I wrote this post when we were out of town last month. I finally decided to post it in the hopes it might help another mother struggling with fatigue.
The fatigue threatens to steal my joy. It’s been a long day, we are out of town and I should be enjoying the break from everyday life. Instead old fears creep in as I struggle with being so tired. I’ve walked this path before and it isn’t a pleasant journey.
I slip away for an afternoon nap, and wake up feeling just as exhausted. Downstairs I try to put on my happy face and visit with family as if nothing is wrong. Inside I really want to just cry.
Bedtime finally comes and I wrestle with my 2 year old not wanting to go to her bed in a strange house. Anxiety is rearing it’s ugly head as my body is so weary, my adrenaline is soaring as I try to stay calm.
Suddenly I stop. I have a choice to make. A decision to choose joy or to slip further into discouragement. As I start putting pajamas on the 2 year old and look into her smiling face, the answer is clear. I must choose joy. My children depend on me. My husband needs me to be peaceful instead of irritated.
The words to Psalm 46 flood my mind, and I remember my mother singing it through lips of faith. “God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble. So we will not fear, though the earth give way. Though the mountains fall into the midst of the sea.”
And then it ends with that famous Bible verse.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still. Know that I am God. The God that made me, the God that will sustain me when my body wages war against me. I keep singing the words over and over again, as I try to stop a troubled toddler’s cry in her bed.
Fatigue is something I’ve struggled with through all of my mothering days. When it comes I just can’t fake it. My husband will put the children to bed for me and come in our bedroom to find me fast asleep already. The dishes will stay piled up in the kitchen, dinner will be extremely simple and the Duggars DVD’s will be played as a babysitter in the afternoon.
It’s only a season though.
I always rise above it though it might take months to do so. Having struggled with thyroid and adrenal fatigue problems since high school, I’ve learned to recognize when I’m doing too much and that it’s time to slow life down and rest.
Some practical tips to help survive fatigue
Go see a Doctor! Find a Dr. who believes in you and will worth with you until you see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m currently working with a Dr. who is very knowledgable about thyroid problems and is treating me like no other Dr. has in the past. Many different things can cause extreme fatigue, including anemia, being low in B vitamins, thyroid imbalances, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, hormone imbalance, low blood sugar, etc. Sometimes it is simply being a mother with lots of little ones, and you need more rest, which is easier said then done.
Take your vitamins! A general multi vitamin is good, but most likely you will need more then that. If you are low in iron, try taking Floradix. I’ve heard that taking a B Complex supplement has helped a lot of moms.
Start your day out right! I know mornings are so busy, but don’t skip breakfast. Make either a green smoothie or a yogurt smoothie. I like to add the Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie or Erin’s Super Green Drink smoothie mix from The Bulk Herb Store in my smoothies each morning. The Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie is on sale this month! Below is a list of sales for February at The Bulk Herb Store.
Get Enough Protein in your day! This can be hard to do, so I like to add a protein powder in my smoothies each day. My absolute favorite protein powder is from Young Living (if you order please enter my ID number! 1399664 ). It tastes great and smells good! Every time I open it up with a child standing next to me they comment on how good it smells. If I’m not able to get that, I also like the Jay Robb protein powder.
If you don’t do smoothies, then eggs for breakfast is a good option. A salad with chicken on top for lunch, and a meal with some protein for dinner will help you get enough protein in your day.
The dreaded word – Exercise! When you are tired the last thing you want to do is think about exercising! It can really help you feel better though, provided you don’t overdo it. I’ve been doing T-Tapp lately which is nice because it is good for your lymphatic system. Here is a quote from the T-Tapp website:
“T-Tapp puts a lot of emphasis on lymphatic stimulation throughout the workout. This not only helps the body maximize metabolic processing, but it also helps improve immune system function. That’s why those who have autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia report great benefits from the T-Tapp workout. It’s also why cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation have fewer side effects such as edema and/or nausea (doing the first 15 minutes of movement). In fact, those who T-Tapp don’t seem to get sick as often. T-Tapp helps the body lower blood sugar quickly and helps it maintain better control. That’s because T-Tapp’s use of comprehensive, compound muscle movement combined with isometric contraction and lymphatic pumping blood burns glucose quickly and continues to do so post exercise. Many Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes patients have regained control and even reversed the disease within 3 – 6 months!”
I find that I can tire out doing a hard workout, but T-Tapp provides the right amount of exercise to give me a boost for the day ahead.
Don’t forget to smile! Fatigue can bring on depression. I’m not talking about clinical depression here (though it can), rather a general moodiness and struggling to stay upbeat. Get outside in the sun, dance with your children, turn on your favorite song, pray, pray, pray, call a friend, read a favorite book, and work on smiling throughout your day!
These are just some of my tips I’ve learned throughout the years. I’ve love to hear any tips you have that has helped you with fatigue!