If you’re like me, you’ve Googled “How to stop feeling exhausted?” or “How to have more energy (as a parent!)” more than once. Lack of sleep, too many chores, unruly kids and not enough support are known causes of parent fatigue.
Fortunately, there are many ways of fighting fatigue effectively.
When parents are fighting fatigue, it can have an impact on everything from how getting things done to how we treat our family. We may be adults, but we still get cranky when we are tired.
Here are the 5 Most Effective ways to stop feeling exhausted:
1. Eat the RIGHT foods (not just the “quick” foods)
When we’re tired and busy, we often have poor eating patterns. A handful of goldfish here, a half-eaten cookie there. Parents skip meals or grab whatever they can while doing something else. Multi-tasking at it’s finest. 😉
Eventually, their body will crash.
The best foods for energy include complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains bread and cereals, lean proteins like low-fat milk, soy products, chicken, fish, and meat as well as lots of fruits and vegetables. Nutritionally balanced diets do require planning and careful thought but will soon become a habit.
2. Get Movin’!
I know this one is hard. A 30-minute drive to the gym, plus an hour workout, and another 30-minute drive back home does not fit into a busy parent’s life. However, regular exercise helps energize the body. You don’t have to go to a gym or spend hours working out to feel better.
Try to exercise three times a week for about 30 minutes per session. A brisk walk around the park on Monday, playing a ball game with the kids on Wednesday and bicycling on Friday should be just right. Don’t forget, doing housework like vacuuming, mopping the floor, gardening and walking the dog can be counted as exercise too.
3. Catch Your Zzzz’s
There was a day when all parents thought they’d never sleep through the night, and then their children grow up. While you may still be in that “Sleep would be a luxury” phase, try to rest when you can. Ample rest is crucial for the body to function correctly.
If your children are still waking you up at night, try taking naps in the middle of the day when the baby is sleeping, and ask your spouse to take turns for the night feedings so you can catch up on your sleep.
I can’t tell you how many studies I’ve read that talk about the benefits of meditation & deep breathing. (I just read one study that said that the most successful CEO’s often have the same habits of working out, meditating and eating right.)
There are many ways to relax the body and mind. For busy parents, a brief 10-minute deep breathing exercise whenever they feel stressed can provide the much-needed relief. Just find a quiet spot in the house, sit or lie down and shut the eyes. Then breathe in deeply for a few seconds and breathe out for another few seconds.
I can remember my parents going out every Saturday night (bowling with friends). They hired a babysitter and I loved it!
Making new friends and socializing can help improve tired parents’ well-being too. Joining playgroups or parent’s groups help, too (check your local church or library).
Another note to remember – seek out positive people who can see the bright side of anything and everything. They help others stay positive too, and parents fighting fatigue certainly need that boost.
It’s time to take care of YOU.
All parents can relate to parental exhaustion or fatigue, but they don’t have to live with it. Make some changes in the daily routine to beat fatigue. Parents who plan and prepare nutritionally balanced diets, do regular exercise, have an ample amount of asleep, use relaxation techniques and socialize with other people probably can manage parenting and fatigue more effectively.
Check out this post on how to get energy FAST!