Overcoming Tiredness In Pregnancy and Motherhood

This video was initially recorded for the members of my Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood Facebook Group. We talk about Overcoming Tiredness in Pregnancy and Motherhood and how you can get the best out of your 5 Step Plan.

More of a listener?

You can listen to Overcoming Tiredness in Pregnancy and Motherhood and Get Your 5 Step Plan below.

Grab Your 5 Step Plan to Help You Overcoming Tiredness in Pregnancy and Motherhood

1. Drink plenty of water
2. Eat regular healthy meals
3. Tune into your thoughts & flip them round so they support you.
4. Breathe slowly and deeply, removing the tension from your body and repeat those supportive thoughts from step 3.  
5. Download your pure relaxation session and enjoy a half hour power nap which will recharge your energy battery.

Okay I know step 1& 2 are obvious but are you actually doing them?

Step 3 can take a little more work and effort on  your part until it becomes second nature.

Step 4, well we like to think we can multi task but actually you can only do one thing at a time.  Either be full of tension, irritable and yes even more tired as a result or relaxed and calm, giving you back more energy to get on with your day.

Step 5, Grab yours here and find half hour to relax and recharge - you've earned it!

More of a reader? You can read the Overcoming Tiredness in Pregnancy and Motherhood Video/Audio Transcript Here (Erm's Um's and all)

Hi there, good morning, oh it's almost good afternoon. I've come in early today to do I'm tired of being tired because the sun's out, I've got the children at home and we've got plans to go out this afternoon, so I thought I'd just bring this forward, just a tiny bit, and I'll leave it up obviously so if you were trying to catch up at one o'clock at least you can still do so then. And also if you do catch up at one o'clock and you leave any comments for me, be assured that I will come back in later on today and answer any questions that you've got on tiredness.

Okay so let's get started then. A bit warm welcome, we've had some more new people come into the group and it's absolutely lovely to have you here. I hope you're enjoying the resources and the opportunities in this space. Please feel free to introduce yourself, make yourself at home, ask any questions. And yeah, just make good use of the space, that's what it's for.

Okay so today's topic then is are you tired of being tired? And tiredness is something that affects us all isn't it? Whether you're pregnant, whether you're a new mum, or whether you're an old mum like me. Tiredness just catches up on you and then you kind of spiral, it spirals doesn't it, out of control. As you then sleep less, you get more tired, you get more cranky and so on and so forth so I feel it'd be a really good topic for us to dive into today.

So my name's Sarah for those of you who don't know me, and I help people overcome their fears, their anxieties, stresses, worries, strains, and all those anxiety related symptoms, using hypnotherapy and applied psychology. So yeah, back to tiredness then. L

Tiredness, what does it mean for you? For me it's a lack of motivation, it's that feeling of self doubt and lack of ability, just makes my coping skills shrink a lot. You might get a little bit angry, a little bit snappy with people around you, short fuse, easily lose perspective on things. You might snap at your kids and then feel a little bit guilty as well. Yeah and just basically you feel a bit drained and a bit depleted, I think that's what tiredness is for me. And then of course you've got that looking frazzled feeling that goes with it as well haven't you? That physical appearance of being absolutely shattered and you always think you look worse than you do.

You might need to fuel your day with coffee or a cake or anything sugar just to get that rush to get you back through that next hour or two. So that's what tiredness is for me, and I'm sure that you can relate to some of those symptoms as well. Another thing I think is lack of concentration, finding it hard to make decisions, and of course doubting your abilities, that self doubt. So it affects all areas of our life and it has a knock on effect on our families too doesn't it?

Okay so if you're pregnant and you're watching this you're tiredness is obviously gonna be down to some changes in your hormones that you're dealing with. Remember you are growing another human being so be kind to yourself, it's gonna take a lot of work, a lot of effort, you are gonna feel tired. So rest when you can. Easier said than done sometimes when you've got older children I know. But rest when you can, drink plenty of water and be nutritious, think about your food and make sure that it is as nutritious as it can be.

You start to feel a little bit more tired towards the end of your pregnancy when you start waking up in the night as well. I think that affects us all doesn't it, towards the end of pregnancy. You wake up a couple of times, baby's on your bladder, you need a wee, and then you carry on and get back off to sleep, sometimes quite easily but then sometimes you start thinking, and you start thinking about these little bits and pieces that are going on and sometimes they're big things, something they're the smallest, silliest, irrelevant things but they go over and over in your mind and they stop you from getting off to sleep. So I think that's quite a common thing that runs through all of us isn't it?

