It happens to the best of us. We pack our days full of work, family activities, and chores around the house. We think we can do it all, and then, zap! Our energy is suddenly gone about mid-afternoon, and we barely make it through to dinner, bath-time, and getting the kids all tucked in before we are just ready to collapse.
Did you know there are little things you can do throughout your day that can boost your energy? Just making some small changes can fuel your supply so that you accomplish all you set out to - and still have energy for more. Expectant moms, that goes for us too - to a certain extent. That baby we're making is still draining away a lot of our energy supply, but we can increase it at least a little bit.
To restore your energy, here are a few suggestions that will help power up your day:
1/Makeover your diet - this doesn't need to be a radical overhaul, but some subtle changes here can produce a dramatic effect. Start by eating a healthy breakfast that includes some protein (such as eggs or peanut butter) with some whole grains. Whole grains are digested more slowly by your body and won't send you crashing mid-mid-morning. Protein sticks to your ribs, and keeps you filling fuller longer, with more energy. And have a fruit smoothie (made with yogurt, fresh fruit and ice cubes) in place of the coffee. Or if you must have coffee, switch to half-caf or decaf. The caffeine gives you a big jolt, then lets you down so you begin to feel tired sooner. Then you reach for another cup, and just repeat the cycle...
Also, having smaller, healthy meals throughout the day instead of letting yourself get to the point of starving can keep your energy level running smoothly. Fuel up on fresh veggies, low-fat cheese and crackers, cottage cheese and fruit. Steer clear of sugar-laden treats. These elevate your mood briefly, then send you crashing later. Plus, there's no real nutritional value in them. Make your calories count!
2/ Get some exercise - whether it's running around with the kids or taking a yoga class, do something to move your body! This will create more energy and keep you fit in the process. Plus, when you exercise earlier in the day, it generally helps you sleep better at night.
3/ Take a break - building in some transition time between appointments and commitments helps eliminate the feeling of being rushed throughout the day. Having some silence throughout the day will help give your adrenal systen a rest and help prompt cognitive function. It will also help you have time to focus on the task at hand, listen to the birds singing, take a few deep breaths, and then feel ready to move to the next thing.
4/Relax! Stop pushing yourself and take some time to rest (you need it more than you think you do!) Taking an afternoon nap or sleeping in on weekends can help replenish your body's energy (take turns with your spouse to that you both feel revived). I know what you're thinking about this one - yeah, right! It doesn't have to happen everyday, but if you can squeeze it in every so often it will give you a boost. Try to get the kids on board with you and you'll all benefit.
5/ Make a list - What energizes you? Identify 5 things that can restore your energy. Notice what gives you energy and what zaps it as you move through your day. Then try to incorporate more of what helps you restore your energy, and cut back on what zaps it, or, if possible, eliminate it altogether.
Just a little effort can help you to maximize your energy and move through your day with ease. Just go easy on yourself. If you take time to listen to your body, it will tell you just what you need!