By Gwen Payne
If you’re struggling to manage fatigue levels as a parent, you’re not alone. Parenting a child through their first few years typically comes with a fair share of fatigue, and oftentimes that fatigue can extend into adolescence and even young adulthood.
Just because it’s normal to feel tired and lethargic, however, doesn’t mean that you do not need to address the issue. Along with assessing your level of fatigue, it’s critical to foster your health and well-being in any way you can. Below, this guide provides some essential advice for navigating the challenges of fatigue as a parent.
Assessing Your Fatigue
Before you do anything to treat your exhaustion, you will need to evaluate exactly how much fatigue you are battling. While it is best to consult a doctor, there are some signs that you can look out for to get an idea of your fatigue level. For instance, consider the quality of your sleep. Do you frequently have problems getting at least seven hours a night? Does your sleep get disrupted in the middle of the night, and do you sometimes fall asleep during the day?
Another way that you can gauge your fatigue level is to reflect on your parenting. Do you feel like you are doing a good job with your child? Many parents who deal with chronic exhaustion are not confident in their parenting abilities. Moreover, considering how much time you spend care-giving can give you an idea of how fatigued you are.
Addressing Your Fatigue
Once you have a better idea of the fatigue you are up against, it is time to start taking steps to fight it. Try to find an exercise routine that you can fit into your daily schedule. For getting in a good workout, it’s hard to beat running and HIIT movements. Yoga can also prove effective in improving your strength and reducing stress. Make sure you are eating a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water as well.
Another thing to consider is finding time to unwind. Whether it’s reading a book, meditating, or taking a long bath, think of relaxing activities you can do in solitude so that you can recharge and be the best version of yourself. Consequently, developing good habits like these can lead to better sleep.
Pursuing Personal Goals
Establishing goals for yourself and the journey to accomplishing them can do wonders for boosting your daily energy. Maybe it’s time to pick up a hobby that you do each week. Maybe it means returning to school to get that degree you’ve always wanted. If you want to improve your career prospects, earning a degree is a wonderful way to do it. And these days it’s easy to find an accredited online college that offers flexible coursework to fit any schedule. Boosting your credentials will help you in whatever career path you choose.
Avoiding Negative Outcomes
Lastly, you want to be aware of the negative outcomes that commonly occur as you look to battle your fatigue and pursue your goals. For example, if you relax too much without exercising or taking other steps to boost your energy, it could cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms.
If your partner is not pulling their weight while caring for your child, overcompensating for them can lead to increased fatigue and burnout. And while it’s essential to have a support network that you can turn to in hard times, it’s important to avoid putting too much of your burden on them, which can cause relationship issues of its own.
As rewarding as it can be, parenting is anything but easy. Make sure you are evaluating how much fatigue you are struggling with. Take steps to address the fatigue and set out to achieve personal goals. And along the way, look out for the negative outcomes that can be avoided.
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Gwen Payne blogs about ways women can create, fund, and find a balanced work and home life. You can find her at Breaking into Business, The invisible Moms.