Why am I Always so Tired? Tiredness - it is a constant state of being as soon as you become a parent (I am even yawning as I write this!)....
Tiredness – it is a constant state of being as soon as you become a parent (I am even yawning as I write this!). It seems there’s never enough hours in a day to get things done, and everyone wants you to do stuff for them – the kids want you, the hubby/partner wants you, the boss wants you, the pets want you, your friends want you and Facebook wants you (or is that just me??). Bills need to be paid, housework has to be done, meals need to be prepped and cooked, and the shopping won’t do itself – and heaven forbid if you want any time to yourself! AND, somewhere you have to fit some quality sleep in there as well. OMG I am exhausted just thinking about it all!
Causes of Tiredness
Tiredness can have multiple causes, probably too many to list here, but the obvious ones us mums might experience are :
- lack of sleep – that’s an obvious one for mums – especially when you have a baby!
- poor diet – especially one high in fat and sugar;
- lack of exercise;
- being overweight;
- hormonal problems – especially the thyroid and reproductive hormones;
- poor immune system – illnesses such as the flu and glandular fever can increase fatigue;
- poor fluid intake – dehydration makes you feel really tired all the time and zaps you of energy;
- anaemia – low red blood cells caused by lack of iron in the diet;
- vitamin and mineral deficiency;
- stress – mental, physical or emotional stress can all cause fatigue;
- depression (either post-natal or clinical) or some other mental health disorders;
- other major health problems such as heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome or hepatitis;
- overuse of alcohol, caffeine or other drugs (including over the counter or prescription medications);
- work – if you work part or full time or are a shift worker this can cause excessive fatigue.
My fatigue is worrying me – what should I do?
If you are at the point where you are at your wit’s end with tiredness and this constant fatigue is affecting your health, relationships and life in general, then it’s time to take some action. The first thing you need to do is see your GP – you need to have a check-up to find out what is causing the tiredness. The GP will want to ask you questions about your medical health history (including family health history), then do a physical exam plus some tests like a blood test or urine test. You may also be referred to a counsellor or other specialist depending on the possible cause of fatigue. After the GP visit, you can also consider seeing a naturopath.
Suggestions to Help Fight Fatigue
Here’s a few tips to help get some of your energy back and eliminate some of the tiredness. (If there is a medical cause to your fatigue these may help in conjunction with any treatment prescribed by your doctor.)
- Sleep! – I know it can be easier said than done, but if you can get yourself more sleep then it’ll help. If you are a new mum, then forget the housework and nap whenever your baby naps. Go to bed early instead of sitting on the internet all night or watching TV – record your fave shows to watch them later! Rest, rest, rest!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff! – If you can’t get all the housework done, leave it for later! Don’t stress about it! Just get done what you can and don’t run around like a blue-arsed fly trying to get the impossible done. Maybe set yourself a more realistic routine (including rest breaks) so you aren’t exhausting yourself.
- Go on a health kick! - Cut down on fat and sugar and increase your intake of healthier foods like fruit and vege. Drink more water and less coffee and alcohol. Get a bit more exercise – even if it’s just a DVD workout or a walk. See a naturopath about some vitamin supplements. Go and have a massage or do some yoga.
- Get out more! – Go and visit some friends or take the kids to a playground. Get out in the fresh air – it’s amazing what fresh air can do to rejuvenate the senses. Get out into the garden and plant a veggie patch. Do something to break up the boredom!
- Get Help! – If you are struggling to get through the day, or even struggling to get out of bed in the morning, you may be depressed. Ring Lifeline (131114) or head to the Beyond Blue website http://www.beyondblue.org.au/ for more information. Think about getting yourself off to a counsellor.
- Delegate! – List everything you do in your day to day life and see if there’s anything you can ask someone else to do (be it your partner, your kids, your friends or family) – there has to be someone around who can carry some of the burden so you aren’t doing so much. If the kids are stressing you out, see if someone can come and watch them while you go out for a while (or have a sleep!).
- Just look after yourself! – Put your feet up when you can!
If you are concerned about your symptoms please see a doctor or we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.