And then of course we've got those new mums in the group, yeah you're gonna be tired aren't you. Baby wakes up usually once, twice, if not many more times in the night. I know my daughter seemed to just be awake on the hour every hour when she was small. William was a really easy baby, he used to sleep for quite a few times, quite a few hours in a nice block, he was a really easy baby. But then Olivia used to wake up every hour and I used to say, "Rich can you go cot side tonight?" Or "Can you go cot side for another hour or two?" Just so I could get a little bit of extra sleep. So yeah that new mummy tiredness.

Oh hi there, so we've got a viewer, hello. I can't see who you are but please feel free to say hello and join the conversation, it'd be lovely to hear your thoughts.

So yeah new mummy tiredness then. That gets you doesn't it? And of course it builds up, because it's not just once in the night, it's a couple of times, and then it's over and over again, and it's amazing actually how little sleep you can really function on. So yeah.

Older mums like me, even last night, crikey last night. Nine and 10 mine are so my son woke up at half past 11, "Mum I've had a nightmare." Went to the loo, went back to sleep. Left me awake for a little while. Then at half past two my daughter wakes up, "Mum I think I might be sick." But she was just hot, so we cooled her down and she went back to sleep. And then my dogs woke me up this morning at five, so yeah. Even when you get older the sleep pattern doesn't always necessarily change.

So what can we do then? Or what makes it worse and how you can make it easier on yourself. So let's have a little think then. Things that we do to make our tiredness worse for ourselves. The way that we talk to ourselves. So that inner voice, that inner conversation. And that external conversation as well. So you might find that you wake up and go, "Oh I'm so tired, I didn't sleep well last night. Oh I'm so tired, I woke up 15 times." Or whatever it was. And that conversation that you start to have with yourself impacts you, and it will impact you emotionally. You're gonna start to feel a little bit blurgh about that. And then physically as well, so you start to "Oh" with the shoulders and the motivation and it all kind of spirals from there doesn't it?

So the language that you use is really really important. At school we're taught to embellish our language and make it dramatic and theatrical and descriptive as we possibly can, which is great for people when they read your work but for you when you're having that internal dialogue, if you're so tired, you've never been so tired, this exhaustion is extreme. Then the impact of that on you physically and emotionally is gonna be equally as big. So it's a really important thing to recognise that mind and body connection and what it does and how it affects you.

So your language. You might look in the mirror and go, "Oh I look so tired today. I look awful." What's that gonna do to you and your self esteem and your ability to fly through your day? It's gonna put boundaries there isn't it? And start to make you feel a little bit more down, a little bit more conscious of what you're doing and what you look like. You might start to say to yourself, "Oh I can't cope, I'm never gonna get through the day, I can't manage." And all those other bits and pieces that we tend to have that little moan off with ourselves about.

So being aware of that, be aware of that conversation that you're having with yourself and then when you get together with other people, other mums, friends, family members, your other half. "Oh but I'm more tired than you. I've done this today, I've had that today." Gets a bit of a competition going don't you then sometimes. So watch out for that as well, you know, "I've done more than you, I must be more tired than you." So just be aware of that kind of conversation that goes on within yourself, and watch out with that language.

Another thing then, so before I go onto the next thing, we can flip that language. So I always recommend to my clients that they use positive and present tense when they're using their thoughts, when they're talking to themselves. So rather than, "I'm ever so tired, I'm never gonna get through the day." That's quite a dramatic and final statement isn't it? If you could flip that on its side and just say, "I've had enough sleep for what I need. I can easily get through the day." And although that easily might be a little bit of a white lie, if you keep telling yourself that things are gonna be easier then they will.

There's a saying in the world of hypnotherapy and it comes from [Imel Ku 00:09:07] And he always said, "If you tell yourself that what you have to do is going to be hard, you make it 10, 20, 30 times more difficult than it needs to be." Have a little think about that for a minute, it's so true isn't it? Whereas if you think, "I'm going to do it, I'm just doing this." It's easier, you just do it, it's easier. Whereas if you go, "Oh I don't know." And you start thinking about all those excuses, then yeah, everything will get that much harder for you to manage and get through and deal with. So be aware of your language, and if you've got any common thoughts that are very negative and very unhelpful, pop them in the comments, we'll reframe them and we'll turn them into something more positive and present for you if that's what you want to do.

