You’ve Got This: 3 Strategies to Boost Energy

Happy mother and daughter play with a paper windmill on a beautiful, sunny day

You’ve Got This: 3 Strategies to Boost Energy

Parenting is admittedly tiring. Both time and energy are understandably in short supply for just about every parent I know, including myself. But there are certain things we as parents can do to give ourselves an energy boost. Now it may seem contradictory to add more to your daily routine in order to have more energy, but the activities listed below can enhance your energy level and even result in more time for yourself.

Exercise. I know – you’re too tired, there’s not enough time in the day, or there’s no one to watch the kids. More than any other activity (except perhaps sleep), exercise is pushed aside and sacrificed in the name of parenthood. Yet exercise is at the top of the list as an energy booster, and getting up and active becomes all the more important after having kids. While you may not realistically have time to get back to your distance running of days past, there are plenty of practical ways to keep or start being active. It can be as simple as committing to walking more – around the block or the mall, to and from your car, on a treadmill desk, or up and down the stairs. You can even create a fun new routine to exercise with your child by dancing, skipping, riding bikes and just running around outdoors. Not only does regular exercise set a really important example for your children about making physical activity an enjoyable, lifelong habit, but it actually gives you more energy and can help you (and your children) sleep better.

Sleep. All parents value sleep, but for all the time spent ensuring our children get enough of it, we do a bad job of getting it ourselves. You’ve heard it before, but I’m going to say it again: make time in your daily schedule to allow for a good night’s sleep. It’s a relatively simple and surefire energy boost. If you have young children who go to bed early, try to do the same rather than packing more work in after they fall asleep. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re actually more productive and efficient in the morning. 

Dietary Habits. There are many brands out there touting their super food products and energy drinks, guaranteeing they’ll give us the added boost we’re looking for. Many of these products come concentrated in pills, packages and bottles, which can make them seem convenient. Rather than buying into this pre-packaged approach, give yourself an energy boost by simply taking a closer look at your dietary habits. While high sugar and greasy/fatty foods are tempting and may give an initial boost of energy, they do little for supporting more sustained energy levels throughout the day. Take a more strategic approach by eating wholesome foods and balanced meals, and by eating at more regular meal times. Stop reaching for energy dense foods – a deceptive term that tends to refer to foods lacking in nutrients and higher in sugar content. Opt for more nutrient dense foods instead, which contain more nutrients per calorie, and therefore pack a punch when it comes to helping you achieve a longer-lasting boost in both energy and health. Some examples include fruits and vegetables, fat free dairy products, nuts, seeds, nut butters, beans, whole grains, fish and lean meat.

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