot drink :) Really appreciate you popping over to share some 'wiseness'. Have a lovely week and I'll keep you updated on other 'tackle the tiredness' things I try out.

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    2. I find going for a walk is always positive for the brain. It's like medicine... And it reaches parts we didn't know were hurting..
      Yes good advice
      See my blog:
      gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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    3. I went for a walk today and forgot all about ... well everything. It was so windy all I could think about was staying upright :) Blew away all the stress :)

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  20. I don't do this, but some people have found that short bursts of time in a tanning bed in the winter can help. Obviously not enough to hurt your skin--you could even wear sunscreen. It's just to get that natural sunlight. I have a sunroom, so I try to sit out there when it's sunny outside, but the sunroom never quite gets warm enough.

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    1. Natural sunlight is probably best. I must put a sunroom on my wish list - with heating :) Thank you for popping by to comment Stephanie. It's always lovely 'to see' you.

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