Energy Boosts for Busy Mums: The Complete Guide
Being a busy mum can be a paradox – we love our kids for all the world, but ensuring they're looked after and loved is energy draining. And it's no exaggeration to say that being a parent, be it a single mother or father, or as part of a couple, has probably never been more demanding than it is in 2018. If we factor in work commitments, relationships, trying to keep fit and healthy..... and the manic speed of modern life - dreams of feeling like a fully charged Duracell bunny every morning, probably feel like they're actually found somewhere in la-la land. However, thousands of successful men and women continue to achieve amazing things, while juggling a growing brood, and many of them do it by learning how to boost and recharge their energy effectively. Here are six tips to give your energy a boost:
1. SLEEP LIKE YOUR BABIES
Sleep is often the NUMBER ONE problem for parents – there are just too many things to do, before you can finally even think about chilling-out and getting to bed at a reasonable hour! And if you get stuck in a lack-of-sleep cycle, it's obvious that your energy levels never get a chance to fully re-charge. EVERYTHING then becomes energy sapping... exercise, looking after the kids, having a good relationship. And not to mention... CHORES.
Fundamentally, there are two key things to try and do to improve your sleep, and thus boost energy:
✔️ Create more time to get to bed earlier: Make a real commitment to getting to bed at a time that means you get more sleep. Think what you can change in your daily routine, to allow this? Make a commitment and just do it!
✔️Pre-sleep ritual: It's vital to effectively wind-down at night to create more restorative sleep. Dim the lights as early as you can at night, try meditation or yoga, and diffuse essential oils.
2. EXERCISE THE SMART WAY
EVERY high-achieving parent has a few smart tricks up their sleeve when it comes to getting MAXIMUM RESULTS from every aspect of their life – while saving precious time and energy. And selecting the right form of exercise is one of the best ways to boost energy levels, sleep better, and look and feel great, while on a time budget! The secret is to use short, high intensity exercise sessions, whether at home or the gym.
✔️ Just 20 minutes of intense exercise can be as beneficial as a longer session.
3. MEDITATION - LESS WORRY, MORE ENERGY
Downloading an effective Meditation App and using it daily, is a great way to destress and switch the brain's focus to the 'now' – rather than stressing and worrying like you might do at the moment. Most Apps offer short meditation options, with a range of audios for different times of the day, and different moods; this is perfect for a quick morning energy lift, or a de-stressing pre-sleep ritual for energising sleep. If your mind is constantly in a state of thinking about the past and future, which it is for most busy parents, then you're probably also robbing yourself of mental energy, leading to chronic fatigue and poor sleep. Try meditating for a week and see if you notice more energy. Even if you can't stop your kids making a mess of their bedrooms – you should be able to react more calmly and protect your energy levels.
4. DECLUTTER & GET ORGANISED
While meditation will help to bring your mind into the present moment and reduce energy-sapping negative thoughts, it's not a cure-all. But its effects are real, and are likely to be fully realised if you also start trying to simplify your life by becoming less cluttered and more organised. How?
✔️ Get organised with your shopping and cooking on a weekly basis, by creating a routine containing the same meals on Monday to Friday; 4-5 slow cooker favourites can be a god-send and removes the stress of preparing evening meals.
✔️ Using an e-calendar with reminders, is another simple way to put your mind at ease that you have everything under control – which of course, you do! Finding ways to simplify and take control of essential tasks, is liberating when it comes to having less to worry about, and more mental energy.
5. MAKE TIME FOR YOU
Science has proven that the brain responds very differently to activities that we perceive as stressful or boring, versus relaxing and fun. While days out with your kids can of course be amazing, we all have the need to replenish the mind with things that are 'just for me' – whether it's a beauty treatment, a massage, dinner out, or going to watch a film. Real play time just for you isn't negatively selfish – a break every now and then is likely to massive benefit your kids. Taking real time out in your week, even if it's an hour here and an hour there, can have a profound impact on your mental and physical energy.
6. PRIORITIZE NUTRITION
What you eat has a big impact on how much mental and physical energy you have – making a nutritious diet essential for busy parents seeking more zest. A good nutrition and fitness App is a fast way to stay on track with your diet and consume effective levels of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Most people have most energy when eating a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner, with 2-3 healthy snacks. Try the tips below:
✔️ Eat breakfast: When you eat it a 7am or 10am, breakfast replenishes energy stores and minimises morning lethargy. Include slow release carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruit, and some protein (e.g. Glass of milk, protein shake, eggs). Wholegrains and and eggs are rich in B Vitamins which are excellent for brain energy. Adding Neubria Charge is the ideal way to kick-start the day.
✔️ Drink plenty of water: Mild dehydration is a common and often overlooked cause of fatigue. Drink about 2-3L of water a day.
✔️ Eat protein and carbs in combination, especially at lunch: Proteins contain tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes a calm, relaxed feeling, and helps fight emotional fatigue. Eaten with protein, carbohydrates may boost the brain's intake of tryptophan. Proteins also contain tyrosine, a precursor to neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, promoters of alertness, attention and motivation. At lunch, opt for lean protein to help keep the mind attentive and alert, and unrefined carbohydrates to provide glucose to elevate energy and mood. Eating foods with a low glycaemic index, where sugars are absorbed slowly, may help avoid the slump in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly-absorbed sugars or refined starches. Foods with a low glycaemic index include whole grains, high-fibre vegetables, nuts and healthy oils such as olive oil.
✔️ Use caffeine carefully: While caffeine can reduce fatigue, boost alertness and enhance your ability to think clearly for two to four hours, coffee can also cause irritability, jitters and insomnia. You can think about coffee swaps with a caffeine source such as guarana, which can offer the benefits but not the negatives. Nutrients such as theanine and green tea, which further enhance the benefits and reduce the side effects of caffeine.
✔️ Optimise calories: Use an App to guide your calorie and nutrient needs, which vary depending on gender, body type and activity levels.
✔️ Our bodies are designed to get naturally tried through the day – but regardless of whether you have kids, we should wake-up every day feel ready to grab life. The tips above will help you boost and recharge your energy