Feeling a little sluggish? Thinking: a siesta would really hit the spot right now?
Sorry, Mummy. Not an option.
Having a down day might be possible for some people, but not moms. The needs of our little ones don’t go away just because we’re not feeling up to it. There’s no phoning it in on this job.
So if you need a little more oomph, what can you do? There’s always a double-shot latte, of course, but here are some better, long-term energy boosters:
And, here, I mean water. Mild dehydration can easily creep up on you. Trouble is, even slight dehydration can sap your vigor.
Using thirst to dictate your fluid intake? Not a good idea. Thirst is a poor indicator; by the time you’re craving that cool drink your body is already withering.
And if you're wondering how much water you really need to drink, read this.
With the morning rush it’s all too easy to skip your own breakfast. Which, of course, is a big mistake. Research has shown that eating breakfast improves cognitive function, lowers stress levels, and imparts a greater sense of physical and mental health. Not to mention the numerous studies that demonstrate an association between breakfast and a slimmer waistline.
Start your engine with a hearty breakfast each day. Feast on a combination of complex carbs, protein, and simple carbs. Great choices: oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, fruit.
Beyond breakfast, commit to refilling your tank at regular intervals throughout the day. Eating frequent small meals and snacks (like, every 3 hours or so) will keep your blood sugar regulated and your energy high.
And when you do have your meal/snack, make sure you include some protein: it metabolizes slowly, keeps you feeling fuller longer, gives a more steady release of energy. Research shows it's one of the best ways to head off that dreaded afternoon slump.
Research has repeatedly shown the myriad benefits of regular meditation. But I know what you’re thinking: who’s got the time for that? By the time you’ve found a quiet spot, lit candles, changed into yoga pants, cued up the perfect background whale music...somebody is gonna need a diaper change. Or a sippy cup refill.
In that case, consider mini-meditation. Research shows benefit with even super-short meditation sessions. 10 minutes a day? You can probably lock yourself in the bathroom, or a hall closet, for that length of time. (You know you’ve done it before. We all have.)
Too tired to open a soup can? Why not go for a jog instead?
Sounds illogical, perhaps, but you’ll be surprised at the effect exercise can deliver. Physical activity gets your limbs moving, your blood flowing and your heart pumping. It’s invigorating. And, if you start exercising regularly, you’ll enjoy other energizing benefits. Like stress reduction and better sleep.
What’s more, I can almost guarantee that catching a glimpse in the mirror of a trimmer silhouette will perk up your day.
Stress is the scourge of our modern lives. Truth be told, it’s the reason lurking behind a HUGE proportion of doctor’s visits. And it’s the core factor beneath an awful lot of fatigue. And to be honest, I’ve yet to meet a mom who doesn’t admit to having a pretty high level of stress.
It’s not that you’re merely imagining your dwindling energy. It’s way more than that. A deep mind-body connection exists, and there’s a lot of physiologic change triggered by unrelenting stress: chronic inflammation and hormone imbalance, for starters.
Is your fatigue truly due to deep-down stress? The only person who can answer this is you. You need to take a penetrating look at your life. And be straight with yourself.
And then get to the business of dealing with your stress. How to do that? Start here.
...there’s one more thing to do if your energy level is truly suffering: talk to your doctor. You may need to get a checkup and have blood tests, to rule out common physiologic causes of fatigue like iron-deficiency anemia or thyroid disease.