Finding ways to optimize your energy
Beginning this month, columnist Sitara Hewitt takes questions from our readers about wellness and ways to bring balance back to their lives naturally. You can also visit her blog LivingWellWithSitara for more tips. Follow Sitara on Twitter at: @SitaraHewitt
Note: Suggestions in these columns are merely from Sitara’s own personal experience and are not intended to treat, prevent or diagnose any disease. Check with your health care practitioner before starting any new health regimens.
Question: Hi Sitara,
This month I’ve been feeling really low in energy as I juggle work and family. I really want to try and make some time to reconnect as a couple but each time I think I have the energy to go out or plan, I’m too exhausted! How can I bring more energy back to my days?
I think many a mom can relate to you! I’m sorry you’re feeling so drained and I’ve compiled some ideas that might help you. Now, I must preface this all by saying that I may have some answers but I’m also a somewhat stressed, over multi-tasking mom with an often sore back. (My solution is my chiropractor.)
Additionally I fantasize about full nights of sleep like I used to fantasize about buying an island.
While my relationship with my husband was once a romantic love affair, most of the time it now resembles a logistical tactical operation in which we plan out how to run a family’s life. Basically, it’s comforting for all of us to know that we’re kind of all in this together, and you’re not alone in feeling this way.
That said, I have developed some strategies for coping with the constant ‘tired and wired’ thing, and to help you feel the love a little more often.
First off – don’t try to be perfect or do it all for everyone! You’re only raising little ones for a short time…. it’s temporary. Our children are changing and growing so quickly. (Although it may not feel like it today:) I always remember the words of my older sisters, whose children are teenagers now: “I’d give anything to cuddle and hold the little toddler versions of my kids again, just for a day.”
When you feel stressed, take 3 deep breaths, and imagine your older self looking back and loving these fleeting moments with your preciously small children.
Here are some practical ways to help you feel more energized and calm (or sane) NOW:
SELF CARE: Get 30 minutes to yourself a day.
Communicate firmly and with love to your partner that you require some decompression time. You could also ask a neighbor, family member or sitter. Nap or lie quietly with music. Turn your phone off, clear your mind and don’t run around doing laundry or cooking. Remember: this is your re-set, re-energize time. People always say, “Yoga is the best de-stressor.”
Well, I agree but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had the 2.5 hours it takes to get to a yoga class since my 4 year old was born. Not gonna happen! Instead I take a walk. Open skies, fresh air and your blood pumping will change your state of being like magic. Even just walk to the store instead of driving there.
Ideally get to a gym and bike, stretch, run on the treadmill – the stress relief and positive endorphins you gain will be priceless, and you’ll soon feel like your body is more toned which is also a nice confidence booster. Most gyms have daycare available, or go when your partner can spend time bonding with the kids for an hour.
Or, take a bath. Soak away your troubles, and don’t forget to lock the bathroom door!
Setting a boundary around Mother’s recuperation time is important and the whole family will benefit – even your relationship!
Whole, natural unprocessed foods will fuel your body and not give you the energy crashes that sugar, white flour and pasta will give you. Try a green smoothie, you will feel like a super hero within a days (with a super flat stomach;) There are recipes on my site for some yummy ones.
PERSPECTIVE: Our thoughts and words are powerful.
If we keep saying “I’m so tired. I’m so stressed, and I never have any time for me.” Then that is what we will continue to notice about our lives, and inadvertently attract. Yes- I’m being all tough love on you here now! Psychologists agree that the words we speak and the thoughts we think influence, if not create our circumstances. Let go of the ‘tired, overwhelmed’ phase. Decide to find ways to embrace more energy, sleep, time, relaxation and love in your life.
Keep a gratitude journal. When you find yourself spinning into negative thoughts or complaining STOP, refocus and choose more empowering words. If you need to get those feelings off your chest write them in a journal, to detoxify your mind and release them.
Feed yourself loving, energizing thoughts. The negative ones actually lower your mood, and stop the release of feel good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin. It’s tough at first, which brings me to my last tip on perspective, and that is…
Pray to whomever or whatever you believe in to help you feel good and strong and happy so that you can best take care of your family. Trust that your prayers are heard, and that you are taken care of.
RELATIONSHIP: Let go, and focus on the love.
If you can implement the first two pieces: Self Care and Altering Your Perspective, you will already have a more relaxed and happy state of being at home, which will bring out the best in your partner. Discussions are easier when both people are rested. Decide during a quiet moment to let go of all resentment. Resentment only poisons you!
So let it go and move forward from a fresh, new day. Silently affirm what you APPRECIATE about your partner, write it down and tell them sometimes. This will also affect your dynamic positively. There’s always couple’s counseling for the deeper issues too.
Remember how incredible you are on a daily basis. No one needs to know why, but your inner light will begin to shine more brightly as you nourish and accept yourself fully.
Visit Sitara’s blog on well-being and holistic living at: livingwellwithsitara.com
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