On those days when no amount of sleep or coffee can keep you up, try these tricks to up your energy levels in an instant.
WORDS SUE-ANN BAUMGÄRTEL
Mum fatigue, exhaustion, burning both sides of the candle, all mums – whether bright new mums or veteran mums – will experience this part of parenting. From sleepless nights with a fretful newborn or waiting up for your teenage daughter to return from a night out to running a household and holding down a job, there are so many aspects of being a mum that are simply unrelenting. Add on top of that the constant mental chatter of our daily lives – things that weren’t done today, things that were forgotten, things that mustn’t be forgotten – it is all too easy to forget to tank up on some positive energy and fuel. Even if you are constantly on the go, here are some tips that might just give you enough mojo to last until bedtime.
While the thought of moving might be the last thing on your mind when you have just had six hours of broken sleep, exercise has been scientifically proven to boost energy levels. Exercise doesn’t mean clocking in hours of hitting the gym. According to the University of Georgia, regular 20 minutes bouts of low-intensity exercise can reduce fatigue by up to 60 per cent. Anything from taking the stairs instead of the lift to cardio workouts at home will help.
Not all of us have the time to indulge in a massage, but applying pressure to certain acupressure points can help boost energy levels. Apply firm pressure to the following points, and hold for about three minutes while massaging in a circular direction:
✦ At the base of the skull, about one finger-width to the side of the spine
✦ The pad between the thumb and the index finger
✦ The sole of your feet, one-third of the way below your toes
✦ The top of your head
Stretching can open up your body, allowing for increased energy flow. Simple yoga stretches, stretching and holding tired muscles around the neck, shoulder and back, or simply yawning – these little mindful movements will help increase oxygen flow through your body.
Water gives an instant boost to any living thing. Dehydration is a big energy thief and can leave you as wilted and tired as a forgotten houseplant. According to the European Food Safety Authority, breastfeeding mothers need up to 700ml more water a day.
Jazz up your water with lemon juice, slices of fruit or handfuls of frozen berries and ice cubes, or keep a flask of herbal tea at hand to avoid energy dips.
Reducing sugars and starch will help avoid sluggishness. By grazing on complex carbohydrates and proteins such as wholewheat products and nuts, and satisfying your sweet craving with dried fruit, you can sustain a much calmer line of physical energy and strength. Proteins provide you with energy, while fibre makes that energy last.
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