I spent nine days last month traveling around and speaking at conferences. It was an exhilarating and exhausting experience.
My flight to Vegas was delayed by 3 hours, which meant I arrived at the hotel at 2 AM, exhausted and bleary eyed. A conference announcement in the lobby was a vivid reminder that I was the motivational speaker in 4 hours.
It's trite but true, but the show must go on. With only a few hours of sleep in my system, I had to ramp up my energy to be a motivational speaker for the nursing conference. I know I can crash and burn after the show.
I am accustomed to delayed flights and lack of sleep. Here are some of the things I do to boost my energy:
- Drink water. Drink lots of water. Buy a large bottle of water at the airport and drink it all. Be sure to ask for a window seat; the middle and aisle seats will love the interruptions to the bathroom.
- Don't complain. I have found that belly aching to the meeting planner that I am thriving on lethally low levels of sleep before my motivational speech just freaks them out. Keep it to yourself (and blog about it later!).
- Laugh at yourself. Instantly decrease stress levels, boost endorphins, be in the present moment and stop taking the situation so seriously - all with a laugh. The best person to poke fun at is yourself, always close at hand and always good material! (If all else fails, laugh at United Airlines!)
- Think positive. When you are exhausted, be careful what you say to yourself. Repeating in your head things like... oh man this is going to suck... is a recipe for disaster because we tend to believe our own stories. Give yourself your best motivational speech.
- Stretch. If you have been sitting on a plane for 5 hours, it is a good idea to stretch your muscles. Stretching releases pent up muscle tension, increases oxygen, and increases endorphins that boost energy.