Q I have recently had a baby and have very little time to look after myself and find myself opting for coffee and sweet treats to pick me up. I want to try and eat well and I am desperate to stop feeling so tired. Anything you know that might help?
A This is certainly a challenging time of life; the good news, however, is there are a few simple tweaks that can make a big difference to how you feel.
- Keep nutrient-packed snacks within easy reach
Good choices include unsalted nuts, popcorn, whole fruit, chopped veges with hummus and smoothies made with veges as well as fruit. Remove sugar-laden foods from the house or put them out of reach to make the healthy choices the easy choices.
- Do your shopping online
If getting out feels too hard, online shopping could make it easier to get healthy options into the house. You can choose to use it just for the short term.
- Keep up your hydration
Keep a couple of water bottles ready to go in the fridge so you can easily grab one and drink it while you are feeding your baby or take one with you when you go out.
- Limit caffeine
While it’s very easy to end up relying on coffee to give you a muchneeded pick-me-up, it can end up creating a vicious circle where you end up more tired. Too much caffeine in your system can affect the quality of your sleep meaning you wake up not feeling rested. If you are breastfeeding, caffeine is also passed to your baby in your milk so it’s best to limit the amount you have. Decaf tea or coffee is a good option.
- Expose your eyes to natural light
Make sure you get outside and expose your eyes to natural light every day. This will suppress melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel tired) and boost serotonin (one of your feel-good hormones).If you are excessively tired and can’t get on top of it, it is worth heading to the doctor to get your iron levels checked and rule out any other potential medical problems.