Okay so before we move on then we've got flipping haven't we? We've got thinking about our thoughts, being aware of our thoughts, and flipping them over into positive and present ones because they do impact you physically and emotionally on your body. Other things you can do, really practical things you can do, every time you think you want that coffee, maybe have that great big glass of water first because a lot of tiredness is down to dehydration. And I think that dehydration does have a big impact on us and we probably don't drink half as near as much water as we should. So that's a really practical tip for you to make sure that you're drinking plenty. Obviously food, I'm not a nutritionist so I'm not gonna go into food but be sensible with your food. Take the healthy option where you can, because that's gonna give you more fuel, you're gonna burn more energy and you're gonna be more energised with that than you are with the sugary alternatives that gives you that instant hit. So there's a couple of little practical tips that I'm sure you know about and you don't really need me to tell you.

So moving on then, and thinking about what we can do to help ourselves when we are tired, is breathing. I'm a big fan of breathing because breathing changes everything if you've got it right. If you're feeling a little bit tired and you're feeling a little bit cranky and you're finding it difficult to manage, take in some long, slow, deep breaths. Some long, slow, deep breaths really in from the lungs there so you're expanding that rib cage. Breathing right in and then letting them come out. So they come in for a count of four and then back out for a count of double four if you can, so a seven or an eight or as much as you can. Sometimes if you're heavily pregnant you might want to do a three and a six. Do what feels comfortable for you but really nice big lung full of fresh air. And letting it out.

And as you let that air out, as you exhale, if you just imagine from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes that you're letting all your muscles relax. Like that and just let it all, like a balloon deflating. It's easier for me to demonstrate that when I'm not trying to talk to you at the same time. But have a go, breathe nice big deep breath in and then as you let it out just let everything relax, take all the tension out of your body. That's a really, really good way to reenergize yourself and you can do that a few times. And that gives you the opportunity then to reframe your mind.

So let me give you an example of that. You're at home, you've got the children, you're trying to cook the lunch or the dinner and they're beginning to have a little bit of a squabble because they're tired and hungry, you're tired, you're hungry, everybody's a little bit irritated. Before you go in and deal with the scenario that's going on with the children, if you do that breath a couple of times you instantly give yourself that opportunity to relax and reframe before you, "What are you doing?!" Or whatever it is that your response is when you're tired and cranky. That's my response, I'm not sure what yours is like. And so breathing is a really big thing for you, reframing those thoughts and of course the water.

So let's have a look then. I've got some top tips down here that I've made a note of. Number one, drink plenty of water, obviously we know this but are you actually doing it? So make sure that you get plenty of water. Number two, make sure you eat three regular meals a day, good quality meals. Stop eating rubbish and snacking in between on junk and make sure that you're eating until you're full, good, sensible, nutritious food because that will help keep you refuelled throughout the day to help combat that tiredness. And number three then, learn to switch off from the stuff and the nonsense that goes on around you. And ask yourself, when you've got something going on in your mind that you're burning over and you can't shake it off, just ask yourself, will this still matter in five minutes? Will this matter in five hours? Will this matter in five days? Will this matter in five years? And if it doesn't matter, let go. Let go of it, don't keep carrying it around, don't keep churning it over, because you're not really gonna be helping yourself are you? So learn to let go.

Where are we now? Okay number four, learn to recharge your energy stores. It only takes you five minutes, and we've all got five minutes haven't we? So I'm assuming you've got five minutes now, or if you haven't got five minutes now, put me on pause and come back to this part of the video when you have got five minutes, because what I'm gonna do now is just talk you through a nice, easy relaxation session. You can do this with one eye open, so if you're at home with the kids you can do this with your eyes open if you want to. Don't listen to me whilst you're driving because it's too distracting. Don't listen to me now if you're cooking as well, because that can be quite distracting too.

