#TiredAsAMother:: 5 Mom Hacks to Give You More Energy

#TiredAsAMother:: 5 Mom Hacks to Have More EnergyThere’s nothing that can quite zap your energy as your children and everything that comes with #momlife. Sure, we love the little boogers, but man can they can wear us out. But ladies, who has time to be tired? We are too BUSY and have too much to accomplish!

So what are some ways you can boost your bounce? Let me tell you what has been working for me, and maybe it will work for you as well!

1. I ramped up my Vitamin D.

Now before you jump on this bandwagon, be sure to check with your medical provider if this is a good choice for you. However, as a medical provider myself, I have seen so many people have vitamin D deficiencies, and I could see the signs and symptoms in myself this past year: fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, etc. So I decided to up my supplement intake, and I feel like it has made a big difference in my overall health and stamina! Check out my Houston Moms post on vitamin D for more facts and tips.

2. I make sure I get enough quality sleep.

This one may seem like a no brainer, but how many of you out there don’t get enough sleep? Or you sleep, but it is interrupted sleep? Of all the lifestyle factors that can influence your health, sleep is arguably the most important. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults, so that is what I aim for. I have come to understand what affects my sleep, both in negative and positive ways. I treasure quality sleep and do all that I can to obtain. Sure, I may look crazy in that I travel everywhere with a mechanical fan, but hey, priorities!

3. I recognized my mental health was suffering, and I got help.

I can’t tell you how many patients I have seen in the clinic that come in complaining of fatigue, and after a multitude of tests to rule out an organic cause, we determine it to be from stress. So many of us are living in a high state of stress, especially this past year! Mental health problems are rampant.

So how do you know when it is time to seek out help? I tell patients it is one of three things::

  1. You have new physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, palpitations, diarrhea, insomnia, etc.
  2. Your family or friends have brought it to your attention that you have been behaving differently. 
  3. It is impacting your daily life and activities.

I definitely experienced all three this past year, and knew I needed to make some changes. I have done counseling for postpartum depression before, and it helped immensely, but I felt like this time I really needed medication. I started on an antidepressant last summer and never looked back! It has truly improved my mood and overall energy levels.

4. I stopped eating processed carbohydrates during the day.

#TiredAsAMother:: 5 Mom Hacks to Have More EnergyThis began as an experiment during Lent last year, as I was trying to think of what I could give up that would really be a test of wills. I love bread. I could eat bread and cheese all day, every day. So I figured, ok I will give up bread. But not just bread… all bread products and anything related to that. For 40 days and 40 nights I abstained from bread. Then on Easter morning I ate 3 biscuits and promptly fell into a coma.

After this experiment, I started to realize that anytime I ate processed sugar during the day, especially bread products {anything from toast or biscuits to sandwiches or pizza}, I felt SO exhausted. I was struggling to make it through the day without a nap {hah! What mom has time for naps?} or a second or third cup of coffee. Then the days I avoided eating processed sugar, I felt so much better.

Over the course of the year I began to cut back on processed sugar during the day, and then this year for Lent I gave up bread again. And my energy level skyrocketed!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I allow myself to eat some of these items sometimes, but mostly at night with dinner. I figure if I get tired, I am going to bed soon anyway, and by the morning I will be fine. But y’all, it has been amazing to see how your diet can dramatically impact the way you feel! And for me, bread is a no-no. Buh-bye, biscuits and gravy.

5. I wake up early, at the same time every day, before my kids are awake.

This is probably the biggest change I have made that has improved my overall energy levels. It may sound silly, since when does waking up early improve your energy, but hear me out. My girls are 4 and 2 years old. By the time they were both a year old, they were sleeping until 7. When I only had my first daughter, I found that if I woke up before she got up, I could sip my coffee in silence while it was still hot, take a shower, and be mentally ready for the day on my own terms. That lasted for about 9 months, and then I got pregnant again and all bets were off.

When my youngest reached a year, she was finally sleeping past 6. Gradually it lengthened to 6:30, and now she will sleep until 7 or 7:30. Over the past 6 months, I have started to implement the waking up early routine again, and holy cow it is awesome!

Don’t think you are a morning person? I am telling you, try this out for a while. I was never a morning person until I had kids, and now it may be my favorite time of the day. I wake up at 6 AM every day, no matter what day it is. I may or may not get dressed; in fact, most of the time I am doing work on the computer or outside in the garden. But the house is QUIET, which is a luxury these days. I make my coffee and drink it in one sitting, hot and yummy. I mentally prepare myself for the day.

Waking up on my own terms, and not when my children wake me up, has made such a dramatic impact on my overall mental health. Having a consistent sleep and wake schedule has made a dramatic impact on my overall physical health. I have SO much more energy during the day because of this. Try it! You may be surprised to find it works for you too.

Well there you have it, moms! Hopefully this has given you some things to think about and try, and I truly hope something in here works for you. There is a reason #tiredasamother is such a popular hashtag, but it doesn’t have to be! There are so many ways you can boost your energy levels, and you deserve to feel your best each and every day!

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