February 25, 2008,
K.W. asks from Priest River, ID on February 10, 2008
How Do You Get Your Self Motivated During the Day to Do ANYTHING?
My problem is I am always tired and I have NO motivation, or gumption to do anything! All I want to do is sit, eat, and keep to myself. How do I pull myself out of this stage, or mood, or whatever it is that I am stuck in/under so I can do somthing without dragging through it?
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C.C. answers from Seattle on February 11, 2008
R.M. answers from Spokane on February 11, 2008
I feel like I had the same problem, when I had both my kids. I think you just need to find something to do that you would enjoy. With my first baby, I got a part-time job and with the second one I decided to start going to school online. Another thing I did to get going was I would get ready for the say like I had somewhere to go, take a shower, do my hair and make-up, it made me want to get out of the house. (I have a 4 and a 2 year old and I had the first at 19)
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T.G. answers from Seattle on February 11, 2008
I would commit at least to doing one walk a day - just to get going....and if you are wanting to eat, eat healthy raw foods - nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies. If you are sitting, read an inspirational book. You may want to take flower remedies - look into Bach Flower Remedies which may help clear this mood you are in. Good luck!
M.S. answers from Seattle on February 11, 2008
Well, first of all, good for you for posting this, and realizing that something is wrong with the way that you are feeling, and putting your intentions out there to find a solution. Awareness is always the first step.
I was an 18 year old when I got preggo with my first, who is now nearly 11. I have a 20 month old from my second marriage, too. both times I have battled with what you are describing. I am a very different person now that I have actually grown up and gone back to school. I learned a lot in school about the human body, and nutrition and exercise. For most new moms this is a challenge. So much of your energy goes to your little one, esp. if you are not in a relationship with a partner who is sharing the care. It sounds like your parents are really helping right now, which is a blessing. I didn't live near my family when I was pregnant the first time, and it would have been easier if I had some doting grandparents around!
The first steps you need to take are honestly examining your diet. If you don't put good stuff into your body, you will not feel good or have energy. I get low blood sugar very easy, and that was always part of my problem. I bought a food combining chart at the co-op which really helps me get the most nutrition out of my diet- they still carry them. I also had to quit smoking pot, which was a BIG part of my problem (not that that is yours). I learned that skeletal muscle contractions are the ONLY way that the body has to push adequate nutrients around, including oxygen. That means exercise.
Secondly, every mom should be taking a good, organic, WHOLE FOOD supplement. Esp. if you are still nursing. The ones you get in grocery stores are typically synthetic, and don't do much.
Vitamin B, and D are very important here in the PNW.
It is also possible that you may have a thyroid imbalance, which can happen to women after pregnancy, esp. teen moms, since the hormones in your body are not yet completely mature. Ask your doctor if this might be possible.
It is VERY important, even if you are trying to lose weight, that you make sure you are getting a good solid protein and complex carb breakfast to start your day. Cold cereal, muffins,toaster waffles, none of these are enough. If you can get some fruit, some whole grains ( sprouted grain breads, english muffins, bagels, all avail. at the co-op or fred myers,and are easy and good and quick), some protein and some calcium, you will be off to a good start. You should NEVER wait more than 4 hours to eat something. Even if it is a snack, you need to keep up that blood sugar level.
Here is what I do when I am feeling sluggish, esp. in the winter;
I IMMEDIATELY (first chance possible) get in the shower to force myself awake without caffeine, which leads to adrenal burnout, and more tiredness later on. i wash with peppermint soap to make my skin tingle and aromatherapy myself into go-mode. While I am in the shower washing I inhale sharply through my nose only ( you get more oxygen this way), and focus on filling myself with air each time. I stretch and work out the morning stiffness in my neck and shoulders and low-back by doing side to side neck stretches, shoulder rolls, and bending to touch my toes, with a side twist here and there. I do this IN the shower with the water beating on the stiff places. I can do this even if my little one is in the shower with me, playing on the floor( i put a towel under her so she doesn't slip).
