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The Exhausted Moms Guide to Boosting Energy
Let’s be real.
Taking care of yourself isn’t always top of mind, is it?
In fact, it’s kind of exhausting to even THINK of adding one more thing to your day, amiright?
Here’s the truth – sometimes letting yourself slip to the bottom of the list can backfire on you. The fuel you need to do your job is commonly compromised by the needs of others, and it might be leaving you tired, undernourished, and frustrated by your situation. Not only are you running on an endless hamster wheel of fulfilling others needs, you are also draining yourself or the energy it takes to do so.
But don’t give up, there is hope!
With a little conscious effort, you can regenerate some of that old energy you have lost! These changes don’t have to be difficult. Pick a couple to start with and work on them regularly. As you turn these habits into a part of your lifestyle, add a few more. Some of these items sound like simple actions, but they can truly have a huge impact on your daily energy levels!
13 Habits to Boost your Energy Levels:
Eat Enough Food
Do you know how much food you need to keep yourself running optimally? If you’re not sure, then it’s time to figure out the answer. Try different variations and amounts of foods for the meals you eat. Do you NEED breakfast to start your day (or lunch or afternoon snacks)? Question your natural habits and make an effort to experiment with them. Change from a bowl of cereal to eggs and toast in the morning and pay attention to how your body responds. Sometimes your body needs more or different fuel than what you know to give it. Play with your meals, your body may pay you back in dividends.
Get Enough Sleep
This is not always an easy goal if you have little ones in the house. I suggest you try the following experiment: Arrange for an evening that your spouse (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) takes care of your little one(s) at night time. Go to bed at a good hour. Sleep in the next morning without the disturbance of an alarm clock. Listen to your body and get up when you wake naturally. How long did you sleep? Did you sleep well knowing that you were not “on duty”? How do you feel during the day after sleeping in? Rested? Groggy? Make note of all these things.
Use the information you gathered as a baseline, and create a goal for yourself to try to obtain a decent amount of sleep at least a couple nights a week. Consider handing over the night time cries for glasses of water, potty trips, and philosophical questions to your partner on their weekends and get some quality sleep for yourself. Maybe that means you go to bed just after your kids twice a week, but the sacrifice could make all the difference in your mindset and performance.
Drink Enough Water
Dehydration has a direct effect on your energy levels. There’s not really any getting around this. Dry throat, dry eyes, sleepy, unfocused… drink some water and see how you feel. Despite what the world wants you to believe, we don’t all actually need 64oz of water a day. Some need more, some need less. The clues may not be as direct as thirst but may come as hunger pangs or a general fogginess. Again, this is a ‘listen to your body‘ type situation. Water it and it will respond positively.
Supplement your Water
If you struggle with your fluid intake or feel your feet dragging in the afternoon, consider adding an electrolyte powder to help you retain healthy hydration levels. OR – if you have a difficult time winding down and turning your brain “OFF” at night, add some magnesium powder to your diet. Magnesium will not only calm your mind but will help you to sleep deeper once you drift off. These are both drinkable supplements that can be added to water. It’s an easy thing to do, they taste decent, and encourages you to get in more fluids. As an extra bonus, you can give your kiddos small doses of each of these supplements when they need them too!
Slow Down on Caffeine
Become aware of how much you consume and when you consume it. Consider making a time cap for caffeinated drinks and finding a healthy replacement for your ‘off hours’. Oftentimes we use caffeine to keep ourselves going, but what’s really happening is that we become overcaffeinated and it ends up sabotaging our sleep. This creates an ugly and vicious cycle of exhaustion, consume caffeine, exhaustion, consume caffeine, wired, sleep like crap… over and over again.
If you struggle to consume enough food, or quality food, or experience crashes throughout the day then it’s time to look into a quality vitamin. Start with a Multivitamin and B Complex. Depending on how much sunshine you get, consider adding vitamin D3 as well. All of these will benefit overall mood, energy, and sense of well being. Oh yea, and remember when you take these to consume a little fat (eggs, butter, chocolate… haha) because most of these vitamins are fat soluble. This means you need a little dietary fat in order for them to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Create Go-To Foods in your Kitchen
Many families already do this for their kids, try it for you too! Stockpile a few hard boiled eggs, yogurt cups, cheese sticks, and cooked protein portioned in your fridge for yourself. Keep some almonds, macadamias, or pecans in your pantry. Have a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter. By creating easy grab-and-go type items you are fueling your body with healthy nutrients to carry you through your day, and keeping you away from the dreaded pantry foods (chips, cookies, crackers, etc)
Epsom Salt Baths
Sometimes your body can feel inexplicably exhausted all the time. No matter how much sleep, or water, or exercise, or greens you consume you just never feel recharged. It could be a mineral deficiency. This regularly happens to me during busy times of the year. As soon as I realize I am burning the candle at both ends, I start taking Epsom salt baths. They help me to sleep better, ward of dreaded night-time calf cramps and help the body to recover from stressful situations. I was never a bath person until I discovered the benefits of mineral salts. So worth it. Start with 2x a week. If you like to use essential oils, I recommend a couple drops of lavender. Once you feel your energy levels and mental clarity start to recover, you can drop down to once a week.
Essential oils are a big trend right now, so you probably already know about the benefits of using them on you and in your home. Diffuse bright citrus oils like lemon, lime, grapefruit, and sweet orange. Mixing any of the citrus oils with a little vanilla is incredible! Peppermint is a good choice too but think twice if you have young children in the house. It is said to be too strong for them and (as I understand) could cause respiratory issues. It’s not something I have taken a chance on in my home, but try what you feel comfortable with. For oils that are not recommended to be used around young children, small essential oil inhalers can be purchased for personal use.
Cut Down on Sugar
This one is not easy, sugar is in EVERYTHING! Consuming sugar causes your body to crash. Much like caffeine, it creates a temporary lift, then a crash, then you are hungry for more energy so you repeat the process. It’s a big trap that you don’t want to get caught in if you can help it. The best advice I can give here is to try to cut the sugar down in your diet. If you have to consume it, combine it with other nutrients so you don’t crash as hard after it leaves your bloodstream. Your immune system, waistline, and energy levels will benefit from this change – consuming less is better than doing nothing.
Not much explanation is needed here. Laughing makes us feel good. It energizes our bodies and makes us feel happy. Practice it as many times a day as you possibly can!
Stretch / Stand / Move (not exercise)
Of course, if you love to exercise then, by all means, do it! But on a day to day basis, we do a lot of sitting. Make an effort to get up and stretch. Stand when you have to opportunity. Incorporate more movement into your daily activities. Taking a few extra trips up and down the stairs at home will help to energize you. Take the kids for a walk around the block. Play ‘Simon Says’ or ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ with your little ones. Physical activity to get joints and blood flow moving is great, and all the better if you can include your little ones.
Put the Phone Down
Staring at a screen is hard on the eyes. Investing in the people on your Facebook or Instagram feed is hard on the heart (jealousy, happiness, sadness, loathing… and sometimes all within a few seconds of each other). Having a constant connection to the news (which let’s face it, is almost always negative) can cause overwhelming stress. Recharge your mind, emotions, and body by putting the phone down. Engage with those physically around you, and let the world go by without you for awhile.
Well, Momma, I hope you are inspired by this list and are making a plan of action to start incorporating some of these tips into your life. It’s not easy to create change, but neither is living a life half empty. Remember how important you are in the equation of your family. Take the time to recharge so you can give your best to those who need it.
Please share what you think. Do you have any additions to this list? What helps you to “recharge” your energy levels? I’d love to hear!
Cheers to you, Momma!