There’s no denying that being a parent is one of the most energy draining jobs you can possibly do. There are often days when I think I’d be less shattered if I worked as an A & E nurse on a Saturday night.
Yet, you can’t just stop. You can’t suddenly say to your child that you’re going to take a lunch break; it doesn’t work like that. Being a parent is relentless and you need to conserve every ounce of energy possible.
There are some obvious things that will affect your energy levels, but also some not-so-obvious:
Ok, so this is fairly obvious and there are not a great deal parents can do about when they’re woken throughout the night by a crying, hungry baby. In fact, I won’t dwell on this too much because only now, aged 3, is Teddy starting to sleep through the night without waking us!
If you eat sugary snacks during the morning, you’re highly likely to feel lethargic during the afternoon. Your blood sugar will drop leaving you feeling tired. So avoid them; especially during the morning.
There I was thinking that I was getting old because I fancied an afternoon nap after lunch! Turns out, it’s just because I ate too much! Large meals need digesting, which diverts our blood supply to the gut leaving us without much energy.
Research has shown that our energy levels respond to natural light. If you spend a long time indoors, under man-made light, you could start to feel that loss of energy.
This must be why I’m so tired the whole time… Jen keeps the heating on all year round! (She does have an auto-immune disease triggered by body temperature…) None the less, warm, stuffy homes can contribute to weariness.
Too Much Sitting
If you’ve spent a lot of time sitting (yeah right, we’re parents!!!) your muscles get stiff, your back starets aching and the skin under your eyes can strain; all terrible for feeling energetic.
So what can we do about it?
It’s fairly simple really.
- Eat well
- Drink well
- Sleep well
- Move well
Now, I know, only too well that this isn’t always possible when you have a 3-year-old demanding you look for snails in the garden whilst you’re trying to get the baby down for an afternoon nap…
It’s worth trying.
Ditch the sugary cereal in the morning in exchange for a hi-protein breakfast or a bowl of hearty oats, steer clear of breakfast juice and keep active (not hard with a toddler). Not to mention, when you do finally get to bed, put the screen down. Or don’t pick it up! Blue light plays havoc with melatonin! (A hormone that helps you sleep!)
With these simple lifestyle changes, you can parent with more energy than ever before!