A few weeks back I talked about being was stuck in a mama funk. I realized I was feeling overwhelmed by “being in the trenches” as a mama with a new baby and a toddler. I wasn’t allowing myself to savor my other roles in life, such as wife, friend, servant, daughter.
There’s another issue I wasn’t addressing. In my feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm, I was letting my time slip away from me instead of taking charge of it. I’d get to the end of the day and wonder, where did the day go? I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done. What happened??
I was dragging through each day. I was getting the bare essentials done. I was believing the lies that I wasn’t capable of doing anything more. I was using my tiredness as an excuse not to push myself, challenge myself.
I knew I couldn’t keep going like this. I thought back to a period last year when I was struggling with exhaustion due to a medication I was on. During that time, I was determined not to let tired win. I fought it. I fought it hard.
And you know what? I beat tired. I had realized exactly how much of my exhaustion was mental. So this time, I decided I needed to do it again. I needed to find a way to beat tired and take charge of my time.
Sound like something you’d like to do? Check out these 9 tips!
How to beat tired and take charge of your day
- Accept your circumstances
- If you’re a mama of young kids, it’s unlikely you’ll get the recommended amount of sleep that adults need. Instead of being frustrated about it, accept it. Acceptance of things we cannot changes diminishes the negative effect those things have on our mental and emotional state.
- Decide that you are in charge of your day, not the other way around
- Wake up determined that you are going to show your day who’s boss. Take charge. Be determined to make the most of every minute you have. Jump out of bed and get at it.
- Be flexible
- Things rarely go as planned. While we can be determined to take charge of our day, we also have to be flexible and accept when unexpected things get thrown at us (an illness, house repair, car problem, etc.).
- Be sure to accomplish your most important/urgent tasks first, so when the unexpected comes up, it doesn’t throw you completely off course. It’s tempting to do the quick and easy stuff first; don’t do so at the expense of the really important things that need to be done. This applies whether you’re at home with the kids or at your place of employment.
- Eliminate distractions
- Turn the TV off. Put your phone aside. Keep clutter under control. Distractions pull us away from what we’re doing and we end up spending far too much time accomplishing tasks that otherwise would not have taken long at all.
- Distractions cause unnecessary strain on our already over-stressed minds, leading to greater exhaustion. Eliminating distractions is crucial both at work and at home.
- Avoid multitasking
- Whenever you multitask, you’re not doing any of those tasks well because none of them are getting your full attention. You end up spending more time on the tasks than you would have if you had completed them individually.
- As much as possible, avoid jumping back and forth between projects/tasks. The back and forth can cause you to end up leaving things undone, feeling frazzled, and wasting time. Decide to do one task at a time. Give each individual task your full attention and do it well.
- Just like distractions, multitasking causes unnecessary stress and exhaustion both at work and home.
- Take time to rest
- While maintaining momentum throughout your day can keep exhaustion at bay, you can’t run full-speed all the time.
- Incorporate rhythms of rest throughout your day. If you’re at home and your kids nap, nap yourself (or at least rest) at the same time. If you work outside the home and can sneak off for a snooze during your lunch break, do so. Even just sitting in your car and leaning back to rest your eyes for a few minutes can rejuvenate you.
- Feed yourself and drink plenty of water
- Just like your car, your body needs fuel to operate. Feed yourself, and feed yourself well. Drink plenty of water and avoid added sugar in your beverages or excess caffeine.
- Sit down and enjoy your meals, whether at work or at home. Don’t rush through them. Your body needs a few moments to rest and regroup.
- Incorporate movement throughout your day. Take the stairs. Park farther away. Have a dance party with the kids. Take family walks.
- Even if you can’t fit in a full workout, commit to doing something to move your body each day. Over time, movement will add to your overall energy level throughout the day.
- Take time to reflect at the end of the day
- Before you get ready to hit the hay, take a few moments to look back at your day. What went well? What could you have done differently? How can you make tomorrow even better?
- Congratulate yourself on a job well done and commit to keep the momentum going.
Being a mama is a lot of work. Whether you work outside the home, are home raising your kids, or are working from home, there are ways to make things a little more manageable. Take these 9 tips and write them down. Leave them somewhere visible (or in several places) as a reminder to yourself.
Believe in yourself and your ability to make every day a productive one that can leave you with a sense of accomplishment. No matter what happens, when you face your day with determination and a positive attitude, you’re bound to see results.