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How to Treat Your Mother Like a Queen This Mother’s Day

How to Treat Your Mother Like a Queen This Mother’s Day

Are you stuck on what to do for your mum this Mother’s Day? Here are 10 ideas that might serve to inspire you.

1. Take On Her Work Without Being Asked

Chances are that unless you’re a mother, you really don’t know just how much your mom does on a daily basis. Many women juggle family lives and careers, while also being active in their community and their kids’ social lives, and caring for the home.

This Mother’s Day, consider being really aware of the goings-on in your mom’s home and take the initiative to take care of things that ordinarily fall on her plate. Do dishes, take out garbage, do laundry, weed the garden—whatever you can do so she doesn’t have to will undoubtedly be appreciated, and if you can do that for the entire weekend instead of just one day, even better.

2. Find Out What Would Make Her Happy

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    We all have different ideas about what makes a gift or experience great, but we may not all be on the same page. If you’re an outdoorsy type, you may think that getting your mother a gift certificate for white water rafting is the coolest idea ever, but if her favourite activities are crocheting and getting together with her book club, she might not appreciate such a gift as much as you think she will.

    Try to find out what she would really like for this holiday without asking her directly. You can ask other family members if she has mentioned any particular interests, such as a massage/pedicure combo, or a wine tasting event she’s eager to try out, so you’re sure to give her something she’ll truly appreciate. It could well be that the best gift she could receive is a day to herself, without any responsibilities or demands on her time.

    3. Start a New Tradition

    If you don’t yet have a tradition for celebrating Mother’s Day, start a new one. How about taking a family photo and vowing to take that same photo every year? Or having a glorious all-day picnic in a park nearby? Get together as a family and determine (with her input) what would be a lovely tradition to start, and make it happen.

    4. Give Her Your Time

    Time flies really quickly, and we often don’t get around to doing what we’d like for/with those we care about. Let your mother know that you’d like to spend Mother’s Day with her, doing something that she’d love to do, and then make it happen. She might be an adventurous sort and you two can go to an amusement park and stuff yourselves with funnel cake and ice cream, or she might like to have dinner somewhere special. Either way, be sure to keep your phone tucked away and devote all your time and attention to the amazing lady you’re with.

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    5. Write a Letter

    Handwritten Letter

      No, don’t just pick up a card that has a mildly-applicable, saccharine sentiment in it and sign your name below words someone else came up with. This is an opportunity to write a heartfelt letter to your mother in which you tell her all the things you appreciate about her, whether it’s thanking her for everything she’s done for you, telling her how much you admire her for various reasons, or even just that you love her and that you’re proud to be her kid.

      It’s best to write a letter like this by hand, even if your penmanship is less than impressive; typing is easy, but writing something out takes time and effort, which is always appreciated. Also important is sincerity: you may have had a truly crap-tastic childhood, and it could very well be that you and your mother have a strained relationship, but chances are that you have one or two really great memories that you can draw upon for writing inspiration. Remember that mothers won’t be around forever, so it’s important to let them know you care while you still have the chance to do so. You never know—a kind letter of appreciation might even improve your relationship.

      6. Let Her Choose

      If your mother has a particular fondness for something that you’re unfamiliar with, then give her carte blanche to decide what she’d like to get. You might love vanilla custard bath bombs, but that doesn’t mean that she does, and the last thing you want to do is give your mother something she’ll have to pretend to like, and then hide in the cupboard for re-gifting when you’re not around. You might be surprised at the items she’d choose, but those can influence your gifts on special occasions during the rest of the year.

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      *Bonus tip: If the item/experience she chooses is something you’d enjoy as well, offer to participate in it with her; she might appreciate your company, but don’t take it personally if she’d prefer to do it solo.

      7. Make Something

      Chances are that you’re good at something, so why not take the opportunity to make something special for your mum? If you’re a fabulous cook, put together a sumptuous meal that she’ll never forget. Are you an artist or designer? Put those talents to good use! Hell, if your only talent is a crazy gift for research, start a family tree and let her know that you’d be happy to trace your ancestry together.

      8. Create a Garden

      Garden

        If your mother’s home has any outdoor space, transform it into a lush, gorgeous garden that she can enjoy and retreat to. If she has a large, unused space on her property, get her input on what she’d like done with the place and then either hop to it, or hire some landscapers to do it for you.

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        If the only outdoor area your mother has to work with is a small patio, that’s okay too! A couple of potted lilacs or climbing wisteria can flank either side with colour and scent, and you can use window-boxes along the length of the railing with all manner of flowers and herbs. Add in a little patio set for 2 and some hanging lanters, and voila: a mini paradise just for her.

        9. Make a Donation in Her Name

        Everyone has a cause that they feel strongly about, and your mom might really appreciate a donation made in her name to a charity she supports. If you and your mother have opposing beliefs and you wouldn’t feel comfortable supporting one particular group, then try to find one that you can both agree on, like human rights/child protection groups or similar.

        10. Team Up for Lavish Pampering

        If you feel like splurging a little and would like to do something spectacular for your mother this year, consider teaming up with other family members for a more extravagant gift. This could be anything from a weekend retreat at a spa where she can have massages, pedicures, and uninterrupted sleep, to front-row tickets for a performance she’s dying to see. Pooling resources means that no individual breaks the bank to make mum happy, but she’ll get to experience something gorgeous and remember all of you for having made that possible.

        When deciding what to do for your mother this year, remember that some of the greatest gifts have nothing to do with “stuff”, but instead consist of experiences that bring joy, peace, and lasting memories.

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        Published on November 14, 2018

        Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

        Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

        With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

        For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

        In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

        Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

        Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

        It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

        For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

        Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

        Symptoms of Fatigue

        Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

        • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
        • mental blocks
        • lack of motivation
        • headache
        • dizziness
        • muscle weakness
        • slowed reflexes and responses
        • impaired decision-making and judgement
        • moodiness, such as irritability
        • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
        • reduced immune system function
        • blurry vision
        • short-term memory problems
        • poor concentration
        • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

        Causes of Fatigue

        The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

        • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
        • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
        • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
        • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

        Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

        Medical Causes of Fatigue

        If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

        Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

        Anemia

        Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

        Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

        There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

        Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

        Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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        This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

        Diabetes

        Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

        Sleep Apnea

        Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

        Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

        Thyroid disease

        An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

        Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

        • Lack of sleep
        • Too much sleep 
        • Alcohol and drugs 
        • Sleep disturbances 
        • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
        • Poor diet 

        Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

        • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
        • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
        • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
        • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

        Psychological Causes of Fatigue

        Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

        • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
        • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
        • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

        How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

        Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

        1. Tell The Truth

        Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

        To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

        Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

        The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

        One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

        • How you feel
        • What time of day it is
        • What may have contributed to your fatigue
        • How your mind and body reacts

        This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

        2. Reduce Your Commitments

        When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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        If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

        When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

        Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

        3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

        If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

        Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

        If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

        Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

        Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

        4. Express More Gratitude

        Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

        It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

        Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

        5. Focus On Yourself

        Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

        There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

        But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

        We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

        6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

        Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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        Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

        The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

        Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

        7. Take a Power Nap

        When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

        Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

        This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

        8. Take More Exercise

        The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

        Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

        The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

        You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

        9. Get More Quality Sleep

        To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

        Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

        My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

        10. Improve Your Diet

        Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

        Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

        On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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        To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

        Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

        Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

        11. Manage Your Stress Levels

        Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

        When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

        Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

        My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

        12. Get Hydrated

        Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

        Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

        If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

        The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

        The Bottom Line

        These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

        If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

        Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
        [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
        [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
        [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
        [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
        [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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