Tired Mum Syndrome (TMS) is a real thing (in my books anyway), with symptoms including lethargy, irritability, and a strong desire to wear noise-cancelling headphones around the little ones. But before you lose your cool, make it your mantra to incorporate four simple fatigue fighting strategies into your day.
1. Fuel up on ‘real food’
Although you might want to eat and drink all the sugar and caffeine in sight, you may want to resist temptation. These foods give you a short-term burst of energy, which plummets down soon after. To avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster stick to wholesome nutritious foods to stabilise your blood sugars such as slow-releasing carbs. Think oats, wholegrain bread or pasta, sweet potato, legumes. one serve will do the trick. I’m taking 1-2 slices of sourdough toast with your poached egg, 1 cup of pasta or oats. It’s not that much. Including quality carbs, rather than ditching them form your diet completely will help keep energy (and mood) on an even keel and sugar cravings at bay.
Best you combine these wholegrain carbs with plenty of fresh seasonal veggies or salad, as well as a lean source protein at every meal and snack, such as cheese, nuts, tofu, chickpeas, fish, meat, eggs are. If you really need a treat – eat whatever you like, but just do so in sensible amounts.
2. Power nap it
All kids know the power of a good nap, but it works a treat for adults, too. Sneak in a quick 10-minute nap/rest throughout the day if you can. It doesn’t need to be every day (I wish!), but aim for at least one to two times a week, especially when you have an extra pair of hands to help with child minding. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that next pile of laundry/58th load of washing.
If a power nap is completely out of the question, be sure to establish a regular bedtime routine. This means getting to bed earlier than usual. Start your bedtime ritual with a gentle stretch and herbal tea (no phones or iPads) and experience a more restful night’s sleep unfold.
3. Pause. Deep Breath. Repeat
When you feel your blood boiling and you’re about to reach breaking point, it’s time to hit the ‘pause’ button: take five deep breaths and retreat to your Kingdom (for me it’s my bedroom) or taking a walk around the block. This time away allows you to gather your thoughts, stay calm and in control and avoid overreacting before coming back into the room or heading straight for the chocolate.
4. Medicate with Movement
Most health experts would agree that regular exercise is a prescription for optimal health. It helps to relieve tension, stabilises mood, regulate blood sugar, improves sleep and enhances self-esteem. Aside from getting to out of the way, morning exercise has many perks. I find this time works for me because there’s less chance of interruption. Studies show that morning exercisers are also more consistent. The most important thing is that you stay active and make it a regular part of your life, no matter what time of day — so find the time that suits your motivation levels and schedules, and stick to it.