Hi Moms! Whether you’re just having your first baby, or you have more than one, by now you’ve found out that it can be exhausting to be a mom. Perhaps you’re fighting postpartum fatigue/depression. Whatever the reason may be why you need more energy, there are many things you can explore to help you get back on track with your vitality.
If you’ve been taking my courses or reading my articles – or both – then you know I place a great deal of credibility on your nutrition. Your nutrition (diet) can make or break you most decidedly in especially stressful situations, like taking care of children. (If anyone ever said your life is easy taking care of the kids, they should try it out themselves…right?!) Many leading functional medical doctors and other highly educated holistic health care professionals agree that your diet accounts for about 75% of your overall health. This not only includes your physical health, but also your mental health.
For example, did you know that research has shown that if you’re feeling low, then what you think and likely say will reflect that. The reverse is true, too. If you’re feeling good, then you also think happy thoughts. Mindfulness is another key factor, so for you to get a full effect, it’s wise for you to incorporate some of this into your day as well. It doesn’t take as long as you’d think it would, either.
The challenge is to take really, really good care of yourself – your body, your feelings, your thoughts, and yes, your spirituality too – and you will realize that your great energy will start to return.
Here are some suggestions on how you can get your positive energy – your vim and vigor – back or even to a higher level than ever before.
Try eating plenty of fresh, preferably organic, produce, especially veggies as they contain so many nutrients your body needs. Did you know that high levels of stress can use up your nutrients faster than usual? So, eat plenty of fresh salads and lightly steamed veggies. If you’re feeling any level of inflammation, it might be wise to go low on the carbs, like breads, pastas, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, etc. Go low on sugar, and that includes fruity beverages and even 100% fruit juice, because it still contains a lot of sugar. Choose only healthy fats. Whatever your style of eating, low-sugar fruits and veggies will go a long way toward restoring your energy. If you’re a meat eater, eat natural and organic meats whenever possible. Avoid overly processed food products, even if they’re easier to fix and eat. If this is an option for you, there are fresh food meal deliveries available, some with very nutrient-dense ingredients, that won’t take up a lot of your energy to prepare. And don’t forget your vitamins – most especially vitamins C and D in this day and age – and a few other well-placed choices to support your body. Some people get vitamin injections from doctors and nurses and this can help you feel better faster.
It might be a good idea to limit alcoholic beverages if you do drink them (and certainly don’t indulge in drugs), and instead drink plenty of fresh, triple-filtered or spring water. We need to help our bodies flush out toxins and this is a good way to aid this process.
It goes without saying that you must get enough sleep and make that good quality sleep. This is difficult, yes, especially with a newborn, but as soon as possible, try to get 6-8 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep. Make sure your television is not on, and that your room is dark. This is vital to your overall health and especially your energy levels.
Mindfulness practices can come in different ways. Some people do yoga. Some meditate. Some people do Bible study. Others do binaural beats (sound waves), and many diffuse essential oils. Please find something that works well for you. A mindfulness practice will help slow you down and focus on the moment you are in. It is relaxing and rejuvenating. Include something every day; it can be part of your new self-care plan.
Exercise of some sort is also a great idea, and even if you think you’re too tired to do anything, think again – a little exercise will refresh you. It has even been known to improve your mood! Make your exercise time fun. If you like to dance, you could set aside even 5-10 minutes a day to play some music and dance around your living room! If you like to bike, do that. If it’s going to the gym, by all means carve out a little time for that…whatever makes you happy and feeling better afterwards.
Above all else – please learn to say no to people asking for favors, especially if they can do the task themselves. Hey – there’s only one of you and your job as mom is extremely important. You will end up being a better mom, friend, wife, daughter, etc. if you learn to take good care of yourself.
As always, have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.