We know all types of tired: being physically drained after a tough workout, feeling emotionally exhausted, running dangerously low on sleep. And then there’s mom tired. That’s a different type of tired altogether.
Melinda – Baby2Body’s founder and CEO – is no stranger to the #momtired game. She raised two children and ran her own business as a single parent. Yet as a Sports Psychologist, she knows how emotional, mental, and physical fatigue can negatively impact performance – in all areas of life. That’s why good rest and better recovery are so important to her.
So, she’s sharing 5 of her tried-and-true methods for relaxing, rebooting and recharging – no matter what kind of tired you’re dealing with.
5 Techniques To Help You Relax, Reboot, and Recharge
Before we jump into some of my go-to relaxation and recharging techniques, I want to talk about the very first place you should focus your rest and recovery efforts: your bedroom. When it comes to our body’s natural recovery process, there’s no equivalent to good sleep. I definitely recommend reading this article, which busts common sleep myths and outlines what good rest actually means.
I know for new and expecting moms saying ‘get good sleep’ is like telling you to go walk on the moon – because when you’re 8 months pregnant or raising a newborn, sleep is a distant reality. Trust me, I get it. But there are things you can do to improve the sleep you are getting, and one place to start is with your mattress.
My tired new mom days are long behind me, but as a CEO of a start-up, I feel like I have another baby keeping me up all night, every night – so I’m very accustomed to feeling exhausted lately. However, I recently switched to a Simba Hybrid Mattress and the difference in my quality of sleep has been incredible.
I start my work days early and usually end the day with an evening workout – so by the time I go to bed I’m not just mentally tired, my muscles are fatigued as well. My Simba is so supportive compared to what I was sleeping on before and I’ve been waking up feeling restored, which is how every morning should start.
If you’re not getting great sleep, here’s why you may want to look at a high-quality, supportive mattress: you’ll move around less at night, meaning you’ll be able to remain in those deeper sleep states that are so vital for recovery. I can’t recommend the Simba Hybrid Mattress enough for its performance when it comes to comfort and support (not to mention the ease of delivery and setup)!
Now, once you’ve made the most of your regular sleep schedule, here are 5 non-sleep techniques for helping you feel more rested and recharged:
1. Deep Breathing for Immediate Relaxation
Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Let yourself settle in before starting. When you’re ready, place your hands on your stomach and inhale slowly through your nose for the count of 8 – letting your lungs fill completely. Feel your chest and abdomen expand. Once you’ve reached your capacity, hold your breath for 2 counts, and then exhale out of your mouth for 8 counts. Continue for 5-10 minutes, or until you feel your whole body relax.
2. Muscle Relaxation for Physical Fatigue and Tension
Lie down so your whole body is comfortably supported. Starting at the top of your head, focus on one muscle group at a time, all the way down to your toes. First, tense the muscles around your neck while inhaling. Then, relax that muscle group fully, exhaling while you do so. Continue down your body – to your arms and upper back, your core, your butt, your thighs, calves, and finally your feet – tensing and releasing each muscle group one at a time. Repeat in the opposite direction if needed.
I’ve got a guided progressive muscle relaxation you can do here.
3. Mindfulness Meditation to Feel Calm and In Control
The best way to get into mindfulness is to get into a rhythmic behavior – such as walking, running, breathing, or knitting – and focus on that repetition. Think about the soles of your feet as you walk. Focus intensely on how your feet feel, the steadiness of every footfall, and the gentle shifting of your weight. Zone in on this rhythm and allow yourself to be wholly present in the action of walking. Let your mind clear itself of everything else and be only in the present moment.
New to mindfulness? Follow along with this introductory meditation.
4. Visualizations to Recenter Your Energy
Let your mind wander to a peaceful scene or situation. Hold this image or event in your mind, close your eyes, and let your breathing regulate. Concentrate on your visualization and let what you imagine become your present reality. Bring all of your senses into the experience – see it, feel it, taste it, hear it! If your mind wanders, bring yourself back to your starting scene and focus on finding peace within it.
Try this calming garden visualization to help you relax and recenter.
5. Take A Walk Outside to Recharge Instantly
If you’re struggling to settle into meditations or visualizations, all you have to do is take a walk. Studies have shown that leisurely strolls in wide-open green spaces can actually put your mind into a meditative state, without you even trying! If you need an easy recharge, spend 15 minutes walking in a nearby park – and even better if the sun is shining for an added Vitamin D boost! Put your phone on silent to minimize distractions and let Mother Nature do the rest.
Looking for personalized support to help you stress less, sleep better, and feel recharged every day? Check out The Zen Den in the Baby2Body app!