As a parent, you’re always “on.” No matter how you feel that day, you have to get up and keep your household running. But when you’re dealing with a chronic health issue, it’s hard to give family life your all.
It’s not only serious health problems that interfere with our ability to be the parents, partners, and people we want to be. Even minor health issues have an impact on our day-to-day well-being.
Here’s how you can deal with some of the most common health issues affecting parents and reclaim your life.
It’s normal to move a little slowly after a night of poor sleep or a tough week at work, but if you frequently feel tired for no reason, you could be dealing with chronic fatigue.
There are many causes of chronic fatigue. Most often, it’s the combination of multiple lifestyle choices that leads to chronic low energy. Here’s how you can get your energy back:
- Drink more water. Dehydration leads to tiredness and brain fog.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Regular sleep and wake times are the key to higher-quality rest. Go to bed early enough that you get 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Change your diet. Foods that are high in sugar and refined carbs lead to energy crashes. Fuel your body with protein, non-starchy vegetables, and other low glycemic index
- Take a B12 supplement if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Low B12 leads to anemia and fatigue.
- Eat iron-rich foods. This is especially important for women, who are prone to iron deficiency.
- Exercise more. This isn’t easy when you’re feeling tired, but an active lifestyle is linked to higher energy levels.
- Address depression. Sometimes tiredness is more psychological than physical. If there’s a chance you could be depressed, talk to your doctor.
Anxiety is hard to live with. Even when you recognize thoughts as irrational, it’s hard to ignore the voice in your head telling you to worry. However, anxiety doesn’t only affect you, it influences your children as well. For a healthier home, try these coping strategies:
- Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing elicits the relaxation response, helping you calm down in tough moments.
- Get active. Exercise is a natural mood booster and builds your resilience against stress.
- Say no to negative thinking. Instead of letting ruminations get to you, learn to recognize them and stop negative thought patterns in their tracks.
- Try CBD. CBD is used to manage anxiety, headaches, nausea, and other health issues. The beneficial cannabinoids found in CBD oil help you relax without intoxicating effects.
- Talk to someone. Therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medication as well.
Do you send your kids to bed promptly at 8 p.m. but struggle to fall asleep yourself? Insomnia is common, but that doesn’t mean you have a sleep disorder. In most cases, sleeplessness can be solved through lifestyle changes like these:
- Avoid afternoon caffeine. That 2 p.m. pick-me-up may get you through the rest of the day, but it’s sabotaging your sleep and perpetuating an unhealthy cycle. Suffer through a few days of reducing your caffeine intake to get your sleep back.
- Give yourself a bedtime. A consistent sleep schedule ensures you get 8 hours a night and trains your body to feel tired and awake at the same time each day.
- Get electronics out of the bedroom. Your bedroom should be a place for sleep and intimacy, not TV, work, or social media. Not only are they mentally stimulating when you need to relax, but the light from electronics also disrupts your circadian rhythm.
- Get a new mattress. A new mattress isn’t a fun way to spend your money, but if your mattress is old and worn out, a new one is well worth the cost.
Be patient with yourself as you make these changes. Lifestyle changes aren’t easy to accomplish, especially when you already feel less than stellar. However, if you stick with it, you’ll start feeling better and getting back to your best self.
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