Ten ways mums can have more energy
Life as a mum is busy, it can leave you feeling tired, low on energy, drained, and worn out. This can lead to a yo-yo mood which may leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated.
So how can you move from feeling worn out to alive, energised, happier, and content?
Follow these ten steps to get you feeling confident and comfortable:
Make protein your new best friend. Why? Protein is a mum’s best friend as it is going to help control your food cravings and reduce the urge to snack by keeping you full and satisfied. Protein helps to sustain your energy levels over the course of the day. Include it with your breakfast to avoid the mid-morning munchies and make sure you have a source of protein with your lunch to stop that afternoon energy slump.
Sources of protein include meat, eggs, tofu, tempeh, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds.
Poor old fat gets demonised and flogged as ‘bad’. However, as a mum, you need to make sure you are including fat in your diet. The reason for this relates to your hormones, your mood, and your energy levels. If you include a small amount of healthy fats over the course of the day, they can help to improve your energy levels by keeping you feeling full, satisfied, mentally alert, focused, and motivated.
But isn’t fat bad for me? The answer to this question is that it depends on the type of fat you include in your everyday diet. The type of fat to include are a small amount of saturated fat, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Your body NEEDS fat, it is necessary for:
Helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)
Fat is needed for the production of hormones, meaning fat has a balancing effect
Your brain uses fat to build and repair brain and nerve cells. This means fat helps keep you feeling motivated, mentally alert and helps to support your memory function
So if you’re feeling low on energy and are struggling with brain fog make sure you have enough fat in your diet.
By eating the right type of fats (saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fats) you are providing your body with the right materials to improve your mood and your energy levels.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘eat a rainbow’ but why should you eat a rainbow? By eating a lot of different coloured plant-based foods which includes fruit and vegetables, herbs, spices, and pulses (beans, lentils, and peas) you are getting a good variety of vitamins and minerals. This not only supports your general health and well-being, it will help to improve your energy levels. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals in order to produce energy.
Another added bonus of eating more vegetables is the benefit to your gut bacteria. By eating a variety of plant-based foods you are encouraging a diverse range of beneficial bacteria which helps keep you healthy in a variety of different ways but it also keep your gut bacteria in balance and ultimately this will leave you feeling more energised.
When you’re feeling worn out and drained exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing. However, moving your body can help you feel more energised. Exercise helps to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your muscles and in turn this helps your body to produce more energy and work more efficiently.
You don’t have to take up running but going for a walk can help or yoga or Pilates. The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing and that you feel you can build into your day.
As a mums, sleep can feel like an unattainable goal, for you and your little ones. Since becoming a mum, I’ve become obsessed with sleep, for my children and for me. It is so tough when you’re battling sleepless nights and has a big impact on your energy levels.
There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep:
· Have a consistent bedtime routine
· Daylight exposure in the morning to help the release of sleep hormones in the evening
· Avoid bright lights in the evening
· Meditation – this helps you to fall asleep and fall back to sleep if you wake up at 3am
6. Drink water
Drink more water to help give you more energy. Why? Because if you are dehydrated then your body may feel more tired and weaker than normal.
To ensure you are properly hydrated look at the colour of your urine. If it is light and straw coloured, then you’re probably drinking enough. If it is dark, then this could be a sign that you need to drink more water. Take regular sips of water throughout the day to help keep you hydrated.
So I told you to move more to help support your energy levels but rest is equally important for your health and energy levels. If you are constantly on the go and doing one thing after the other without stopping to pause, in the long term this may lead to feeling burnt out.
Rest is important for your mental health, your mood, your memory, your concentration and your energy levels. Constantly pushing through your tiredness without allowing yourself to rest is the ultimate energy drainer. Don’t feel guilty about resting, think of it has recharging your battery, a bit like when your phone is low and your plug it into charge. You need that too.
8. Be kind to yourself
When you are feeling beyond exhausted do you find that inner critic or the negative voice inside your head speaks to you at the highest volume setting and says the most horrible things to you? You wouldn’t dream of talking to your friends like that so why do you do it to yourself? It just continues to bring you down which zaps your energy even further and leaves you feeling drained. You can change this negative voice and make your self-talk kinder and more positive. It is a hard habit to break but it is totally possible and within your power. It takes practice and time but when you get there it is amazing.
9. Focus on results and not perfection
Striving for perfection can be a major energy drainer. It can also add to feelings of stress, anxiety and overwhelm. It can amplify that negative self-talk which can become distressing and lead to those feelings of not feeling good enough.
Instead, why don’t you focus on progress? You may have a certain goal that you want to achieve so why don’t you celebrate those smalls steps that take you a little bit closer to your goal. Create a Ta-Da list, this is where, at the end of the day, you make a list about the things you did achieve rather than focusing on what you didn’t tick off your to do list. It’s a great to change your mindset and you can feel proud of your progress, not matter how small or big because progress is progress.
10. Watch your sugar intake
When you’re feeling worn out and drained do you find yourself reaching for some chocolate or biscuits for an energy boost? Whilst this may give you an instant life of energy, ultimately relying on sugary foods for energy is going to leave you feeling even more tired and drained than you did before and it fuels more food cravings.
The sugar causes your energy to spike but it quickly drops off again. Think of a rollercoaster that is constantly going up and down, this is what happens to your energy levels when you rely on sugar for a boost. Instead, fill your plate with protein and healthy fats to help keep you feel full, satisfied and energised over the course of the day.
I really hope you find this helpful, this is not an exhaustive list and you don’t have to try everything at once. Pick one to help get you started and give you the motivation to keep going. Change starts with one small baby step.