As parents, we are always out of energy.
Between waking up during the night for our kids and catering to their needs all day long, not to mention the day to day grind of normal life (working a job, meals, laundry, dishes…..) there just isn’t enough energy to go around!
And with all that, it seems like the kids have energy to spare! So not only are we juggling everything, but we have to do it at a run just to keep up with the kids.
And it’s never ending.
No weekends off, no holidays off, no 9-5 shifts. So it’s vital that parents get some much-needed energy boosts here and there.
These are my top hacks to keeping up with the kids when you’re out of energy.
(Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor. These steps should not take the place of professional help.)
What if I told you that you could boost your energy… and at the same time be cutting a few of those extra pounds??
That’s right. Who knew?
There are lots of foods that naturally contain the perfect ingredients to cure your mid-day lull. Look for things like fiber, protein (increases concentration and focus), and complex carbs.
Watch out for the short-lived high that comes with a spike in your blood sugar from things like starches and sugars (especially refined sugars) or caffeine. Yes, they give you a quick boost in energy but this is followed by an energy crash that will leave you struggling to continue your everyday tasks. And then the natural tendency is to seek out that high of the sugar rush again! It’s a vicious cycle.
On the other hand, the following foods provide longer and more stable increases in energy.
- Whole Grains
- Dark Chocolate
- Salmon or Tuna
- Spinach or basically any dark leafy greens
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds (Click the image below)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Hummus (Click the image below)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Pistachios (Click the image below)
- Sesame Seeds
Besides all these great foods that help you feel awake and energized, there are great foods that help supplement your sleep. These foods contain ingredients like lactucarium, tryptophan, omega-3’s, melatonin, and serotonin, which can help you sleep more deeply and restfully- thus helping you feel more rested the following day!
Try snacking on one of these great foods just before bed to improve your sleep:
- Small amounts of Cheese
- Elk Meat (Click the image below)
You can also save energy preparing meals using customizable freezer meals.
Don’t Forget Hydration
Water is a very important factor in keeping your body energized.
Being dehydrated can cause you to feel sluggish and lethargic. People often mistake feeling thirsty as feeling hungry, which can increase unhealthy snacking.
As we mentioned earlier, if I chose to eat a snack that is high in refined sugars and carbs, I will have a spike in energy followed by a crash. Lack of water can trigger this cycle.
Drinking plenty of fluids will decrease feeling tired as well as decreasing unhealthy snacks.
Remember that not all fluids are created equal. Watch out to make sure you aren’t drinking unnecessary calories or sugars.
Get Your Sweat On
Exercise increases serotonin to your brain. This directly increases your energy level.
When I think of exercise, I immediately want to go crawl into bed instead. But exercise doesn’t have to be mundane.
Any activity that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up will release endorphins.
My favorite way to get exercise in is to include my kids and neighbors by playing games. It feels great to spend some quality time with my family and also build a healthier lifestyle at the same time. That’s two things checked off the list!
Here’s some great activities to do with your kids that will also give you a great workout and get your energy up:
- Freeze Tag
- Trampoline (Click the image below)
- Anything at the park- swings, climbing, etc.
- Any kind of sports- soccer, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis…..
- Playing catch
- Jump rope
- Climbing trees
- Piggyback rides
- Foot races
- Pretending to be an animal
- Playing Twister (Click image below)
- Riding Bikes
- Roll down hills
- Read for more options of Indoor Activities
Turn on the Tunes
Sometimes, we have done everything we can think of and we are still just tired.
These are the moments when we need a little pick me up.
The first thing I do in these moments is turn on the radio or Pandora!
A little bouncy music can change the mood for the day. Instead of moving slow and lazy, it makes me dance! I can get so much more done with some nice background music playing.
And the kids love it! It’s a great way to cheer them up too- since kids seem to feed off of the adults’ moods. If we are tired and lethargic, it affects them. Sometimes, they mimic a lethargic adult and are also tired…. And other times, they do the opposite and have enough energy for both of you!
In any case, music will get them moving to use up some of that extra energy while giving you the boost you needed to keep going.
Plus, music just makes us happy. We need that.
Hey, Good Lookin….
When parents are feeling zapped, I always recommend putting on a cute outfit. Keeping your body image up is so important to life, but it’s also something that gets overlooked in the busy life of a parent.
So, if you’re so drained that you can’t keep moving, go change your clothes. Find something cute, pizzazz-y, spunky. Something that will put some pep in your step.
Give yourself a confidence boost and then go try again with whatever you needed to get done.
Don’t underestimate the power of your look.
Making Moments Count
If I’ve done all this and I am still feeling lethargic, it might be time to sit down and take a break to consider my own mental well being for the day.
Some days just suck.
On those days, I try to see the silver lining.
Remember that the time you do have matters- even if it doesn’t seem like much. The time you have to sleep matters, so make the most of it. The time you have for “you time” matters, so make the most of it.
And the time you have as a parent matters. Yes, we are exhausted. A lot. But we are so lucky to have these wonderful kids in our lives. They bring so much fun and excitement. They keep life real. They make us carry on.
When things just suck, remember to make the moments count. Love your kids. Tell them and show them.
This will brighten your day and put the pep back in your step.
When you are too tired to do anything, just smile. (What about the days when you have nothing left to give? Read more here!)