No sleep? No problem, mamas!
Mamas, I’m writing this from experience. A lot of it. My precious little darlings aren’t as keen on sleep as I am (apparently this is a sign of intelligence, here’s hoping), which means I’ve learned to get through my days with not many zzz’s under my belt and huge bags under my eyes.
Whether you’ve been burning the midnight oil over your fave TV series, had a wild night on the town without the kiddos or been up attending to the needs of babies and toddlers (my 5-year-old wakes me with questions about everything from why snowmen don’t have ears to when a meteor will strike the earth), here are a few ways to deal with your day after a bad night’s sleep beyond hiding in your bed, because sadly that’s just not practical for any mama…
Don’t hit snooze.
Whatever you do, however many times you’ve been up in the night, the snooze button is not your friend. The sleep you’ll get in between alarm calls feels utterly divine but don’t be fooled – it’ll leave you feeling groggier plus make you late once you eventually haul your sorry state out of bed. Hide the alarm at the other side of the room. Get up and…
Get in the shower.
As obvious as it sounds, a huge dose of water will help kick-start your day. Feeling extra brave? Turn the temperature down and you’ll be wide awake in no time.
Step outside, soak up some sunshine, breathe in some fresh air.
A big fix of natural light will stimulate your serotonin levels, too – so any feelings of unhappiness at being so utterly exhausted will be eased. A little.
Get your workout gear on.
Okay, so I regularly conduct the school drop-off in full running attire. Am I always going running? Hell, no. But I feel more energetic just wearing the stuff – and on the days that I have time to get onto the running track, in the pool or to a barre class, I feel so much better for it. A little pain – a lot of gain.
Invest in essential skincare products and makeup.
I’m talking botox in bottles. Plaster your face with moisturiser (dry skin looks tired). One of my faves? Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream SPF 30 with natural hydrating shea cream, calming copper PCA and calcium PCA, which keeps the collagen in your face from breaking down – um, yes please. It does the whole shebang: anti wrinkling, skin smoothing and pore minimising and it’s even got SPF 30 – perfect.
Get some eye serum on those dark circles too, it’ll help shrink puffiness. Now that your skin is fresh and plumped, use a tinted moisturiser, under-eye concealer, little mascara and a healthy dose of bronzer or blush (don’t go crazy with it, Halloween’s over). You can always also detract from the eyes with a full-on red lipstick if you’re feeling brave! A spritz of scent (something fresh) and your sunglasses and you’re good to get out and be seen.
Coffee – but not too much or you’ll get jittery.
One cup of joe and your reaction time will no longer be on slow (never good with small people around). Water is better, lots and lots of it – honestly – drink up, mamas.
Food – the right kind.
Tempted to reach for the carbs for a little comfort? They’ll only make you feel worse, mamas – ditto the chocolate (sugar will help temporarily and then get you crashing down). Eat food with crunch, seriously, if it’s fresh and crunchy then it’ll make you feel fresh… and.. er… crunchy.
Don’t sit and wallow.
Now I’ve done this loads – loafed about whining about how tired I am – and it not only annoys everyone around me, but makes the whole situation worse too. Talk yourself into feeling okay (power of the mind and all that). And if you’re feeling sluggish then get up, make tea, do a bit of re-organising. You may not want to but once you start you’ll get into the swing of it.
Read more: 5 Self-care Strategies for Busy Mamas
After school – do something active with the kids.
I know, you want to plonk them in front of the TV and crawl into a hole. But get the music going for a dance-off, get out to the park, go for a swim – you’ll feel better and they’ll get the dose of exercise needed for a good night’s sleep. Hopefully.
Go to bed early. And repeat.