This is a guest post by Jessica Donovan from Energetic Mama
The final term of the school year is here and we are well on our way towards the Christmas season – Eeeeek!
Are you a tired mum?
7 ways to get a spring in your step
Are you a tired mum? Our energy levels become even more imperative as mums during this time as we add more and more tasks to our already overflowing to do list. Thankfully I have some tips for you to boost your energy levels so you have a spring in your step right through the festive season.
Put yourself on a pedestal
As mums our needs usually come somewhere toward the end of our list of priorities, which eventually leaves us feeling drained, exhausted and resentful. Putting ourselves first can feel selfish but the truth is our wellbeing is central to the wellbeing of our family. Just as the safety talk goes before the aeroplane takes off, if there is an emergency, put YOUR oxygen mask on first, then see to your children. They won’t have any chance of survival if they don’t have you to look after them. The same goes with our wellbeing, we need to prioritize time to look after ourselves so that we can be more present, energetic and balanced as mothers. We need to make time to do the things that make us feel good, that bring us joy and make us laugh, things that fill up our emotional fuel tanks, only then can we look after our children and the rest of our family to our best ability!
So go ahead and organise a night out with your girlfriends, sign up to a yoga studio, lay on the couch and watch a movie or announce tonight is going to be a make your own dinner night – guilt free. Do whatever it is that will help you focus on your own wellbeing a little more.
Nourish your body
Food is meant to provide nutrients to fuel our bodies but much of what we eat these days is void of nutrition for a number of reasons. The main one being that our food is tampered with, processed, packaged and made to appear healthy by having a big ‘Low fat’ or ‘Sugar free’ stamp on it. I encourage you to focus on what IS in the food rather that what it is free of. ‘Sugar free’ often means ‘packed full of artificial sweeteners’ and ‘low fat; often means ‘high is sugar’.
To get more nutrients from our food we need to focus on ‘Real Food’, that is, food straight from a plant or animal, as close to natural as possible. REAL food doesn’t need to go through a factory, be put in a packet and have health claims stamped all over it. REAL food doesn’t need colours and flavours added to it to make it look and taste good. REAL food doesn’t need vitamins and minerals added to it because it has its own. REAL food doesn’t need to be raised in artificial, inhumane environments, like many of our animal products are these days.
REAL food is nutritious and energizing! There is no need to count calories when you eat REAL food! Vegetables, salads, fruits, nuts and seeds, eggs, chicken and meat are all examples of real foods.
Move your booty
Aim to move your body in a way that you love every single day. You don’t have to do formal exercise, join a gym or run if that is not your thing! Do something you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like another thing to add to your to-do list. Maybe it is playing ball games with your kids, bike riding or having a dance off at home. Moving your body makes you feel good, strengthens your body physically, heightens your mood, enhances your energy levels and improves the health of every single system of your body. Get out of the mindset that you have to exercise to lose weight or you should exercise to flatten your tummy. Move your body because it makes you feel good and it will become something you actually look forward to!
Attend to your adrenals
Our adrenals are two little glands that sit on top of our kidneys in our lower back and pump out stress hormones when we perceive there is stress. In our busy modern lives this process can start first thing in the morning when we open our eyes and start thinking about the dozens of chores that need to be done and continue throughout the day until we hit the pillow.
Eventually our adrenals become depleted and we end up with symptoms of adrenal fatigue which include fatigue during the day but trouble sleeping at night, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, P.M.S, irregular digestion among many others.
So how do we attend to our adrenals while living in the real world? Here are some ideas
- Get an early night aim for lights out by 10pm at the latest for optimum rest and rejuvenation
- Slow down allow yourself 20 minutes to stop during the day, do a short meditation or sit in the sun and have a cup of herbal tea.
- Reduce ‘adrenal stressors’ including caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar and white carbs.
- Eat a palm sized portion of protein at each meal to nourish your adrenals such as eggs, fish, nuts, chicken or red meat.
Live in harmony with your hormones
We often think of our female hormones as annoyances that make us irritable, moody, tired, depressed, anxious or insatiable sugar monsters. Many of us forget it is our hormones that make us women. They give us our curves, our energy, our motivation and our libido. Our hormones allow us to become mothers and are responsible for our nurturing nature. The key to living in harmony with our hormones is BALANCE which can be achieved by paying attention to the way we eat and live. Here’s some simple tips on living in harmony with you hormones
- Say no to sugar Cut back on sugary and starchy foods such as breakfast cereals, breads, cakes, biscuits, pasta, potatoes, soft drinks and sweet snacks which can lead to oestrogen excess.
- Manage stress as it reduces our production of progesterone which leads to PMS symptoms galore. Manage stress levels with gentle exercise, meditation and reducing your commitments in as many ways possible.
- Clean up your environment there are many everyday chemicals that contain xenoestrogens, potent compounds that upset your hormone balance. To reduce your exposure eat more organic food, reduce plastic use and use natural cleaning products, cosmetics and toiletries.
- Look after your liver healthy hormones depend on a healthy liver. Reduce alcohol caffeine and processed foods, eat more cruciferous veggies and add some freshly squeezed lemon to your water.
Get a naturopathic check up
A good naturopath will look at your health holistically (the whole you) including an in depth look at your lifestyle, diet, hormone health, energy levels, gut health, sleep quality and more. They will often do testing themselves or refer you for functional tests to reveal nutrient levels, adrenal and thyroid health or hormone balance. You will then receive a health plan individualised to your needs as well as support and motivation along your journey to better health. Take the guess work out of your health and seek professional help.
Get organised and think ahead
Healthy food doesn’t just magically fall onto the dinner table every night (wouldn’t that be nice!) You do need to prioritise time in the kitchen but some organisation and planning can help make your week run more smoothly.
- Get organised by stocking your kitchen with fresh food that you are excited about eating. Try and do all of your shopping in one go, once a week to avoid time wasting trips back and forth to the shops
- Backwards meal plan Head out to the market and buy whatever looks fresh and in season then plan your weeks meals around those ingredients. This approach will save you money and you enhance your health.
- Think ahead to the following day and the day after that when you are preparing a meal. Can you make a big batch tonight so that you have leftovers for tomorrow night? Can you pack tomorrow’s lunch while you are preparing dinner?
Being an energetic mum with a spring in your step is totally possible for you. Health has become way too complicated and I want to simplify it for you without the need for dieting, counting calories or fad exercise programs! My approach is all about delicious, satisfying foods combined with a healthy lifestyle, focusing on feeling good and the looking good will follow!
I have put together a free video program where you can find the secrets to feeling and looking great with real food. We cover:
- How to eat healthy when you have no time
- The 3 food mistakes that are making you tired and
- My number 1 food secret to boost your health
You can sign up for the video program here.
Jessica Donovan is a woman’s holistic health expert who helps mums get their sparkle back and become a more energetic, calm and joyful version of themselves. She is a one stop shop for all things nutrition, stress and hormone related. Jessica combines her deep naturopathic knowledge with a realistic, empathetic, inspiring and down to earth approach to empower women to look after themselves and take charge of their own wellbeing.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR TIPS
Through the new series ‘Helping mums thrive at home‘ I will be sharing my stories and tips, but I would love to read and share yours as well, just like Melinda’s. I am positive those who are feeling out of control at the moment will find some comfort and help reading how other mums have managed to get through these times, be it that you struggled too or you found one simple tip made a difference or you found a way to manage from the beginning. Your story and tips can make a big difference to another mum. Please email me your story or tips.
This post is a part of The Organised Housewife’s guide to help mums thrive at home series. You can view all other posts in the series here.