Taking care of little ones round the clock is no joke. Here I’m going to give you some practical tips to help you tackle mom exhaustion head on…
There has never been a time like now to be exhaused. Moms around the globe are feeling more wornout than ever, having to juggle the usual responsibilites, plus those of living in the current pandemic.
A lot of moms are already doing their thing without close family nearby, team that with not being able to get out and it’s really no wonder we’re at our tethers.
BUT there is a solution to give our energy a little boost, to take us just a little bit beyond zombie-land and into embracing the day and everything that comes with it.
So let’s break it down into baby steps.
1) Set intentions
Think about any goal you’ve achieved in your life. Where did that start? My guess is in your head or on paper.
Even the biggest plans have to come somewhere.
If you want certain things to change in your life, you need to start by getting clear on exactly what you want and how you want it.
A great way to do this is to get in touch with your feminine cycle (if you’re in one at the minute) and make space for intention-setting around the new moon.
This is the perfect time to plant the seeds for what you want to see more of, so grab a journal, write it down, get visual by making a vision board or simply sit for five minutes each morning and imagine the feeling of having your intention already.
Intentions give us energy and motivation to go after our goals
Another way I like to do this is to choose a word each day, and shape my day around the word. You could also pick a card, or whatever feels right for you.
Intentions give us energy and motivation to go after our goals – no matter how small.
And ultimately that’s what we want right, more energy?
2) Get organized
Now we’ve made our intentions, it’s time to make space for them to happen – mentally and physically.
Seriously, half of the exhaustion we feel as mothers is because we don’t have certain systems and routines in place, propping us up when we most need to fall back on them.
Set one day aside a week in which the whole family gets involved with de-cluttering and sorting – if it’s a Sunday even better!
Make it fun, make it a game, put some music on and dive in.
Work in small sections – go through your mail, sort through the kids clothes – whatever you have been ‘putting off’, try and set aside some time every week to get it done – it can be as little as 20 minutes, you’d be surprised how far you’ll get!
As you go about little areas in your house, notice where you might need more organization and think up ways in which you can do that.
(Hint: Dr Google is my go-to for this!)
3) Divide your day
Human beings thrive on routine. There is no doubt about it.
Ask any majorly successful person how they go about getting all the stuff done and they’ll all tell you they use routine.
Routines provide a little predictability – which can go a long way, especially right now.
Get clear on how you divide your energy –
Saying to yourself for example, that the morning time is for a certain task, the afternoon for another, will help you find stability, which ultimately restores our energy because we don’t have to THINK!
Did you know that our brain takes up an enormous amount of energy each day, just remembering and sifting through tasks and thoughts in our mind?
20% of our total energy in fact!
So try to divide your energy to specific areas at a time.
And when you do have those do-it-all multitasking moments, try and break them up with regular 2-5 minutes of doing ‘nothing’.
Allowing your brain to rest is important to recuperating your vital energy, mama.
4) Use regular check-ins
Another important way to stay on top of your energy levels is to avoid the constant auto-pilot mode we often get in when we want to blast through tasks and get them done.
Set an alarm on your phone every few hours to just check in on how you’re feeling – is there anything frustrating you?
Can you let go of the frustration and come back to your centre?
If your head is swimming with to-do’s, can you write them down quickly on a list? I love my little magnetic whiteboard I have on the fridge, where I can write down the things that pop up in my head – especially food wise – and feel more relaxed and in control.
Regularly checking in with your emotions means becoming aware of where your energy is going, which means you can regain your focus.
Keep a notebook and pen handy – whatever works for you.
This could also be a time when you check in with your kids – if you know what is and isn’t working for them, you can prevent tantrum-like situations from ocurring ahead of time (which is a real energy drainer, right?) – win win.
5) Stay flexible
I don’t mean break your back trying to do impossible yoga positions, worry not.
What I’m referring to is mental flexibility.
The ability to switch things up if something isn’t quite right.
While it is true that as I said, we thrive on routine, sometimes there are days where we have to throw that out the window and adopt another tactic.
This might look like improvising a quick meal, deciding to watch a film together to regather dispersed energy, accepting that nap time has failed to happen and being (eventually) ok with it.
The more quickly you adapt to the day’s changing emotions and …the less energy you’ll spend feeling ‘stuck’.
So, have a back-up plan at the ready, a list of games your children can play when they tell you for the hundreth time that they’re bored, a cookie recipe you can’t go wrong with.
6) Minimize distractions
This might sound kinda obvious, but it’s true.
Look, I know we’ve all got a lot on our plate, but the more you try and stick to just one task at a time, the more likely it is to get done and done well.
It’s a myth that multi-tasking means we get more done. It’s been proven.
So anytime you can avoid it (cause I know sometimes you may have to cook one-handed while answering questions from your other kid) dive deeper into just ONE thing at a time.
If you need extra time to answer emails, and other things that are more difficult to do with kiddos around – try getting up early just one day a week and focusing on that.
You’ll reduce your frustration, which will improve your energy levels.
7) Prepare in advance
Write down in the evenings quickly – doesn’t have to be an essay – all that you want to get done the next day.
Put in an order like I said in #3, and get whatever you can already out and ready.
Any way you can make your life easier upon wake up, the better.
That way you can enjoy your coffee before getting started with the day.
If you have to use up energy to think about planning your day in the morning, you might feel tired before the day’s begun.
8) Give yourself permission to rest
Final point here and this is a biggie, in fact it’s something I struggle with the most I’d say.
I mentioned earlier that allowing your brain and body to recover is vital.
We gotta stop thinking of ourselves as a machine.
Repeat after me ‘I am not a machine’.
I have days where I can do more, days where I can’t.
Accept and surrender into the moments where you know your mind and body are calling for you to stop.
The world will not fall apart because of it. If you don’t finish the day’s list, that’s okay.
We’re not made to be productive all the time – especially when we respect our natural cycle as women and all the ebbs and flows that come with it.