I eat a balanced meal and listen to fun music to dance to with the baby after. baby loves to be held and danced around, and watch you be crazy. DO NOT turn on your tv. Just don't. It is the killer of our energy, and our creativity as a mom. Your dear one is going to start being mobile if he isn't already, very soon, and you are going to have to chase him everywhere anyway, this is a good rhythm to get into with him, starting your day off dancing and being happy. I KNOW that sometimes these things are the last things you want to be doing. That is part of what growing up is about- sometimes you HAVE TO FORCE YOURSELF out of a rut, into a good habit. If you don't do it one day, don't beat yourself up. You are doing the best you can. Just get up the next day and try your best that day. It took me a long while to get into healthy rhythms. I used to check out videos at the library to exercise in front of the tv with. Babies generally think this is hilarious, but sometimes they make doing it impossible, so I wait until nap time, usually. Before nap time, getting exercise and fresh air is best. If you can make yourself get up and feel awake ( putting on makeup and doing hair helps me a lot, also tossing the sweats- if your clothes don't fit, do a value village shopping spree to make yourself feel better about your body, and don't worry, our bodies change with pregnany and birth, it probably won't ever feel like the same body you once had, that's okay, you are a mom now, and have a different, more mature body), then you can put the kid in the stroller or backpack, or baby wrap, and go for a walk. The baby will get tired in a good way from the fresh air, and you will be energized and benefit from the sunlight, that DOES come through the clouds, even if it is overcast. There is an important chemical called seratonin that gets suppressed from sitting inside not getting outdoor light or exercise. The lack of this makes you feel pretty depressed. And in the Pacific Northwest Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) runs rampant this time of year! I like to make library trips and check out parenting books and exercise videos/dvds, they make me feel empowered and give me lots of great ideas to try for myself, and for the baby. I was a pretty good young mommy just because of those books I read! Even though I am older now, and have experience being a mom, I still do this. It helps focus me on my priorities, so even when I am having a day where I am tired and unmotivated, and just can't do it, and it is crappy outside, instead of planting myself in front of the tv, I read while I can. Also- frustrating to try to get outside exercise at this time of year, SO I take the baby to the mall and walk back and forth. They love the car carts, and have a NICE mommy lounge. STill not outside, but still exercise! As the baby becomes even more of a toddler, this is a must for the PNW mom. There is only so much walking in the rain we can do!
Anyhow, the most important thing is to learn how to get what YOU NEED to be healthy and happy so you can be a good mom. It is never a bad thing to see a counselor. The only thing to watch out for is doctors who try to prescribe depression meds when you really just need to change diet and activity levels. IF you have done that and are still depressed, then it doesn't hurt to check these things out. But meds can have awful side effects like weight gain, nightmares, dry mouth, etc.. best to avoid, esp. since you are still so young. Your body is just figuring out how to be an adult, and you don't want to confuse it.Meds often replace natural bodily functions unecessarily, and get you on the wrong track.
Being more informed, and getting more information about being a young mom is the best thing you can do for yourself. It can give you the motivation on those days when you just can't peel yourself off the sofa. I also have joined a baby group with babies my daughter's age, which is SO MUCH FUN! It doesn't cost anything really, we all take turns bringing snacks, and we moms can talk and support eachother while the kids play. There are great message boards at the co-ops for these sorts of things, and also online. Connecting with other moms through myspace is great, and there are lots of other forums out there for moms looking to support eachother. If you don't have a computer, the library does! Being social with my other mom friends is what makes the difference for the quality in my life, and what helps me get off the couch. I did not have those kinds of resources when i was a first time mom, I lived in Michigan in the middle of nowhere, and did not know how to put myself out there to connect with other moms. Even if you aren't single, you need support as a mom. I love Olympia because there are so many young, forward thinking moms living here, in a ll different lifestyles, all ready to be community and support eachother. I am not always in the mood to be social, but they are always there, even when I just need to talk on the phone and vent or something. So I have rambled enough- I hope something I have said helps. Here is a phone number for a great music baby group I am in. I try to pay 5 dollars a week, or bring a snack, but it isn't a big deal if you don't have it. It is at my friend Lindsey's house on Wed. ____@____.com is on the Eastside of Oly, and right on the #21 bus route.
Fulfill Your Song Music and Voice Lessons
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P.M. answers from Portland on February 11, 2008
Very briefly, K., you could be depressed. People can be quite severely depressed and somehow not realize it. Please google "symptoms of depression" to pull up many sites that will help you find out whether you should see a medical professional about this.
Here's a list to get you, or other readers who might also be candidates, to start evaluating your own situation. This is from the web page about teenagers at http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm
Sadness or hopelessness - (is this you?)
Irritability, anger, or hostility
Tearfulness or frequent crying
Withdrawal from friends and family - (you mention this one)
Loss of interest in activities - (you mention this one)
Changes in eating and sleeping habits - (is this you?)
Restlessness and agitation
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt - (is this you?)
Lack of enthusiasm and motivation - (you mention this one)
Fatigue or lack of energy - (you mention this one)
Thoughts of death or suicide
As you see, depression can take many forms, which can disguise it in many people. Please take this seriously if you think there's any possiblility that this describes you, and get medical help and/or counseling. Your beautiful child needs you to be all you can be if he is to become all he can be.
Blessings to you.
