Inside: Are you six weeks into your pregnancy and all you can think is, “I don’t want to do anything?” You’re not alone! No motivation is an extremely challenging first trimester symptom that doesn’t get enough attention. Try these tips to help you power through – because unfortunately, you still have to get crap done, even during the first trimester.
The first trimester. A time full of excitement, hope, new beginnings….and absolute exhaustion.
The first trimester can seem to drag on FOREVER as you battle low energy and morning sickness—or all-day sickness if you are super unlucky! Plus, probably on your first pregnancy you’re avoiding caffeine, too (I did that successfully with my first, and with subsequent pregnancies, I just couldn’t handle life without one cup a day!).
But as a high achiever, the worst part of the first trimester for me is that I don’t want to do anything. Nothing. Nada. I have absolutely no motivation at all.
Prior to getting pregnant, I’m like the energizer bunny. My to-do list is always a mile long, and I conquer that thing, both in my work and at home.
Six weeks into the first trimester? I’m counting down the minutes until I can curl up in my cozy bed and drift off to sleep.
But if you want to, you know, keep your job? That’s not really an option.
Despite being newly pregnant, you still have go to work, and possibly keep your house NOT looking like a pig sty for 6-8 weeks.
So here are my best tips for overcoming your lack of motivation when all you really want to do is zzzzzzzzzz.
You Might Also Like: 20 Items for Your Early Pregnancy To-Do List
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When the First Trimester = No Motivation
If you don’t want to do anything at all (but you have to), try these 9 techniques to give yourself a boost.
1. Go to bed early.
During the first trimester, I want to go at bed at 6 p.m. I’m a night owl, so this is definitely not my cup of tea.
My natural instinct was to power through the 6 p.m. to get my downtime after work. I wanted to still be able to watch a show or read a book before getting up and having to be productive at work the next day.
But the trade-off for that downtime? The “not wanting to do anything” problem was WAY worse.
Especially when I was working full-time, I could sleep in until 6:30 a.m., at the latest without being late for work.
Save downtime for the weekends and get in bed as soon as you feel tired.
You’ll be so glad you did at work the next day – promise.
2. Order online whenever possible.
Praise God for the modern world we live in! You can order just about anything online.
No need to haul your exhausted, nauseous bod all over town when you can do your shopping from the comfort of your bed or couch.
Most things can be shipped directly to your door, which means you can spend all weekend in your pajama pants!
If you don’t want to spring for full on grocery delivery (I get it girl, that’s expensive!), take advantage of grocery pick-up if it’s offered in your area. Someone else does all the shopping for you and all you have to do is show up at the designated pick-up area in the parking lot.
I don’t to unbuckle kids and deal with the craziness of toddlers in the grocery store. Grocery pick-up is basically the Best. Thing. Ever.
Now that I have five kids ten and under, I order everything I possibly can online.
Here are some of the things I delivered:
- Snacks through Amazon Subscribe & Save (you need a Prime membership for this)
- Cleaning Supplies (through Grove Co.)
Get on it and sign up for a few of these things – it will make a world of difference! Both in not needing actually go to the store AND not forgetting things when you do go to the store.
Oh, and if you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership, what are you waiting for?!
Besides the benefits of free now as fast as ONE DAY shipping, Amazon Family through Prime offers a 20% discount on diaper and wipes subscriptions, plus a host of other essentials like breast pads.
3. Take a cold shower.
It’s gonna sound ridiculous, and it’ll be the last thing you want to do, but taking a cold shower right when you wake up (and maybe after work, too) will jolt you awake real quick!
At least it will get you out the door in the morning, and at the end of the day, it can possibly give you the boost you need for the next tip.
4. Trick yourself.
Is your house a mess? Just looking at it probably gives you a headache. Or are the work tasks piling up until the overwhelm has killed whatever little motivation you had left?
Try this little trick: tell yourself you only need to do one thing.
Maybe it’s doing one small task at work, cleaning off the counter or throwing in one load of laundry.
