Whether it’s a new baby, or just the demands of juggling your family’s commitments with working for someone else or yourself, it can get tiring after a while. Being exhausted with a newborn, and/or work can be unrelenting, and it can make even the most basic and simple of jobs seem impossible.
How can you keep going with all these demands when you can’t call in sick or need to save your annual leave for when the children are on school holidays? How can you get through the day without causing damage to your relationships, quality of work and your sanity?
If you can’t get a handle on your tiredness, it’s worth seeking medical help – a simple blood test to check your iron levels and thyroxine levels and anything else your GP recommends may put head to months of discomfort.
If you know that it’s not a medical issue, use these tips to help you recharge:
1. Be gentle on yourself
Don’t be so hard on yourself – just because everyone else seems to be getting on with it (seemingly better than you are) does not make you a failure. We are not all born the same, and truth be told, a lot of superwoman mums really aren’t doing as perfectly as they seem to be on the surface.
Don’t beat yourself up with guilt or self doubt. You are doing a sterling job, and you should be proud of yourself no matter what.
2. Power naps are a Godsend
If there is a room you can snooze in during the day, then do it. Even 15 minutes out of your lunch hour can make a huge difference to your mental awareness.
If this isn’t possible, find a local library or cafe, and set the alarm on your phone. If you drive to work, all the better – recline the front passenger seat and get to snoozing.
Sometimes you only need to take a power nap once or twice a week to recharge. Once your body gets that little boost you’ll be right again.
3. Carpool or take public transport
If the school run it tiring you out, see if there is another mum doing the same route as you. Instead of just sharing moans at the school gate, why not agree that you will help eachother out a couple of times a week each, so that you can get an extra half hour to yourself in the mornings? You’ll be surprised what a difference it will make.
4. Get in the sun
While it may not be likely at this time of year in the UK, you could save towards a weekend Way somewhere hot. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but that little boost of vitamin D you’ll get in the sunshine can work wonders.
5. Change your eating habits – this is not a diet
Most mums struggle to get a proposer sit down meal. Others have a heavy plate of food at the one time of day they can manage to sit down, which loads their bodies and makes the lethargy creep in.
Whichever eater you are, neither of these are beneficial. It’s better to eat little and often, so that your body is replenished throughout the day and not going through the extremes of hunger and overload.
Add the essential fruits and veg to you your diet that can boost your energy and brain power – bananas, nuts, spinach, fish like mackerel that contain omega-3 oils for example.
‘Raw Basics‘ author Jenny Ross recommends starting the day of with ‘living foods’ (that’s raw fruit and vegetables). She says, “You’ll feel clarity in the morning and really jumpstart your cells. Try the following ‘Superfood Smoothie’ recipe from the book , which can be used “as a meal replacement shake and delivers a high-energy kick start to your day”:
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp almond butter or flaxseed oil
- 1 cup raw almond or other milk
- 1 cup fresh berries or kale
- 2 tbsp green superfood (e.e. Dr Schulze’s Superfood Plus)
- 2 tbsp maca-root powder
- 1 tbsp raw cacao
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Iced as desired
Makes 16 oz
Blend all ingredients well and enjoy right away. Ice is optional; there has been much research to suggest that enjoying beverages at room temperature is optimal for the body’s absorption of the liquid.
6. Ditch the caffeine monster
While you feel you can’t stay awake without a shot of expresso or a latte, your body really can’t cope. Replace it with a spinach or kale-packed smoothie and you’ll be amazed at how you’ll feel. The added bonus is a healthier set of teeth that aren’t stained, and fresher breath, too. That’s a win-win all round!
7. Don’t take it out on everyone else
It’s amazing how other people seem so irritating when you’re exhausted. Whether it’s the constant chatting, tapping of pens, or just the way they breathe – you just can’t seem to stand it.
You’ll know your feeling cranky when everyone you come into contact with is a pain. How can everyone be wrong and you right? Can you justify having arguments and disagreements with everyone you come into contact with?
Take a deep breath when you feel like you need to confront someone – it’s tempting to channel it somewhere, but fight the urge. When you’re not thinking clearly, you can say and do the wrong things, which you’ll ultimately regret.
8. Get some help
Learn to ask for help from those around you and stop playing the martyr. So whether it’s your spouse or family and friends, call in the favour. If you need a really good night’s sleep or a weekend to yourself to distress, make it happen. Call in the favours to get you where you need to be.
9. Be smart with your time
If you’re a new mum, you can expect to get very tired – especially when you go back to work. ‘The Mummy Coach‘ author Lorraine Thomas advises: “Don’t use baby’s sleep time to catch up on all the jobs that need doing around the house. Have a sleep yourself – or treat yourself to a bath or read a magazine.”
10. Seek medical advice
If you’ve tried everything in your power to get yourself out of this rut without success, it’s time to seek some medical advice. Book an appointment to see your GP and explain how you feel.
There are some common conditions that can affect our energy levels – iron deficiency and issue with the thyroid. It may also be neither of these, but if it is, they really are quite straightforward to make right again.