Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be one of the most exhausting. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, your day is filled with endless responsibilities and tasks that never seem to end. It’s no wonder that many parents often feel drained physically, spiritually, and mentally.
In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why being a parent can be so exhausting and provide some tips on how to cope with the daily demands of parenthood. Whether you are a new parent or have been at it for years, this post is for you.
I don’t know about you, but fatigue in my life produces many undesirable results:
- I lose patience and get frustrated and angry
- I think and speak negatively
- I become hard to please
- I give up and give in faster
- I doubt my abilities
- I become irrational
- I can’t concentrate
I could go on, but I’m getting tired just thinking about all this negativity, so I’ll stop there.
As Parents, I know that many of us can feel guilty about resting and self-care. I want to free you from that unhealthy thought and tell you it’s more than okay for you to take care of yourself! In fact, you need to take care of yourself first.
Every time we fly on an airplane, we hear flight attendants sharing some variation of the Oxygen Mask Rule, “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”
The reason you take care of yourself first is so you can help others. Parents, take care of yourself first, so you can help your children. You can help them become healthy adults initially by modeling health to them.
Here are 3 Steps to Get Rest:
- Understand the difference between ‘rest’ and ‘escape’
Rest energizes us while escape leaves us depleted. I’ve found that rest enables me to regain energy, strength, confidence, and even my sanity, so I can approach the responsibilities of tomorrow with my full potential.
In contrast, while escape may provide me with an immediate gratification that brings happiness, control, or numbness, it ultimately brings me to tomorrow feeling less prepared, less capable, and less hopeful. (An example of escape in my life is binge-watching something on a streaming service like Prime or Netflix.)
- Prioritize rest and be intentional about self-care
Remember the Oxygen Mask Rule and schedule restful actions in your days and weeks.
- Remain consistent in your pursuit of rest
Give people you trust permission to ask you how it’s going in this area.
Here are Some Ways I Rest and Avoid Exhaustion:
- Get to bed on time
Me when I don’t get enough sleep 🤬
- Enjoy time with Jesus at the beginning of and throughout each day
Reading Scripture and praying brings me peace. I’ve also recently started brief times of meditation using an app called One Minute Pause.
- Hang out with the right people
I don’t isolate from others, but I also don’t spend time with people who drain me. I enjoy time with those who breathe life into me, who add value to me, and who I have fun with.
- Get out of the house
For me this can look like going to the gym or to a coffee shop. It can be a walk around Lake RSM with my beautiful bride or a meal with a friend. Maybe playing basketball with my kids or walking around the Irvine Spectrum alone. Also, sitting in the backyard and taking in nature. The Sun and the wind along with different sights, sounds, and smells really energizes me.
- Do a physical workout
Sweat is sweet. I know I’m headed down a dark path if I don’t do cardio and lift.
- Eat healthy and take supplements
Unhealthy eating results in me feeling sluggish and tired. My diet drastically affects my mood.
- Monitor my media intake
I don’t watch the news too much. I keep it minimal only getting the highlights and not doing any deep dives. I’m also not on Social Media much.
- Mind my mind
Sometimes my mind will visit unhealthy places. I don’t want it to remain there. These places are composed of thoughts brought on by Satan’s temptation and my imperfection. I strive to follow Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
- Listen to worship music
I have a Spotify worship playlist that either plays as background music at home or blasts loudly for all our neighbors to hear. Sometimes I’m polite and wear earbuds.
So, there it is. A few things that help me not to feel exhausted during exhausting circumstances. What would you add to this list? Taking naps? Getting your nails done? Reading? Do it!
I hope this helps. I just prayed for everyone who reads this post. Remember to model what a healthy adult looks like to your children. It begins with taking care of yourself which includes resting.