In the Strong Mom Tribe, we’ve been having a conversation recently about why we moms are so damn tired all the time. You want to start planning healthy balanced meals, but you’re too damn tired. You want to start that new workout program, but you are just to damn tired. You want to (_insert pretty much anything here_), but you are to damn tired! Right?
The first thing we talked about was all the mental junk. All the, sometimes trivial, little daily decisions we make add up to shear exhaustion and depleted willpower by the end of the day (it’s a real thing called Decision Making Fatigue).
The best advice I have for this is to put your priorities first.
Align your decisions and your actions with your priorities.
Ok, yes, makes sense, but what to does that mean?
Align your decisions and your actions with your priorities is definitely an abstract idea until you start putting it into practice.
Let’s start with an example.
Priority: Stop feeling exhausted all the time.
Action: Improve the quality of your sleep. (aka. address some of your habits that are leading to junky sleep)
If you have children that still haven't allowed you to get back to a more regular sleep schedule, this might be more difficult, but there are still changes you can make to improve the sleep you do get.
Improve the quality of your sleep.
Some of these habits are hard to break but keep in mind we are talking about aligning your decision and habits with your priorities. What are YOUR priorities?
Limit screen time before bed. Exposure to the light from screen messes with our circadian rhythm, miscues our brain and (even we we are completely exhausted) promotes wakefulness. Turn off or stop using electronics an hour before bed (or as close to it as possible). I even suggest you go as far as not keeping your phone in your bedroom... because who is guilty of scrolling through in the middle of the night just because it's there (me 🙋). I stopped keeping my phone in my bedroom a few weeks ago and have noticed a huge difference.
Slow your role with binge watching Netflix or Amazon prime. I know at the end of a long hard day sitting in front of the TV watching your favorite show feels like a necessary way to turn down your brain. It totally is...for one maybe two episodes. But those streaming programs get you. If you aren’t quick enough, another one will almost immediately start playing and then you can’t stop it right? Wrong! Let yourself relax but keep the remote close and remember your priorities. What's REALLY more important to you? Finding out how Jack dies or your health?... bad comparison maybe because I totally chose the former on Sunday night, but I paid for it Monday!
Limit caffeine after 2pm. Coffee is a morning necessity in my book, but I know if I have it too late in the day it messes with my sleep… and there is science to prove it!. Studies show caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns when consumed up to 6 hours before bed.
Limit alcohol consumption before bed. While you might fall asleep faster after a few glasses of wine, the quality of sleep is greatly diminished. Alcohol blocks REM sleep, the most restorative type of sleep. Not to mention, the more frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You can still have that wind down drink (lord knows us moms need it sometimes), but be careful with how much and how close to bedtime.
It call comes down to creating a healthy routine surrounding sleep. Solve the problem for you like you would for your kids! Think about the bedtime routines you've created for them to help with their quality of sleep...why not put some effort into yourself?
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