How long has it been since you’ve really felt like you’re in your groove? Too long? You can’t remember the last time?
Rest assured you’re not alone - it happens to all of us at some point! We lose our way a little, we have no energy, we stop doing the things we enjoy, we’re just going through the motions – in a sense, we flat-line. Quite often we experience these flat-line periods when we’re overwhelmed or all-consumed by something or someone in our life. A very common example is in the early years of parenting when quality sleep is a rarity, and we’re emotionally drained from the stress and anxiety that comes with learning on the job as a new parent.
So how do you get back your groove?! Try these six steps:
We can’t be Groovin’ if we aint Movin’!
Just move! Sounds so simple right? Well it isn’t…not when you’re flat-lining...but just take it one step at a time. Start small and build your way up. I’m not saying go out and join a gym and bust out a session of Body Attack today (though if you want to, feel free)! You can incorporate movement and exercise into your day without having to find babysitters or fork out lots of money.
Turn on a “pick me up” song and get dancing in the living room, or bopping to high volume in the car. (My personal favourites are “On Top of the World”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Daydream Believer”).
Walk where you would normally drive.
Play a game of ‘clean up olympics’ – think pole vault style sweeping, and goal shooting laundry. You’ll get the job done, you’ll move, and I reckon you won’t be able to help but smile…maybe even laugh (working out those tummy muscles even more) whilst you’re doing it!
Whichever way you choose to do it, the important thing is getting that blood pumping through your veins again and giving your body a chance to generate some of those awesome natural happy vibes called endorphins that come alive through exercise.
Healthy body – healthy mind
Chances are if you’ve lost your groove, you’ll also be a little (or a lot) run down. Mums are one of the highest risk groups for adrenal fatigue. Make sure you address your health as a priority and give your body the support it needs to get through this period of stress. Vitamins, minerals and lots of water are a really good start. Address your diet and ensure you’re eating regularly. Stop chowing down a bag of chips or three choc chip cookies at 2pm because you were so busy making sure the kids were fed and happy that you forgot all about having your own lunch (let alone breakfast)!
Remember, if our body is unhealthy we’ll have a hard time keeping a healthy mind.
You should also check out our exclusive series of blogs on Adrenal Fatigue and tips on how to reverse it by superstar Naturopath Tara Ross...there's even a free e-book - "Escape from Zombie Land" available on her site for MPJ readers!
Say Yes to Yourself
Want to get back your groove? You’re going to need time and energy to focus on yourself…not just everyone else. There’s a great little quote from Paolo Coehlo that says, “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself”. This is one to print out and post on your bathroom mirror.
Start saying yes to yourself. This isn’t selfish, this isn’t being a bad parent or friend or partner. This is part of being a healthy and fulfilled individual…which in effect leads to your ability to be a better mum/partner/friend in the long run!
It’s all about balance. Stop over committing yourself, stop saying yes to unreasonable requests from friends and/or family, stop trying to do every.single.thing your child decides they so desperately want to do. You’re not a machine. You can’t do EVERYTHING. You’re a human being. You have your own needs; and you have as much right as anyone else on the planet to ensure those needs are met.
So take the time you gained from saying no, to saying yes to something that used to make you feel groovy; or to do something entirely new. Learn something, read something, play something…just do something that reminds you of who you are and what you love.
Grateful is Grooveful
The energy we give out is the energy we get back. When we’re flat-lining, our energy is at an all time low…so giving out positive energy is a tough gig during these times, BUT it’s a must. Finding something we are grateful for and expressing that gratitude on a daily basis is an activity that forces our focus to the present moment. It also activates positive thought, and sends out positive energy which will inevitably find its way back to you. Start by beginning or ending each day with one thing you are grateful for – journal it, blog it, post it on social media, or make it a part of your dinner time conversation.
Make it about YOU
I think I just felt the collective cringe of the masses in cyberspace reading that line! Why is it that the idea of making something all about ourselves makes us feel so uncomfortable? Ok, I’ll soften it a little…what I’m getting at here is that as parents sometimes it seems like our whole entire existence revolves around our children. Where we go out, what we eat for dinner…right down to the conversations we have with friends and family!
If you want to get back your groove, you’ve got to shake it up a little.
Make a concerted effort to break up the conversation every now and then and talk about something other than your kids. Talk about yourself, what you’ve been doing, what you’re thinking about doing, what’s on your bucket list, how you’re feeling today. It’s a difficult task not to reference all those things back to your children, but resist the urge. In doing so you remind yourself (on both a conscious and a sub-conscious level) that you’re a person in your own right. You’ll find that doing so will lead to discovery (or reminder) of the things you enjoy doing and the things that’ll propel you back into your groove.
Get your groove on from 7pm
Okay, caveat on this one…I totally get how hard it is to establish sleep routines with babies and toddlers. It can feel virtually impossible…but stick with it. Try to establish consistent routines, and stay firm with bedtimes. Kids need sleep. Quite honestly they need a heck of a lot of it. Studies indicate that 4 year olds should be getting on average 12-14 hours of sleep a day. So if you can get them to bed by around 7pm, then you’re doing them a massive favour….and guess what!?
THAT MEANS YOU HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF POTENTIAL “ME TIME” UP YOUR SLEEVE EVERY DAY!
Allocate some of this time to doing things other than chores. Focus on that hobby. Spend a little time getting some passion back with your partner. Have a bath.
Based on a conservative 9.30pm bedtime, you now have 17.5 HOURS A WEEK… or 910 HOURS A YEAR that you can utilise for getting back your groove!
So what are you waiting for? Get groovin’ mamas!
This post has been featured on Hello Mamas - a site connecting mums all over the world!