Feeling tired is a normal part of parenthood.
I'm not going to cover good sleep hygiene here as I get it. You can't control your sleep. When you are caring for babies and children they need you. Whatever the time of day or night.
But what do you do when your normal cup of morning coffee just doesn't cut it?
What do you do when you're beyond tired and actually completely exhausted?
Here's 5 tips for exhausted Mums:
1. Accept it as a phase of motherhood
Feel confident that it will pass and you will feel rested again.
Rather than beat yourself up for being tired, lower your expectations. It's ok to prioritize or even let a few things go. Your less urgent chores and errands will still be there when you’re feeling more energetic. It's more important to focus on getting some rest instead so that you can feel better sooner.
Using any energy you do have for doing something with your children will benefit you as often children start behaving anxiously when we aren't giving them the attention that they need. It can feel like the less we have the more they want sometimes.
2. Ask for help
As Mums we don't always think about asking for help. We just try and get everything done ourselves. We think that's easier or even worse that we have to do it all or people will think we can't cope.
But sometimes you do just need a rest. So I urge you to ask for help. Rest is so needed for good physical and mental health.
Ask your family or a friend to spend time with your child. Or call a babysitter or find a childminder or a nursery. I used to ask my partner to take time off work when I realised I really needed to catch up on sleep.
Remember it is not a sign of weakness to reach out for help, other parents can relate and they will understand.
"Be smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it."
3. Make sure you're eating and drinking properly
When we're busy Mums we often make sure our children are well fed and drinking enough but we don't always manage to do so ourselves. If you're not managing 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks and eating every 3-4 hours and/or are not drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day then you need to think about ways you can make this happen. Getting this right will really help and will make sure you don't feel anxious or hangry (hungry angry is the worst!) too.
Keep a water bottle for you to drink from throughout the day. Then you'll always have it with you and will know how much you've drunk. Keep simple, nutritious snacks in the house for eating at home or to take out and about with you. Cereal bars, fresh fruit and dried fruit are all great.
4. Get out and about
Fresh air, some gentle exercise and being in nature or others company all lift us up physically and mentally.
So despite the fact it may not appeal to you, it is good to get outside with your children. They will enjoy it and it may even wear them out too.
5. Reduce any feelings of stress and anxiety
Feeling stressed and anxious, worrying what other people think and doubting ourselves all use up a lot of energy.
So it's really important to find ways to relax and share any worries we have:
Having a journal we write in helps us process our thoughts and make them feel more manageable.
Meditating for just 10 minutes has been proven to help you feel like you’ve got 44 minutes of extra sleep.* Try Insight Timer.
Yoga sun salutations or any gentle calming sequence helps energise and calm us. Try Yoga with Adriene on You Tube
Calling a friend or talking to our partner is important too
Choose something from the list above or something else you feel drawn to as the aim is to enjoy the activity so that it is truly restful.
Feeling tired can be a warning sign too.
If your exhaustion is unexplained, lasts for more than a few days even when you follow advice, or if it's interfering with your ability to care for your children, it may be a sign of a mental or physical illness. If you believe this could be the case, please talk with your doctor, nutritionist or contact a mental health therapist to find support through this difficult time.
I hope this has helped you and given you some food for thought.
If you'd like more help, do join my
3 day challenge for Mums who want to wake up excited each day.
It's all about getting your life back but better post lockdown.
It's taking place on Tuesday 18th to 20th May and you can sign up here
Wishing you a wonderful motherhood.