Parent exhaustion is a real thing. From losing sleep to never sitting down and constantly on the go. Time, outside of work, feels like it moves at warp speed. Time at home becomes less and less as your kid(s) get older. Keeping the household running, feeding your family, and working your day job are also on your to-do list. Finding time for self-care and date nights is a struggle...and even more likely...non-existent.
Running On Empty
I can't make your kiddo sleep through the night or be home before curfew (I would totally share that superpower if I had it), but I can help you with diet and lifestyle changes. If you're tired of being tired then you need to implement some (if not all) of the tips below.
1. Ditch the Sugar -- Using sugar to fuel your day will lead to crash after crash. To keep your energy steady you need to balance your blood sugar and prevent those crashes. You can download a sample meal plan if you're interested in seeing just how easy it can be to eat a diet low in sugar.
2. Stay Hydrated -- Thirst is the first sign of dehydration, followed by fatigue. Drink your water and avoid sugary beverages. The best way to know if you're getting enough water is to monitor your urine output and color. Your urine should be a pale yellow or straw colored yellow. If your output is dark yellow you're not taking in enough water.
3. Reduce Your Stress -- Stress can impact your energy by taxing your adrenals making you feel tired, but wired or simply cause difficulty falling or staying asleep. You may not be able to eliminate your stressors completely, but you can certainly manage them. Check out this post for 7 Ways to Reduce Stress in 5 Minutes or Less.
4. Improve Your Sleep Quality -- Sleep quality is more important than quantity. If you have interrupted sleep then you absolutely need more of it. If you're a nighttime TV watcher or are often using your devices late at night you need to get some of these blue light blocking glasses. Create a nighttime routine just as you would for your kiddo and get yourself into bed at least 30 minutes before you need to be asleep to wind down. My routine is turning off all bright lights, diffusing my essential oils, and reading a book.
5. Breathe Deeply -- Most of us naturally breathe very shallow from our chest. Intentionally breathing deeply for 60 seconds at a time throughout the day can make a significant impact on your energy. Imagine your ribcage expanding like an umbrella opening to ensure you are diaphragmatic breathing. Breathe in through your nose, hold it, and then let it out slowly through your mouth while imagining your "ribcage umbrella" closing.
6. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake -- It seems counterintuitive because you're probably relying heavily on caffeine since you have low energy. I've been there and I know all of the emotions you're feeling as you read this. Having a cup of black coffee every day is no problem. Having a pot of coffee...not so great. If you're in a whole pot kinda place right now, cut back slowly.
7. Exercise -- I know what you're thinking...you have no energy, how on earth are you supposed to exercise??? You don't have to do a high intensity workout to get the benefits of exercise. Gentle yoga or walking has great benefits too. If you're short on time, you can add a few yoga poses to your nighttime routine or start parking farther away. You don't have to carve out 30-60 minutes to get in exercise. It counts even if it's in 5 minute increments. Moving your body consistently throughout the day may even do more for your energy levels.
8. Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet -- Eating a diet of real, whole foods will help your body get the nutrients it needs to provide energy. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to lethargy and fatigue. For example, many of the B vitamins are required to produce ATP, the energy currency used by the body. Fueling your body with junk will leave you feeling like junk. Eat like you love yourself. 💕
Wondering what a nutrient-dense
diet looks like?
Download my sample meal plan.
<< 3-Day Meal Plan for Balanced Blood Sugar >>
9. Incorporate Adaptogenic Herbs-- These herbs are the most natural way to supplement your diet to increase your energy. They are derived from plants and can increase your energy and help the body cope with stress and fatigue. Some of the best herbs are ashwaganda, rhodiola, holy basil and ginseng. I'm also a big fan of lions mane and cordyceps mushrooms for energy and focus. (You can use this code for $10 your first order from my favorite brand.)
10. Use Essential Oils -- Essential oils are another plant-derived, natural way to increase your energy. One of my go-to blends to diffuse is peppermint and lemon. I use Young Living because of the quality of their products. You want to use a brand you can trust and not get just any oil because synthetic fragrances are harmful to your health and do not have any therapeutic properties.
Let's Do This
Don't fall into the trap of trying to bite off more than you can chew and then waiting for Monday...or the kids to get out of school for the summer. No need to overwhelm yourself. Just choose one thing in this list and when that becomes a habit add another. You got this!
You may not be able to change all of the factors contributing to your low energy, but you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve your situation. You deserve to feel better today. Supporting your body through this season of life is must for survival and your long-term health.
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