Raise your hand if you suffer from fatigue.
Maybe, for you, it's just a once in a while thing. Or, maybe it's more persistent than that. I've been feeling fatigued for a bit. I don't even really know how long. I think it started to creep up on me around the time my third son was born. Feeling run down has kind of become normal to me. I've been making excuses for it. Like, forty-year-old moms with three young children (the youngest a toddler) are destined to feel tired. However, I'm starting to feel like maybe it's not normal to feel this run down all the time.
Fatigue gets in the way of a lot of things I want and need to do. House cleaning and decluttering are perfect examples. I've been able to make myself do the minimum to keep the house in working order and I've even put in a big effort here and there (like when company's coming), but overall, I wish I did more. I wish I had the energy to do more.
In a quest to feel more energetic, I'm making some changes. Some of them are big, some not so big. Here's the scoop:
1. Weaning the toddler. I really, really believe in extended breastfeeding. It's got more benefits than I can count. I wanted to practice child-led weaning with my third and last son, but it's not in the cards. He's two and a half and I have been gradually cutting back on nursing for a few months now. But, he was still nursing at bedtime, nap time, a couple of times at night and once or twice during the day. Honestly, I think it was draining me. He's done breastfeeding as of last week and he's been fine with it. I guess he was ready, too.
2. Declutter stress! This is a hard one for me. I tend to hold stress in until I get to the breaking point. Or, I squirrel it away until it causes physical symptoms, like back pain and a compromised immune system. This is going to be a journey for me, as it probably is for everyone. As with cleaning the house, I've got to take baby steps. The first is reading about how others deal with stress. I found this great blog called Being Joy that I'm enjoying. Joy shares some de-stressing tips that have helped her. Hopefully, I'll learn enough to at least take the edge off!
3. Eat a healthier diet. I tend to be really hit or miss when it comes to diet. There are certain things that I just won't eat, like artificial colors and flavors. And, I try to eat fruits and veggies and get enough protein. But, I've got a sweet tooth and indulge it far too often (several times a day, but whose counting). I also eat way too much bread and pasta. I know there's a direct link between my energy level and what I eat. For instance, I can feel the mac & cheese coma starting about 15 minutes after dinner. And, if I eat ice cream or some other sweet early in the day, I'm pretty much struggling for the rest of the day to do all the things I need to do. I've been reading Dr. Mercola's website for some time and finally decided to take his nutrition type test. I started following his plan a few days ago. I'm also keeping a food diary. We'll see what happens. Has anyone had any experience with his plan?
4. Exercise more. Again, I'm hit or miss with exercise. I love walking and would go for a long walk everyday if I could. But, with a toddler, a six-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old boy, my walking time is limited to when my husband is home. I do sometimes use the stroller and walk around the neighborhood,which is helpful. But, I can't get "in the zone" that way. I like to listen to music on my I-pod shuffle, tune the rest of the world out and walk at a good pace. I'm looking for blogs right now by moms of young children that manage to keep up an exercise routine. I need some inspiration! So far, I've found Muffin Top Mama, which looks interesting. If you've got any links, lay them on me!
5. Get adequate sleep. I never really thought I had a problem sleeping, but I've been paying attention to how I feel when I first wake up in the morning lately. The thing that jumps out at me is that I usually feel like I wish I could have slept longer. Maybe I need to go to bed a bit earlier because the toddler dictates when I wake up. Since he's an early bird, so am I. Unfortunately, it takes a cup of coffee and an hour or two for me to shake that tired feeling in the morning.
What have I forgotten? What do you do to feel energetic and get everything done that you need to do everyday? I don't want to leave any stone unturned here. I'm tired of feeling tired and think I could really improve the quality of my life and the state of my house if I wasn't so darn sleepy all the time.