After being told I had chronic sleep deprivation by a neurologist who thought I’d had a stroke, I thought I’d “just” have to get more sleep. I say “just” but for anyone that has breastfed, that in itself is quite a challenge! But no, it requires a big change in everything, including exercise.
I have had to shift my thinking about this because I had gone from a bit of a fitness nut pre-pregnancy, then to a bit of a wobbly mess with all the relaxin in my body during pregnancy when I attempted to even go walking for 1/2hr, to putting the needs of my bub WAY ABOVE mine, resulting in virtually not much exercise at all to be honest. Well, the occasional pilates and yoga but it was like starting from scratch as I now had to learn about post-pregnancy body and what that now meant to me (hello back spasms, weak core, no cardio fitness). I’m so fortunate to have an amazing pilates teacher that has helped me with all of this since my bub was 3months old.
But with chronic sleep deprivation my hormones were way out of whack. And still are. It’s going to take time. As in months and months of time, and ‘me time’ to do some exercise to help get those hormones back to normal. Giving myself some time to exercise has meant I needed to get my head around the ‘how to’. So it sounds like a great plan to get up before my toddler and do some exercise right? Isn’t that what ‘they’ suggest? That doesn’t happen very often as I’m sleep deprived right? So I need sleep!
So now I practice my pilates and yoga at home when my toddler is awake. At first I thought this was selfish. Taking ‘our’ time together from her (mama guilt eh?). But now I finally see that this gives me more energy for myself AND for her, and I am setting a good example! She no longer thinks that it’s just daddy that runs, swims and rides. Mum exercises too! And she gets in on the action while I’m on my yoga mat or when I’m using the chi-ball. I’m still surprised how much she enjoys this time and knows that the chi-ball is mama’s – too cute.
And I’m slowly getting back into the brisk walking thing (fancy new shoes always make it more enticing!) to help regulate my hormones too. This takes a little more negotiation. My toddler can either get in her fancy ‘bub’ pram from when she was a baby and come with me or stay home with dad while I walk around the suburb for 1/2hr. Her choice. BUT she now knows that she has to stay in the pram as mama needs to exercise. Just liked she understands that mama has to go to her pilates classes at Claudia’s house. So far so good!
IF for some reason I can’t fit some exercise in then I do a relaxation practice called ‘yoga nidra’ as it has been proven to help balance and strengthen the endocrine system (and therefore my hormones). I have made a free relaxation for you to try if you are in a similar situation (sleep deprived/hormone whacked/tired). It’s a tough place to be in and it does require getting serious about making changes. Please ‘like’ this post if you are in a similar situation (sleep deprived/hormone whacked/tired) and leave a ‘comment’ about what you’re doing to get out of your sleep deprived life!