There are two sentences I heard repeatedly when I was pregnant with our twin girls. One: You will never sleep again. Two: You will never get anything done again. (Ouch, hit me where it hurts!) I take pride in my high energy and I’m a productivity addict, so I was determined to hold on to both—even with twins. Oh, I also heard that it would be harder for me because I’m an older mom (in my forties) so that really got me fired up to prove that (whiny) theory wrong. Here are five things I’ve learned on how to stay energized no matter how crazy your life gets.
Journal all the good stuff happening.
Have you ever noticed that when you are having an awesome day it doesn’t matter how tired you are because you are just in such a darn good mood it carries you along? A great way to tap into the energy of a fabulous mood is to remind yourself of all the amazing things happening in your life right now. Okay, it only takes five minutes. Grab a journal and list all of your good news, good happenings, and good feelings once a day. A few minutes devoted to this practice can result in super-charged energy. And how cool that you are creating a record of the things, people and experiences that make you the happiest. (Happiness translates to high energy!)
Find an exercise you can’t live without.
My I-can’t-live-without-you-workout is running. And I am actually surprised that I became a runner, because I grew up involved in dance and cheerleading and I didn’t think I could run. Maybe that’s what makes running so appealing in the first place. When I started jogging many years ago I was huffing and puffing and I thought it was awful. When I got past that phase I was like: “Wow, look at me.” The feeling of pushing past what I thought was possible is so rewarding. Now I’m hooked on getting that alone time to run through trails and let my mind wander, or the social time when I run with my husband or a friend. Running allows you to enjoy the sights and come back all sweaty. Exercise keeps you energized, but an exercise you love means more energy times two!
Let go more than you react to things.
I’m a planner and I like it when my days go as planned. When a day goes off course (computer problems, a child with a cold, a meeting that took forever, stuck in a traffic jam) I’ve learned the value of not emotionally reacting. Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep can make a negative thing seem like a big deal when it’s no biggie. I consciously choose not to react. Sometimes I tell myself, “Breathe. You just need a good night’s sleep.” Staying positive is a way to retain energy and not divert any of your energy into a spiral of unnecessary negativity. Something that could annoy you at this moment might seem silly later on, so wait it out. Why waste your precious energy?
Always have something to look forward to on your day.
Of course you look forward to each day spent with your precious children, but you can plan other outlets that are rewarding as well. Read a chapter in a good book, call a friend who lives in another state, prepare a delicious meal, schedule a massage, or work on a personal goal. Plan activities that recharge you.
Have a wind down game plan.
You already know how essential sleep is to your health. (Clean eating, exercise and sleep are the three biggies!) Yet many people abruptly end their day and have trouble falling or staying asleep. To ensure you get the sleep you need to live an energized life, have a wind down game plan at night. Do what works for you: read a magazine, watch a funny (not stressful or intense) show, do some yoga or meditate. Enjoy a quiet conversation with your spouse or take a bubble bath. You know how you always feel serene when you walk into a spa or go on vacation to a tropical place? It’s all due to the environment. Replicate that feeling at home and create an environment that soothes you. (Hint: Put dimmers on your lights and create a spa-like atmosphere in your house!)
Since I was late to mommy hood, and didn’t know if having children would even by possible for me, looking at their little faces gives me energy above all else. Why would I whine about lack of sleep or sigh with low energy when there’s this glorious thing called life to live?