10 TIPS FOR GETTING OUT OF THAT HOMEMAKERS’ RUT
We’ve all been there. We’ll have a few days or weeks or even months where we are just unstoppable, where we’ll get all of things done and feel super duper proud of ourselves come bedtime. Perhaps the house is looking above par, or maybe, just maybe, we’ve actually IRONED our kids’ outfits! I know, it’s a rarity in our house too. But then, after being supermama for a while, we just kind of… burn out. Welcome to the homemakers’ rut.
More times than I care to admit my husband has come home to find me spread out on the sofa wearing last nights’ pyjamas, hair in disarray and panda eyes from where I forgot to take off my mascara before I went to bed. And when he asks me “What have you done all day?” I really, really struggle to come up with an answer other than “I kept our child alive.” Sometimes amidst all the pooey bums and the dirty dishes, simply staying awake can be a challenge. It’s a struggle we all face, but how can you break through that wall when it does happen?
Sometimes the best thing you can do to get out of a rut is just to force yourself to get up and do something. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be something off of your to-do list (though if you do choose something off your list that may motivate you even more!) but just do ANYTHING to get your body moving. A walk down the street, 15 jumping jacks, dancing around the kitchen to cringy pop music. It is scientifically proven that when we move our bodies we actually produce more energy, so get up and shake them hips mama!
Ask yourself “Have I eaten breakfast today?” and if you did, ask yourself “What was it that I ate?”. If you are feeling sluggish, it is extremely likely that it may be something to do with your diet. A cup of coffee to go is great (I myself am the queen of Costa!) but is it going to fuel your body for the whole day? Nah. The problem is we often spend so much time looking after other people and making sure that the kids eat their veggies, that we forget to practice what we preach. Your body needs proper nutrition in order to function at maximum capacity. Get yourself something to eat that is healthy and full of protein, like wholegrain cereal topped with berries and yoghurt, and you may start to feel that rut slipping away.
Just as our bodies rely on the food that we eat, it also relies on the liquid that we drink. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water, so when we are not properly hydrating ourselves a number of nasty side effects can occur… one of which is, you guessed it, sluggishness! Get some water down you, or if you don’t like water perhaps try a cup of refreshing green tea? You could even spruce your water up a bit with some fruit and ice to make it more flavourful? I know you hear about drinking more water all the time, and I know it can be difficult, but if you want to break out of a rut it truly is one of the best and easiest things you can do about it.
Try taking your mind off of your current situation and instead focus on helping out someone else. Not only will it get you up and doing something (see the first point) but it will also give you one of the greatest antidotes to feeling sorry for yourself… blessing someone else. Perhaps you have an elderly neighbour who lives alone and could do with some company? Or perhaps there’s a disabled lady nearby who would appreciate some help with the grocery shopping? Be sure to involve your kids in whatever you decide to do, as it will show them that helping others is something that they should find joy in doing too.
Take In Them Rays
Is it just me or do you feel a hundred times more sluggish when it is rainy and dreary outside? Actually, it’s once again to do with science! Sunlight increases serotonin levels which in turn may make you happier. Now, obviously we can’t do much about the weather, but what we can do is make the most of the sun when it’s out. Rather than staying cooped up indoors when the sun puts his hat on, get outside and enjoy those rays. Even if it’s just sitting in the garden for a little bit, it will make a huge difference.
Ooooooh, fancy getting this list as a handy checklist that you can refer back to?
Get In Those Zzzzzzz’s
You don’t have to be a genius to work out that a natural cure to tiredness is sleep. It can be incredibly beneficial to take a nap when you start to feel yourself falling into a rut. “But Becca, naps make me feel worse!” I hear you all cry. Yes, taking a nap can potentially make you feel even more sluggish. The key is to understand how our body actually works when we sleep. After about forty-five minutes of sleep your body goes into what is called ‘slow wave sleep’. It is when you wake up during this cycle that you get that horrible groggy feeling. To prevent it, limit your nap to less than thirty minutes. If you have kids, use the time that they are napping to get some zzz’s yourself, or if they are too old to nap perhaps try seeking out a babysitter just for half an hour?
And Don’t Forget About Nighttime
Getting in those zzz’s doesn’t just apply to naps. Perhaps if you are feeling sluggish you need to think about going to bed earlier, as opposed to staying up into the early hours of the morning binge-watching Pretty Little Liars (don’t worry – we’ve all done it). You also want to be making sure you are getting good quality sleep, so turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed, clear your mind by writing out everything into a journal and try reading a few pages of a fiction book. All of these activities will help you mind and body to wind down and prepare itself for sleep.
Get Into a Routine
I bang on about the importance of routines a lot, but that is because they are just SO important. I think the word ‘routine’ scares a lot of people, because they think that it means regimented time blocking that can’t be deviated from at all. More free spirited ladies might think that routines could just never work for them. Wrong! A routine is simply the process of doing certain actions in a similar order at a similar time of the day. Think about the routines you already subconsciously have in place. What is the first thing you do when you get up? Make a coffee? Go to the bathroom? Open the blinds? Even if you’re not making any kind of effort, these things are all forming part of your daily routine. If you fancy going really in depth with your morning routine then you can check out this article, but it doesn’t have to be this big thing that you decide to do. Simply have a think about what you do each day and try to take out some of the things that just aren’t helping you and replace them with more productive acitons. Scrolling on Facebook for two hours probably isn’t going to help you get out of a rut, but having a shower and getting some makeup on might. On that note…
Take a Shower and Get Dressed
The simple act of taking a shower does wonders when I can feel myself falling into a rut. It refreshes me and wakes me up, especially if I blast some good old sing-along tunes and sing at the top of my voice (I do feel sorry for my neighbours!). Try getting yourself showered and afterwards dress yourself in something other than pyjamas or sweats. Yes, they’re comfy and no, there’s nothing wrong with having a pyjama day every now and again, but if it’s two consecutive days in a row you might need to accept that you need pyjama rehab. Remember, acceptance is the first step to recovery. I’m not suggesting stiletto heels and a mini skirt, but even a pair of jeans and a t-shirt will make you feel a little more human. Bonus points if you take some time to do your hair and makeup. Sit the kids in front of the TV just this once if you have to, the main thing is you will start to feel like you again and will therefore be a better mama.
Step Away From the Ben and Jerry’s
Remember what I said in point two, about your body needing the right kind of fuel? Well I hate to break it to you, but junk food ain’t it. I know you hear the old ‘everything in moderation’ mantra over and over again, but it is so true. Rather than eating that whole tub of cookies and cream, how about just a few spoonfuls to satisfy the craving? I know, it’s a crazy proposition. But it’s important to remember that while junk food may make you feel good to begin with, it’s going to add to that crappy run down feeling throughout the day. Do yourself a favour and put down the spoon!
Don’t forget to download the handy checklist so that you can take action the second you start to feel burnt out!
How are you doing? Feeling better? I’d love to know some of your top tips for getting out of a homemakers’ rut and which of the were the most effective for you. Comment below and your tip may even be featured in the next article!