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R.C. answers from Seattle on February 11, 2008
Depression--it's nothing to be embarrassed about or any of the stigma that may come with it. You have a right to be happy and for your own sake and you child's sake please talk to a doctor about it and try some medication. I had this problem and it is amazing the difference it has made. Also from personal experience I would start feeling better and thought I was fine and would go off my medication on my own without my doctor's knowledge or supervision and that is not good or safe. It can be hard to get the help when it is just hard to do anything, but please do before more of your life and your child's life passes without you "there". I am thinking of you and wish you all the best.
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L.C. answers from Portland on February 11, 2008
It sounds to me like you are depressed, first of all you need to get back into school, have one of your parents watch your baby while your in school or work your school schuedule around whom ever can watch your baby. If you are still in high school try to do night school or get some counceling from the school counclers and find out if you can do your class work at home or go for your G.E.D. that is always the option, I know that your baby is very important to you but without a diploma or GED you will have a hard time getting into college or getting a job that pay's decent. you need to get up and keep busy, make phone calls to your school and see where to start, in the long run it will be better for you and your child.You should see a Dr about your depression, antidepressents really do help, good luck!
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J.D. answers from Portland on February 11, 2008
Firstly, let me compliment you for reaching out and asking others for help and advice. Being a mom at any age is hard, and being a teen makes it even harder. It sounds to me like you might be depressed. If you have health insurance, please make an appointment to see your doctor to talk about this. If you are in the Portland area, you can also go to the teen health clinics (you don't have to be enrolled in school to use them). There is one a ROoosevelt HS, one at Marshall, one at Grant. I would also contact the Teen Parenting program through the schools. They have counselors adn support and can hook you up with other teen moms for support. Feel free to email me off list if you need more info.
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T.B. answers from Spokane on February 11, 2008
A very good question and not an easy one. I am 25 and have a daughter who is almost 9 (so I had her about the same aget you had Jared). I too was living with my parents and my three younger sisters. My parents however, insisted that I have a job before my daughter was born, so I was going to school full-time and working 30 hours a week. The simple response is not the easiest thing to do and that is you simply have to force yourself to go get a job and get enrolled in school. By doing this, you are not only keeping busy and bringin in an income, but you are also socializing and setting an example. You need to set the example for your son and your brothers, showing them that while you may have obstacles to overcome, you can do it and you can make your life better simply because you want to. Use Jared as your motivation. In the mean time, I'll be praying for motivation for you. And know this: you can do it! It's possible and you're obvously a stong woman already: you have a child.
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C.G. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
Sounds like your not finding any self satisfaction in your life. Are you helping your parents while they help you. You need to get a job or start doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. Start by going for walks with your baby and feel good about it. Help your parents around the house and they might show some appreciation for your help, this will make you feel good. While you have the time you should think about what it is you want to do with your life and your babies future. You, yourself have to make these decisions. You made the decision to have a child, now make the decision to support the two of you at a career you like.
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B.W. answers from Seattle on February 11, 2008
I was a young mother as well and I know the challenges of trying to get motivated and stay motivated. I am now 40 years old with a 20 year old who has moved out and a 6 year old in kindergarten. I wish I would have had this support group when I was in younger. Life is going to be very challenging for you but it sounds like you have a great support system with your family. I look back and can not remember alot about raising my oldest son because I was so focused on just surviving and trying to make ends meet.
My advise for you is to multi leveled.
1.Cherish every moment with your son. Children grow up so fast and it is so important to be there in every way for your child. Who knows, before you know it you will be the one sharing a little advise to another young person who may be struggling as you are now.
2.Get on a really good multi vitamin with lots of Vitamin D & B. This will help you feel better within about a week. In the Northwest we do not get enough sunlight so Vitamin D supplements are very important.
3. Try to get out and walk for 30 minutes to 1 hour several times a week. This has helped me to destress and gain focus on what I want in life as well as generate energy and I believe this will help you as well.
4. Look at that beautiful little boy and decide that he is the most important person in your life. Bundle him up and make your walks have a purpose. Fresh air (even cold air) will give you energy. Taking even the shortest walk will help you and Jared feel refreshed and happier.
5. Try to eat clean foods by cutting out sugar, white bread, sweets and bad fats. I recently got a book called the Eat Clean diet and boy I tell you that I am sleeping better and feel so much better when I loosly follow the plan.
6. Love yourself and find some time to just do something good for yourself. A long bath, read a book, take a walk by yourself and just think and be present in your own space and mind and dream big girl because the world is your palyground.
I wish you all the luck in the world and I normally don't respond to messages like this but I felt compelled to respond and try to encourage you. You reaching out and asking for advice is a wonderful thing to see. It is a step in the right direction to get and stay motivated.
Best of Luck to you and Jared.
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