Tired by 8:00am
Question of the Day:
“I’m sure everyone is struggling during this Coronavirus lockdown so I feel a bit self indulgent asking for help on this. For the last few weeks, or months, who keeps track anymore, I’ve been struggling and I don’t know why. I have no reason to complain, my kids aren’t toddlers anymore, they can fend for themselves. I’m better off than many moms, but this morning I looked at the clock and realized... I was exhausted. It was 8:00am. My day hadn’t even started yet and I was already tired. Since your podcast is called Supermom is Getting Tired, I thought maybe you could help me understand what could cause me to be so tired after just waking up from a full night's sleep? “
Life Coaching Answer:
When I was a kid, my Dad had a medical book I loved that would ask you questions about your ailments as a way to help you diagnose:
Do you have a cough? Yes or no.
Is the phlegm yellow? Yes or no.
Do you have a fever? If yes, turn to page 512 to learn more about…….
When clients come to me who have general fatigue or overwhelm and they aren’t sure why they have it, I take them through a flow chart, starting with the basics:
Do you get enough sleep? yes or no
Do you get enough physical rest? yes or no
Most of us get TOO MUCH physical rest these days. Only once have I had a client who was a bit addicted to exercising. She was convinced she needed to run, bike, and swim multiple times during the day, even when her body was telling her to rest.
I am not a medical doctor so I would never advise you on your physical health. If you get enough sleep, enough physical rest, and your doctor can’t find anything medically wrong, let’s move to the next two questions.
Do you get enough psychological rest?
Do you get enough spiritual rest?
Most of my clients would answer no to these questions.
Psychological rest is a quieting of the mind. When your mind is racing with all the things you need to get done, constantly putting pressure on you, telling you that you aren’t doing enough, it is exhausting. The brain can easily fixate on worrying about the future, mulling things over from the past, or both. Many Supermoms yearn for the feeling of being present. When we are present, our mind goes quiet. For most of my clients, focusing on the current moment sounds luxurious and, oftentimes, impossible.
Spiritual rest comes when we are congruent with who we are meant to be, living in alignment with our highest self. If you love being active outside in nature but you spend your days stuck on the couch with a breastfeeding baby and a sleeping toddler, this creates spiritual unrest. If you come alive in front of an audience and love the energy a crowd of people generates, but are stuck behind a computer in your home office, it creates spiritual unrest. Many Supermoms can reconnect to their spirit by focusing on their own goals, dreams, and passions beyond raising kids.
I’m going to assume Dianne is like most of my clients and would answer NO, she does NOT get enough psychological and spiritual rest.
The next question to help answer the question, “Why am I tired by 8am?” is….
Do you have everything you’ve ever wanted?
Is everything going well for you right now?
If yes, check out the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. In it, he coins the phrase “upper limit problems” to describe the negative emotions and self sabotaging experiences we create when everything is going well. It sounds strange, but I’ve seen it enough times to believe it: too much happiness makes us uncomfortable. We feel guilty, we play small or minimize or self-sabotage our way back into our comfort zone. When we are in this state of resisting joy, we worry, we feel exhausted, we get sick or injured, anything to return us to our comfort zone. If this sounds like you, breathe and allow these upper limit problems to be there without resistance as you slowly increase your tolerance for joy.
If the answer to “Do you have everything you ever wanted?” is a NO, the next question is...
Are you putting a lot of pressure on yourself?
I’ve talked before about the 3 P’s, “Perfectionism, People Pleasing, and Pushing to power through.”
If the first 30 minutes of your day is focused on everything you HAVE to do, NEED to do, SHOULD do, you will be exhausted by 8am. Undoing the habit of self pressure isn’t difficult, but it does take concentrated time and effort.
You might ask, “Isn’t that just pressuring myself to not put pressure on myself?” YEP! When Supermoms discover the negative effects of self pressure and how to overcome it, they often use this as another thing to beat themselves up for. “I should be more relaxed and grateful” or “I need to be better about meditating and journaling.” The self pressuring habit will suck the fun out of life, keep you from taking risks, and teach your kids that obligation is more important than personal happiness.
Hiring a life coach who understands this tendency will give you energy, enthusiasm, and freedom like you never knew was possible. Schedule your free discovery call here.
What percentage are you giving vs. receiving?
For many of my Supermom clients, this answer is they give 80-95% of their time, energy, and attention.
There is a term called “attentional fatigue” that is used for ADHD kids to describe the mental exhaustion experienced after trying to pay attention to things that don’t interest them. I think this is a perfect term to describe the type of exhaustion many moms feel after a day with the kids. When your attention is constantly being pulled outside of yourself, “Hey Mom, listen to me!" "Hey Mom, look here!” we become starved for our own attention.
Your energy goes where your attention goes so naturally this 90% giving, 10% receiving will be exhausting. Next time you get a break from the kids, watch where your mind wanders. If your attention is STILL on other people, even when you are physically alone, you need some mind management techniques in order to get your energy back up. Schedule your free discovery call today!
Is there something you are avoiding?
When we are trying not to think about something, or not feel something, it is exhausting. When you make peace with your past, mend relationships, and overcome your anxieties about the future, it will give you an immediate energy boost.
Are you bored? Have you stopped growing?
Just because we have kids, doesn’t mean our lives are supposed to stop. We are meant to continually grow, learn, and expand into better versions of ourselves. Perhaps you LOVED being a stay home mom with your first two kids, but by the time your third child started walking, you lost your enthusiasm. Life felt a little boring. Been there, done that. You feel guilty not giving your third child as much time and attention as you gave to your older two. Your spirit is ready to grow. You long to go back to work: to get dressed up, be around people, and feel productive again. Keeping your spirit locked up when it’s ready to fly will always create exhaustion. This is how your higher self motivates you to take action.
Are you arguing with reality?
Wishing things were different than they are will always make you tired.
Thinking thoughts like, “My child should obey me” when he clearly isn’t obeying you, is exhausting.
Wishing this Coronavirus wasn’t here, or that people would wear masks in public will keep you spinning in a frustrating circle.
Arguing against a child's diagnosis with thoughts like “I should have been able to fix this by now” or “What does she have to be depressed about?” or “This shouldn’t be happening” are exhausting thoughts that lead us nowhere.
Accepting reality as it is right now, is the fastest way to make positive changes. “What about this problem is perfect for me?” is a great question to ask. Learning to believe that things are happening for your best and highest good will give you a more energizing perspective with access to your creative brain.
Supermom Kryptonite: Not asking for help
Supermom Power Boost - Learning how to dream
Quote of the Day:
“Gradually I came to see that I was just worrying for the sake of choking the flow of positive energy in myself. Worrying was one way I was Upper-Limiting myself.” Gay Hendricks from The Big Leap