So be really sensible, if it's not a good time for you, press pause. If it is, get yourself comfy. Get yourself comfy and just start to relax, and what I want you to do is just breathe. Breathe in for four and out for four, just like you're going off to sleep. And I want you to keep that nice breath going in for four and out for four, just like you're going off into sleep. And you don't have to close your eyes for this, you can keep your eyes open if you want to or you can just lower them, so you're still aware of what's going on around you but they're just more comfortable. And when you do that I want you then to just concentrate on the top of your head, so just concentrate on the top of your head and your scalp, just imagine that you can let it relax. And the muscles around your eyes, just let them relax. And your jaw, if you just unclench your jaw as well, just let that relax too.

Okay so that's really good. If you unclench your jaw you're actually sending a message all the way down your spine to your pelvic floor to relax too, which is extremely good if you're pregnant and you're watching this and you want to relax. So that's a really good tip, unclench that jaw, it sends a message all the way down to your pelvic floor to relax as well. So we'll take that.

And then once you've relaxed your face I want you to just let your shoulders drop into the frame of your body. So we're taking out the tension in the neck and the shoulders and just letting them relax into the frame of your body, on to the back of your chair if you're sitting down, just let them relax. And then take that feeling of relaxation, so we're taking that feeling of tension out of our muscles, from our shoulders all the way down to the tips of your fingers. And you're just relaxing your biceps, your triceps, your forearms, your wrists, hands and fingers. They just go nice and loose and limp and free.

And then your chest and your diaphragm just beneath your chest, if you let that relax too. And on your next breath in, breathe in calmness, and as you breath out, breathe out all that tension and anxiety, and do that a few more times. Deep breath in, and breathe it out, let go of all of that tension and anxiety. And maybe do that one or two more times.

And then I want you to relax the muscles in your back of your spine, smaller muscles too. Your tummy muscles, just let them relax. And your hips. And your thighs, and your knees and your ankles, feet and toes. Okay so we've relaxed all areas of the body. We've started at the top and we've just let it all relax. And now what I want you to do is just imagine for me that you've got a scanning machine, and that scanning machine's gonna go down through your body and just make sure that you have in fact let everything relax, it's all loose and free. Okay so just do that for me now. Deep breath in, and as you exhale just let that scanning machine go down through your body, and let everything relax.

So what we want is for you to be like a ragdoll. If we were to pick you up by our finger and thumb from the middle there, you'd flop like a ragdoll. Sometimes it takes a little bit of practise. So just do that again. Deep breath in and as you exhale this time just make sure that you've let everything relax. And now I want you to say something really nice and supportive to yourself. And it might be, "Although I didn't sleep well last night, I know I've got the energy to get calm me through the day." Or something similar, something that works for you. "Although I was too hot to sleep last night, I know I've got enough energy to keep me going throughout the day."

So that's it, that's a really nice, easy, simple exercise for you to take away that you can do almost anywhere in almost any situation. Trust me, I do it quite a lot in the kitchen when my two are getting at it in the other room over what they want to watch on TV, when I'm trying to cook. Okay, it's just completely relaxed myself, it gives me a minute to reframe my mind, recharge myself and then go in and deal with the situation.

Okay so that's pretty much it for now, if you want to do some deeper relaxation I did post a link yesterday in the group, and it's for a 20 minute pure relaxation session. So go grab yourself that because it's really easy to get 20 minutes, isn't it, in the day, whereas some of the longer ones perhaps take a little bit, you need more time for the 30-40 minute ones, but this one's about 20 minutes. And you can kind of fit that in in the afternoon and just have a little power nap, it's like a recharge, a battery recharge. So go grab yourself a copy of that if you want to.

If you've got any comments at all, I can see we've got somebody on live with me but I'm sorry I can't see who you are so I can't say hello but if you've got any questions at all then please feel free, pop them in the comments. I do work a lot with people who suffer with insomnia, and insomnia is obviously one step further than just being tired all the time. Insomnia is where you can't sleep, you've got broken sleep, you might wake up at four o'clock and then that's it, you're wired, wide awake. And then the knock on effects of that are huge aren't they? So I do work a lot with insomnia as well and I've got some insomnia resources available. I don't know if they're on the website or not at the moment, but they can be. So if anybody's interested in those or working with me with their insomnia, then obviously let me know.

But for now, beating those daily tiredness feelings, I hope those top tips have helped you and I hope you can take some of those away and put them to good use. Alright? So I'm off out to enjoy the sunshine now with my two and I hope you have a fantastic day and I'll speak to you all soon. Thanks, bye-bye.

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