As introverted moms, time with our children regularly drains us, and we need to be mindful about daily self-care. Yet some seasons are extra exhausting, usually due to life circumstances beyond our control.
Here are four strategies I find helpful during weary seasons:
1. Drink LOTS of water and a little caffeine.
A few months ago Steve and I decided to increase our water intake – it made a drastic difference to our energy levels. We were astounded by how alive we felt. I began keeping a tally of the amount of cups I drank to ensure I had enough.
My British husband is also ecstatic over my conversion to hot tea. I used to be a soda girl, through and through. But I didn’t want my little people developing that habit, so I trained myself to be a tea lover instead. It worked!
2. Move your body – do it anyway.
This refers to exercise (& conscious movement with your kids throughout the day), as well as self-discipline.
I’m often amazed that when I force myself to get started on a project (art with the kids, a board game, a chore) even though I’m tired, the act of following through channels more energy and enthusiasm to keep going afterward.
Sometimes energy comes through the doing.
3. Make rest time a habit for your kids.
Way back when our children no longer needed an afternoon nap, we switched to “rest time” instead. I used this time to write, rest, and read. The kids had special toys and books in their rooms that were only played with during this period.
It’s fairly simple to transition children to rest time if they’re used to staying in their rooms for naps. It can be more difficult if they’re older and you want to introduce the concept. If that’s the case, I suggest starting with a short period, using a special toy or audiobook as an incentive, and working your way up to the desired amount of time. Our kids had rest time for 1.5-2 hours each afternoon.
4. Go to sleep!
Do you ever feel like you reach the end of the day and haven’t had any moments “to yourself?” At such times I feel like I’m giving in if I just call it quits and crash for the night. But I’ve discovered there are seasons when it’s best to go to bed as early as possible.
You and your children will reap the benefits the next day.
Let’s set a good example by caring for our bodies when we’re in the midst of physically weary seasons. And with that, I’m off to bed!
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