You eat right, exercise daily and follow all of the rules of healthy living. So why do you feel unmotivated, bored or even sick more often? As healthy as you think you are, there is always room for change and improvement. Sometimes things that worked in the past may not offer the same results down the road. Add that to the fact that most women, especially those with kids, continue to have schedule changes, unplanned events thrown their way or circumstances that are beyond their control. And let’s not forget about the stress that comes with all of that.
In case you are unsure if what you are feeling has anything to do with your lifestyle, these seven facts are proof that it may be time for a change:
Sleeping is difficult: A change in sleeping habits is one of the first red flags of stress. Are you no longer getting in your usual seven to eight hours of shut eye, or do you find it difficult to fall asleep? If so, you need to figure out why this change occurred. Perhaps you are experiencing more stress or your schedule has drastically changed. Whatever the reason, sleep problems can lead to weight gain, so you want to pinpoint the problem and try to get back to a normal routine—even if that means going to bed earlier or enjoying some calming chamomile tea at night to help you fall asleep.
Weight loss has either stalled or you are gaining weight: If you are trying to lose weight, but noticed the scale is not moving or that it is going in the wrong direction, you will want to reevaluate your diet. Sometimes just removing one simple thing can do the trick. On the flip side, you may not be eating enough of something in particular that your body needs. Write down what you eat for at least three days and then see where you can make small changes. Give it at least two weeks before you decide to make another change to see if what you did worked.
You are losing weight without without trying: Weight loss is only good if you need to lose weight. But if you are already at a healthy weight, you certainly don’t want to lose any more. If you are losing weight without effort, then something could be wrong. Be certain to visit your doctor if the weight loss is significant or continues for an extended period of time; however, if everything checks out okay, you may not be giving your body enough nutrients. In addition to unwanted weight loss, you may end up losing hard-earned muscle. Monitor your eating for a few days to make sure you are not only eating enough calories, but also getting enough protein, carbs and healthy fats.
You are tired all the time: Okay, what mom isn’t tired? It comes with the territory. However, there is a big difference between being tired and feeling rundown or physically exhausted more often than usual. If the thought of getting off the couch, out of bed or doing any task seems downright difficult, you definitely need a change. First step is to ask if you're eating enough, sleeping enough, and exercising enough. If you answered no to all of these, then there's no doubt that you need to make some significant healthy changes to your lifestyle.
Moodiness has become a daily occurrence: Yes, it’s your right as a mom to have your off moments. But if you find yourself constantly yelling, screaming, crying or wanting to pull your hair out, something has to change. Aside from the mental toll this takes on you, it takes a physical toll as well. Even if you have not experienced any sudden, overwhelming circumstances or stress, you still want to try and hone in on why your moods are so extreme and then find a way to channel that energy for the better. A yoga class, creative hobby or simply doing something special for yourself each day can turn that bad mood around. You may even want to examine what you eat and drink, as this can sometimes affect your mood.
Changes in your appearance: No, this isn’t about weight, but rather about how you look overall. Are you experiencing more breakouts on your skin or do your eyes look hollow? Has your hair lost its shine or strength? Changes in your appearance can often be a sign that something is amiss. Rule out anything serious with your doctor first, but once you get the word that everything is okay, see if there is something in particular that needs to change, whether it’s removing something or adding something to your diet or way of life.
Lack of motivation: The New Year arrived and you were all set to go—exercising almost every day, eating healthy and feeling better. Months later you just don’t seem to have the same drive and determination that you once had. In all likelihood, you are bored and just need to change up your routine. Swap out your favorite classes for some new ones or start introducing new and exciting recipes that you and your family can enjoy. Living healthy does not mean doing the same thing day in and day out. You want to change things every so often in order to stay motivated and avoid boredom.
Even if you are only experiencing one of these symptoms, don’t let it ruin your efforts to stay healthy. All you may need is a little tweaking here and there to produce a significant and effective change for the better. And as long as something more serious has been ruled out, feel free to play around with your diet, change up your workout routine and do something incredibly special for yourself. You’ll be amazed how small changes can lead to really big results.