Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easy Energy Boosters

One of the most common complaints made by mothers is that they are constantly tired and don't have an ounce of energy left by the end of the day.  Life as a homemaker can be full of countless energy draining activities and it's often difficult to find the time to re-engergize.  But a few simple tricks can help give you the stamina you need to be more productive.

1.  Get dressed for work: Treat your homemaking like a job - get up, take a shower, put on makeup and get dressed as if you were going to work.  Yes, you might feel more comfortable staying in lounge pants with your hair in a pony tail, but it will also make you feel more sleepy too.

2.  Take Vitamin B Complex: Try taking stress reducing and energizing vitamins to help promote good health.  Vitamin B complex includes thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), vitamins B5, B6, B12, biotin and folate. Thiamine, riboflavin and niacin are essential for the release of energy from the food we eat, particularly from carbohydrates. The need for B vitamins increases when you are sick, injured, stressed emotionally or physically, in order to enhance energy protection. 

3.  Exercise:  Try fitting in at least 20 minutes of exercise a day.  Working out in the morning is best to get a metabolism up and running, but if this doesn't fit your schedule, try to exercise during your child's nap time or include them in the exercise altogether.  See if they will work out with you, play quietly along side of you while you exercise or try taking a hike or long walk with them.  This doesn't have to be an all or nothing project, any exercise you can fit in is better than none at all. 

4.  Pop a mint:  The smell of mint raises alertness by stimulating your trigeminal nerve, "the same nerve that's activated by smelling salts," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., director of Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. 

5.  Visual stimulation:  Dishes in the sink, unmade beds, clothes and toys on the floor are all anxiety creators and can be mentally draining.  Clutter signals disorder, which makes it impossible to relax. Try and keep the house clean and organized to provide a comfortable sense of relaxation. 

6.  Drink water:  Cut back on caffeinated beverages like soda, tea and coffee which are diuretics and can dehydrate you even more. For every caffeinated drink you have, guzzle an extra eight ounces of water. A good indication that you are drinking enough water is if your urine is clear or pale yellow.

7.  Get sunlight:  Have a picinic outside or go for a walk as often as weather permits. Just 30 to 60 minutes of sunlight a day can improve energy dramatically.  If you are unable to get outdoors, sit by a window whenever possible.

8.  Eat for energy:  Chosing the right foods for energy and nutrition makes a big impact on how energized a person feels.  Avoid refined carbohydrates which are high in sugar, such as cookies, soda, cakes, doughnuts, and candy and replace them with foods high in protein such as beans or nuts for long lasting energy.  Also, try and eat something every three hours to prevent energy levels from dipping.

9.  Prioritize:  Reduce your schedule by letting things go of some of the things you think you should do but don’t want to do.  Free up your time for what you really need to do or want to be doing! And get rid of the guilt: negative thoughts and unresolved issues are taxing, taking up lots of mental energy.  Say NO! If it is not an absolute yes you want to do it, then don’t say yes.

10. Avoid alcohol:  Know that glass of wine you enjoy at night to unwind?  Even if it's only one, it can still disrupt sleep and leave you feeling less alert in the morning.  Try skipping it for a few evenings and see if you notice that it's easier to wake up in the morning.

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