Hot and Bothered

Whew, this weekend was brutal!  After weeks of unseasonably mild weather, summer has finally caught up in Northern California. In just a few days we went from 60 degrees and rain to 90 degrees, no wind and scorching sunshine.

I did not adjust well.

At the end of May I finally got approval to restart dancing class – something that’s been on hold for the last 2 years after my car accident. I was ecstatic! And then exhausted.  I remembered most of the steps for the older dance routines but there are a good half-dozen new ones so I’m learning (and sweating) a lot.

Friday brought work, a short break and then a double dance class – 90 minutes in a too hot room concentrating on the steps to zumba and mamba.  I was hot. Back at home I caught up on a few phone calls and soon it was late, too late to eat dinner, but time to shower and catch up on sleep.

Despite my lifelong night owl, morning hating status I’ve slowly been adjusting my sleep schedule to waking up earlier.  It’s essential in the summer when it’s never quite cool enough to sleep and there is plenty to get done before the mid-morning heat arrives. I’m not really a weather wimp but my city will often experience heat waves up to 115 degrees for weeks at a time.  I grew up coming to this town in the summer so it’s not surprising but when I was a child I also spent my days at the pool and running through sprinklers at Grandma’s house.

My plans to get lots done on Saturday morning were changed when my parents asked me to help them out by running an errand to Sacramento. I did, met my Mom for delivery and picked up some groceries. But by the time I got home it was hot, sticky and my energy was depleted.

The rest of the weekend I felt drained. Exhausted. Wimpy.

Maybe you’ve experienced this when sick, looking around knowing there are things that need to be done but having no strength to get up and do them. It sucks.

But there’s nothing more frustrating than going back to work on Monday and having a messy house, a list of unaccomplished chores and less time to get things done.  So despite my energy depleted state I did get some things done on Sunday night. Here are some tips when you are short on time, energy or the will to work:

1. Make a short list – mine divided my house into 4 zones (kitchen, living room and bathrooms, office, bedrooms)

2. Decide what to do and not do – if you see a dirty sock that needs to be in a laundry basket it’s not really worth the energy to write “pick up sock” on your list. Instead, write down things you won’t worry about. I didn’t vacuum, do the dishes or change sheets. In the office I made a stack of filing but didn’t file.

3. Give yourself a time limit – I prefer 15 minutes per zone/room. It’s enough time to keep me moving and not enough time to get sucked into reorganizing a closet or pantry.

4. Just keep moving – 4 zones, 15 minutes each so I didn’t stop for an hour. That was about the limit I could manage after a sleepy, tired weekend trying to adjust to a 30 degree temperature fluctuation.

5. Drink up – don’t try to do it all without food in your system and lots of liquids. I sucked down a half-gallon of water and then a beer (for the electrolytes of course).

6. Move to music – television is a distraction and usually means you can’t leave one room until the program is over. Instead, put on a CD or MP3 player and choose upbeat music.  More than once I found myself practicing dance steps, not a great idea since I’m still icing my knee from Friday’s workout! But the music can help entertain you when doing some not fun chores.

What tricks and tactics do you use when you just don’t feel like cleaning or doing household chores?  Share your ideas in the comments section, I’m always looking for new tools to stay motivated!

2 thoughts on “Hot and Bothered

  1. Dunno. I have a hard time getting things done without a deadline, and don’t make them for myself very well. So, I am tolerably well prepared for the classes I teach, but housework is a different story. I”m always looking for inspiration too.

    Where in No. Cal are you? I’m in the southern SF bay area.

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