Start with something small.
Once you finish that one thing, see if you still have the energy to tackle just one more small thing.
If you find that the “do one thing” is not effective, try telling yourself just “15 minutes” and then you can have a break.
You can accomplish SO much in that amount of time, even if you have no motivation to do more after the timer goes off.
You might find that after you complete a few tasks or work for 15 minutes, you get in a groove and are able to accomplish way more than you originally thought possible!
And if you only end up doing one thing? That’s okay. That’s one less thing you need to tackle later!
5. Try the pomodoro technique
This simple productivity technique is especially helpful if you are feeling unmotivated at work and have a deadline or huge project looming in front of you.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you tackle an overwhelming task by breaking the work down into short, timed intervals.
Step 1: Choose a task.
Step 2: Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on the task until the timer rings.
Step 3: Take a short 5-minute break.
Step 4: If you have a task that will take several hours, take a longer break (15 to 30 minutes) after you have completed four of the 25-minute work sessions.
The theory behind the Pomodoro Technique is that working in shorter bursts and allowing yourself little breaks helps you maintain your motivation and creativity for longer periods of time.
6. Make your health a priority.
This probably seems like a no-brainer, but when you have a bun in the oven, making sure that you are taking care of yourself is super-important.
Be sure to drink plenty of water (this is essential if you are spending a lot of time bonding with your toilet as vomiting can lead to dehydration). Take your prenatal vitamins and eat as nutritiously as you can—I know this can be a challenge when battling morning sickness.
If you’re struggling to remember or don’t want to take them, these prenatal vitamins actually make me excited to take them. I’m a little kid, I know.
Side Note: If your morning sickness is completely out of control and you’re throwing up all day, make sure to press your doctor for better anti-nausea options. You need to advocate for yourself.
See THIS post for natural ways to stop pregnancy nausea.
7. Squeeze in cat naps.
Even if you’ve never been a napper before, now is the time to start! Even if you go to bed early, you’re still gonna hit slumps during the day.
A little 15-minute siesta can do wonders for your energy.
If you work outside the home, hide in your office or sneak away at lunch for a quick snooze in your car.
If you work from home, schedule in a little couch time in between tasks. Long naps may seem like a luxury, but even short cat naps will help put a little pep back in your step.
8. Exercise (in small doses).
Mama, I get it. Even if you had a fairly good exercise routine before you got pregnant, now walking to the couch and plopping yourself down is about the only exercise you feel like doing.
But exercise is so good for you and for your baby!
Walking, swimming, yoga, or pilates are great options for the trimester and fitting in a little exercise can help increase your energy, reduce stress, and regulate your sleep cycles.
Start with just 10 minutes a day (maybe right after that cold shower) and you can build up from there.
And even if you don’t build from there? A consistent 10 minutes a day is better than nothing.
9. Get off social media.
I know this is SUPER hard to do. Scrolling Facebook or Instagram is the first thing I do when I’m exhausted, when really I should just be taking a nap.
PLUS, seeing all those beautiful homes and clean kitchens? Not so great for your self-esteem.
And while you’d think it’d be motivating, comparison usually has the opposite effect, especially when you’re already exhausted.
If you have to delete social media apps, DO IT. You can always reinstall it later when you’re feeling better about life.
Don’t Want to Do Anything? Give Your First Trimester Self Some Grace
Finally, if the first trimester has you surviving rather than thriving, consider yourself normal and try to give yourself grace.
Quiet your inner critic and take a break from our culture that glorifies productivity and achievement at all costs – even your health.
Tell yourself it’s normal to not feel motivated to do much of anything during the first few months of pregnancy.
You are, after, all growing a human being! And that is, by far, the biggest accomplishment of all.
June could talk to you all day about homeschooling, parenting, and minimalism. When she’s not homeschooling, decluttering, or blogging, she loves to enjoy perfect silence while sipping a hot cup of coffee and thinking uninterrupted thoughts—which, of course, with five kids ten and under doesn’t happen very often.