Whether you stay at home with children or juggle home and work, you may be flat out exhausted. Just why are we moms so tired and what can we do to get a little bit of quality rest without shirking any of our myriad of responsibilities?
If you have a young infant in your home, then sleep will elude you, for a while at least. If you are in the middle of building a home, or some such massive project on top of your regular responsibilities, well… the only reprieve for you may be to temporarily back off on extra-commitments. However, if you are out of the infant stage, and don’t have a house full of sick kids, yet still find yourself exhausted, it may be time to take a closer look at some other energy zappers.
Things to Investigate
One thing that came to my attention this summer was the number of decisions I was making each day. For me, personally, too many minute decisions is actually quite tiring. “Can I go outside? Can I have a snack? Can I watch a video?” All good questions… I am super glad they are asking permission, but it is tiring none the less. SOLUTION: Automate some decisions. Snack time- 10:30 & 3. Only 10am? Then no, not yet. What’s for dinner? Automate the menu. Wednesday? Crockpot night. Thursday night? Soup night. One less thing to decide.
Another area to investigate is your use of free time. You are probably asking, “WHAT free time?!?!” Whether it feels free or not, there is a little time in there somewhere. For example, how do you spend your time after the kids go to bed? TV? Facebook? Read? Project? I’m not dogging any of them- I use them all, too! I have to say though, after an evening on facebook, I don’t feel refreshed, invigorated, or renewed. SOLUTION: Rather than waste that precious little free time, be intentional with it and do something that refreshes you.
Is your exhaustion your body’s cry for help? Are you sleeping? A quiet house is a temptation to stay up late! Eating well? Chocolate may not be the most energizing snack ;-) Hydrating? Your body can’t flush your system, fight off potential bugs, and keep all your systems moving without enough replenishment.
Identify steps that will bring true refreshment to you . Here are 5 suggestions:
1) Are you very social? A 15 minute phone call with a close friend or 45 min coffee date might do more to energize you than facebook would. OR do you crave some quiet, private space? Perhaps 20 minutes in a bubble bath after the kids are asleep would really renew your spirit. Or, perhaps a coffee date ALONE is what you need.
2) Do you have a tidy space that is an oasis? Sometimes finishing just one task, such as shining the kitchen sink (as the FLY lady says). Making your bed and straightening your room can have a relaxing effect, creating a safe, peaceful place to rest.
3) Responsibilities larger than the time needed to fulfill them? An appointment with your list of priorities and a red marker may be your best solution.
4) Can’t remember to refill your water bottle or eat a healthy snack? Try setting an alarm on your phone and if you’re home with kiddos, refill your bottle every time you make them a snack or meal.
5) Overwhelmed by the onslaught of questions? See how many are the same day after day, then try to automate them. Write them down and stand by them, saving your mental energy for new challenges. For more ideas about automating decisions, read this post.
The long and short is be intentional about restful activities. Don’t let all the things you “should do” rob you of some necessary renewal. Recognize that “vegging out” may not leave you feeling truly refreshed. Find out what genuinely helps you, and choose to do that regularly.