Fruit Water + Sanity

Life The Working World

I want to say I’m getting used to work, but I think I’m getting more exhausted with each passing day. Thank goodness for labor day!

I’m trying to keep myself sane this year and I’ve adopted a few new practices to help. Back when I started my school psych internship, I actually made this list of ways to improve the work day. It’s an ever-evolving list, but the little things really do help:

  • Last year, I got in the habit of hiding out in my office in an attempt to knock out a lot of work, but it seemed to make me feel more tired and weird at the end of the day when I just sat there (sometimes I wonder about those florescent lights). I’ve found that I’m even more productive when I take little breaks though, so I’ve been trying to take walks around the school building, even if it means accomplishing less in the moment.

  • I’m really bad about drinking water (and this was actually my doctor’s idea), so I got this groovy pitcher on sale at Target to make fruit water. I just cut up a lime (also tried strawberries) and put them in the canister and it makes the water sooooo much more enjoyable without having to buy so much seltzer (although I def. still bought a case for work!)

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  • Workouts. I’ll always struggle to have good workouts during the work week. In the morning there’s not enough time to do much without making a significant dent on sleep or being grossed out by a public shower and I’m exhausted most evenings. I used to be so focused on the quantity of work-outs (i.e. don’t skip too many days), but I’m trying to focus more on the quality of gym time. Last year, I got up every morning and went to the gym, but most of the time it was just a wimpy-zombie 30 minutes on the elliptical and really didn’t do much for my fitness. So, if I only get in a few great workouts during the week, I’d say that’s much better than 5 terrible ones!

  • I’ve given myself permission to wear a ‘wet pony’ most days. Drying my long hair is just too much work and time every morning, and I’m not one who can go without a shampoo. It def doesn’t look as nice, but I can’t cut my hair until after the wedding, so it will have to do!

  • Coffee: I’m back on it after a 2 year break, 40% because I love the taste, and 60% because I don’t think I’ll get through this year without caffeine every morning. I’ve been making a batch using the french press at night and drinking it iced in the morning to save time.

  • Lastly, I’ve become more conscious about my couch time. I’ve finally figured myself out and know that once I sit down after coming home from work, it’s all over. So I try to pack my lunch and do a few things before sitting down. Not only do I then enjoy the relaxation time more, but I don’t get too tired to work on my to-do list.  

Ok, that was a lot longer than I had planned! What do you guys do to stay sane?

  • Anna@ActiveFingers
    August 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Coffee helps! I teach K-12 and the one of the ways I stay sane is trying to keep organized and have things laid out before I go to bed. Water is easy for me to remember but workouts are another story 🙂 Looks like you have a good list. Good luck staying sane!

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks! You too!

  • Brit
    August 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Spin Pins! They’re your new best friend! http://www.target.com/p/goody-simple-styles-spin-pin-blonde/-/A-13163382
    Honestly, they take just as little effort as a wet ponytail, but look so put together. They were my secret last winter when I tried to run before work and didn’t want to blow dry my hair afterwards 🙂

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      So cool! Thanks!

  • Pamela
    August 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I say give it time and patience. You will acclimate to the hours, develop a routine, notice the new normal. Don’t worry if it hasn’t happened yet. It happens when you aren’t looking.

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      So true! I def need a couple of weeks…

      • Pamela
        August 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        Oh and also dry shampoo is life-changing. Provided it’s great. Rene Futerer Paris is the best I’ve tried. Great for post-workout hair.

  • Molly
    August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I have long, thick hair and I also dread having to dry it in the morning. I find that I much prefer to shower and wash my hair at night (I exercise at night anyway, so the shower is a must) and let it dry naturally over night. Then, in the mornings I just have to wash my face and a quick blow dry, or 10min flat iron job works just fine (and when I go for the pony look I only straighten the hair that’s sticking out of the elastic anyway).

  • Sara
    August 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I would say sticking to my work out plan. I get into this groove where I might eat too much chocolate one night which causes me to not sleep as well, so I wake up tired. Then by the end of the day I’m too tired to work out and just want to go home and veg… which just starts the cycle all over again! But once I finally make myself get in a workout, it seems to help! I feel more energized, get better sleep, and usually make better food choices.

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Haha. I only recently realized that chocolate keeps me up at night:) It is def a cycle!

  • Sarah
    August 31, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I graduated a year ago from my master’s program and had two years of full time work before that, but my job now, which I’ve had for about a year, is much more independent. As a result, I’ve had to think about a lot of these things since I’m on my own most of the time.

    Taking a walk or breaks during the day and getting outside if possible definitely helps! Coffee or tea and a few minutes reading emails in the morning has become like a morning work ritual and I kind of look forward to it. I bought myself a really cute mug, which makes it nice.

    I also second the importance of getting up early and prepping the night before. I have a hard time with this because, like you said, it’s SO easy to sit on the couch and then do nothing the rest of the night. But, I know I feel a lot better if I workout, cook dinner, get some things done, etc. One of the best things that I do is make a big batch of oatmeal with blueberries in it on Sunday and portion it out for the week. I love a pre-made healthy, hot breakfast and it saves a ton of time.

    One good suggestion that I read recently is to have some sort of outside connection each day like calling a friend, having dinner out, etc. so it’s not just the same routine, same people everyday.

    Good luck! Good to know that we have similar challenges/outlooks!

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Love the outside connection idea. I’ve been trying to do that when Matt’s not home at night. Thanks:)

  • Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds
    August 31, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I try to create an environment that makes me feel happy. Sometimes it’s lighting a few candles… others it’s the smell of freshly brewed coffee. I’m extremely sensory so these little things help give me a boost 🙂 Give yourself something to look forward to… like a delicious lunch… an afternoon walk… or happy hour. And if all else fails… getting a new perspective always helps 🙂 Enjoy the experience for what it is… embrace what’s the come… and know that 1: you are blessed and 2: you are in control. If at any point you feel you are not on the right track… you alone have the power to switch tracks. Also… everything will be OK.

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Your positivity is def. channeling in my direction!!!!

  • Elzabeth
    August 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Just wondering…if you work school hours (I do) why not exercise after work? I pack a bag and I do not let myself go home until I go to the gym first. Is there a real need for you to be home immediately after work? That might also help with your “wet pony” situation. You could shower after the gym and let you hair dry overnight.

    Just a suggestion.

    • Laura
      August 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Yup – I work school hours and exercise after work. I can just walk to my gym, so I usually come home first and change rather than drive the two blocks. I could try blow-drying my hair and then sleeping, but if it sleep on it wet, it’s really gross. Plus, I always need a shower first thing to get me going and keep me from feeling gross. My hair is fine and gets greasy after about 12 hours without a shampoo:(

      Thanks:)

  • Claritza
    August 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I agree with a previous post about energy-wasting cold air conditioning temperatures in schools (but be grateful that your school has A/C). Fluorescent lights are harsh and can give an “interrogation” feel in a small office. If you are allowed to bring in a table lamp, it can make the lighting softer, and more inviting and calming when you meet with students and parents in your office.

  • Miranda
    September 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Dry shampoo!! Cannot get enough of this stuff. I don’t know if you can get this brand in the States but Batiste does an amazing one and it’s really cheap, too. I found when I started using it, I washed my hair less (obviously) and it just produced less oil over time – I used to be an everyday hair washer too and now I would wash every three days on average. Plus, it gives your hair amazing volume – my hair is fine as well. Try some 🙂
    Your fruit water looks delicious – I might have to try that!