Let me set the all too familiar scene: Your alarm goes off. You’ve had two consecutive hours of sleep since your baby was last rooting around to nurse, your teething toddler’s molar erupted, you finally finished your presentation for work or your sick child vomited all over their bedding. (Feel free to insert your personalized experience from last night here.)
If you are compelled (and/or expected) to appear as a fully functioning person despite your reality (sleep deprivation) then take heart, you are not alone and I’m going to share the anti-mombie strategies that ACTUALLY WORK for me.
Invest in Quality Face Towels – Just. For. You.
I bought myself a supply of decent quality, white face cloths. A cool towel over my face is an invigorating start to the day (especially if I’m skipping a morning shower because my hair still has some style to it). I don’t wear makeup often, but I’ve started using a white face cloth with my regular cleanser whenever I am removing makeup. My skin looks amazing because I only stop washing when I can see that I’ve removed all the product from my face and the cloth also acts as a mild exfoliator.
Utilize Cream Cleansers
These are my favorite cream cleansers. Each bottle lasts a long time. They have light, natural fragrances and leave my skin soft throughout the day. Washing with them is a great afternoon pick-me-up, especially after a workout (run around the park).
Prepare Your Clothes the Night Before
When I know I need to rise and shine early the following day, I choose a presentable outfit the night before and sling everything over hangers in my closet. (I’ve spared you the bra and underwear visual.) The idea is easy access to everything and minimal morning-thinking required. This works well with gym clothes too. Hang them over your door so they are the first thing you’ll see. Great morning motivation.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Dark circles under my eyes. I.hate.them. A makeup artist friend of mine taught me to use a liquid or cream concealer and apply lightly, all the way from the inner corner to the outer corner. Then, and this is most important, create ‘rays’ toward the cheekbone. This helps me to remember to blend evenly, allowing me to achieve a more natural look. I always feel better when my eyes look brighter.
Essential Oils Work Wonders
There are plenty of uses for essential oils. I keep it practical. I dab a few drops of either lavender or citrus (depending on whether I am aiming for calm or a boost of energy) onto my wrists. I have also added small amounts to the floor of my hot shower and into DIY lotions.
Try Boiled Eggs
I keep a rotating stock of hard boiled eggs in my refrigerator. If I have time, I do something creative with them like throw together a whole wheat breakfast wrap. If I don’t, it takes almost no-time to crack and eat one. As a vegetarian, a protein and omega 3 fatty acids- rich breakfast is imperative. I try to resist the urge to reach for something sugary because the boost is short-lived and the cycle of sugar cravings is a vicious one.
Drink Sparkling Water
I don’t swear by anything but if I did it’d be sparkling water. We all need to drink more H2O and let’s face it… it’s incredibly boring. Perrier keeps me bubbly and there are no sugars or substitutes added. (Even without much sleep, I’m sweet enough already.) I have read that the junk in soda and candy can contribute to under eye circles and well, I definitely don’t need that.
Fitbit Allows You MORE SLEEP
My last tried and true tip ACTUALLY ALLOWS ME TO GET MORE SLEEP. It is a minor miracle that I discovered, inadvertently, when I bought my husband a Fitbit for Christmas. He wanted to track his fitness accomplishments, but as it turns out it is a gift that keeps on giving for me, as well. Instead of hearing his alarm go off at 5 a.m., on weekdays (after I’ve taken all the child and dog wake ups through the night shift), it vibrates to wake him, without disturbing me! I get to clock an extra hour, or more, of uninterrupted beauty rest!
The way we feel matters more than the way we look. So take some time to take EXTRA GOOD care of yourself, especially during inevitable waves of less sleep. You deserve it and truly everyone around you will benefit.