There isn’t one single mother I have ever met who has not experienced stress and fatigue in motherhood. The expectations and responsibilities of being a mom can be overwhelming, which understandably can bring on high levels of stress and fatigue. Since I became a mom over 8 years ago, I’ve had to find strategies along the way to combat stress and fatigue in motherhood. I still feel stress and fatigue until this day, but there are things I discovered through my motherhood journey that has alleviated some of the stress and fatigue.
4 Successful Ways I Combat Stress and Fatigue In Motherhood
I use acupuncture to combat stress and fatigue in motherhood
I first started using acupuncture for lower back pain several years ago. However, as I had more conversations with my acupuncturist, he told me that he also treats patients with high fatigue levels and stress. At first, I was skeptical. I just didn’t see how inserting needles in my body was going to help reduce my exhaustion or stress. However, he did amazing wonders for my lower back pain, so I thought it was worth a try. After a month of continuous weekly acupuncture, I started to experience results. To my pleasant surprise, I experienced an increase in energy and improvement in mood symptoms.
Until this day, I continue to receive acupuncture once a month for maintenance. However, there were occasional times when my stress and fatigue felt higher than normal. At these times, I would see my acupuncturist more often. Once it started to improve, I would go back into maintenance. If you have never tried acupuncture before and you are looking for help with reducing your stress and fatigue, try finding an acupuncturist near you.
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I increased my adult social interaction
For a big chunk of my motherhood experience, I experienced severe loneliness. I was never alone, but my social network wasn’t the same. In the last few years, I made an increased effort to strengthen my existing friendships and find new friendships. Nobody was going to do it for me. I had to take control of my life now or I would feel lonely for a really long time.
Before I had a baby, I used to host annual holiday gatherings with my friends and family members at my home. After I had the baby, this stopped and I started doing them again last Christmas. I’m so glad I started hosting these gatherings again. I really enjoyed the social interactions with new friends and old friends.
Another thing I started to do was scheduling regular lunches with one of my good friends. I make an effort to see her at least once a week (or every other week) during my lunch break at work. I experience so many social and mental health benefits when I meet with my friend during these lunch gatherings. To say she’s a positive support person would be an understatement. After every lunch social interaction we have, I feel instantly better.
As a mother, I understand how easy it is to get caught up in a crazy schedule. Moms will never stop being busy, feeling tired or feeling stressed. We just need to force time for ourselves to have positive social interactions with other adults. I learned this the hard way years ago when I felt extremely lonely. Pursuing social interactions needs to be made a priority in order to help us combat stress.
I go on nature hikes when I can
If you’re an introverted mother, I highly recommend going on nature hikes to help combat stress in motherhood. The demands and responsibilities in motherhood can feel like a to-do list with no ending. You’re constantly bombarded with things to do and you have distractions all the time.
Going on a solo hike can be extremely refreshing for the mind and soul. It removes a lot of the distractions experienced at home and at work. Also, you have a chance to process your inner thoughts and feelings, which can be difficult to do when you are constantly taking care of someone (or several people), managing a household and working.
I have also found that solo hikes provide me with a sense of gratitude for my life. Life as a working mother is not easy and my thoughts can easily take me down an endless path of self-pity. However, when I hike in nature, it allows me to think about all the things I’m grateful for. I have a safe home that I live in, my daughter is happy and healthy, and I have friends that I can count on when life gets really rough.
I changed my sleeping environment
I used to sleep with electronics in my bedroom. However, I easily got distracted with my electronics, especially my computer and cell phone. For example, I would be laying down, trying to fall asleep, and would suddenly remember a task I needed to do. Immediately, I would get my cell phone to put it on my to-do list. If I didn’t do this, I would forget and really beat myself up the next day.
Of course, once I get my phone to do one thing, some juicy news article would pop up on my cell phone and I would click on it to read the article. These distractions made it hard for me to get a good night sleep, despite how exhausted I was. Eventually, I removed most of my electronics in my bedroom and it helped my sleep quality at night. As a result, my energy levels improved. I still occasionally will struggle with distractions at night, but it’s not as bad as before.
Experiencing stress and fatigue in motherhood is common with most moms around the world. However, it does not have to invade your world. Try some of these strategies and start getting your life back on track.