Has the word "energy" disappeared from your vocabulary? Whether you have infants, toddlers, or school-age children, keeping up with the kids on limited sleep can be seriously exhausting. To kiss that constantly drained feeling goodbye, give these six energy-boosting strategies recommended by our members a whirl.
1. Pop a Good Multivitamin
One of the simplest energy tricks in the book is ramping up your daily nutrient intake. As Claudia L. advises, "Take a good nutritional multivitamin/supplement. Most of us don't get the proper nutrition and vitamins from our foods. That has helped me tremendously." Some women's multivitamins are even specifically tailored to improve energy and alertness through B vitamins and guarana.
2. Get Off the Sugar Roller Coaster
Many readers, including Jennifer F., find their energy levels are boosted by "eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and fresh fruit and vegetables<, as opposed to junk food and caffeinated beverages." Water is important too, she advises: "Be sure to drink lots and lots of water . . . especially if you're breastfeeding."
Another great energy-boosting diet trick is noshing on high-protein snacks between meals. As Paula P. explains, "I found snacking on nuts or cheese here and there help me — protein gives me a boost rather than chips and junk that will make me crash later."
3. Catch Some Rays
It's easy to get wrapped up in the house and office all day, but slipping out for a bit of sunshine is an easy way to boost your energy. As Beck W., a mother of a two year old, recommends, "Sit in the sunshine with your back to the sun for 10-15 minutes in the morning." Just don't forget the sunscreen!
4. Reward Yourself
OK, so a sticker chart might not work for you, but kids aren't the only ones who get excited by reward systems.Laura B. suggests tracking and rewarding yourself for daily accomplishments may help motivate and energize you: "Try starting with writing out a short list of things that need to be done . . . As you tick off each thing give yourself some positive reinforcement (a reward of some kind like a nice drink or whatever) and a nicer reward for when you tick off all the chores."
5. Schedule a Check-Up
Fatigue, weakness, and decreased energy are all symptoms of iron deficiency and thyroid problems, so it's worth having your doctor check whether persistent low energy has a medical cause. As Connie M. advises, "Get your iron levels checked. If they are a bit low you can take a supplement to help boost your iron levels and if this is the problem your will feel heaps better in no time." Similarly, Kristi K. recommends getting your thyroid checked: "Mine stopped working right after I had my last child and I would fall asleep at the drop of a hat."
6. Get Moving
While it may sound counterintuitive, exercise is an excellent way to increase energy. As Michigan mom-of-three Renee M. attests, "Even if you're tired, a little bit of physical activity can actually boost your energy (and your self esteem, too)!"
Can't fit in a gym session? A quick walk around the block or a morning dance session can help too, as Lindsey P. shares: "I like to turn up the radio and dance around with my kids after breakfast. I have three kids and they each 'dance' with me in my arms for a song or two. You would be surprised what even 10-15 minutes of wiggling around can do!"