It was a rough night. You couldn’t fall asleep thinking about your to-do list, and then as soon as you did, you were woken by your oldest child climbing into bed with you. You get that child tucked back into the warmth of their bed, and no sooner are you back under the covers than you hear your youngest child cry out. Needless to say, you want to grab a third — or fourth — cup of coffee. No wait, you want an IV drip of caffeine. You’re even considering popping the tab of an energy drink. But wait! There are other solutions for that oh-so-common parental fatigue.
It seems counterintuitive, but one of the best energy boosters is exercise. I’ve really been noticing the effects lately, too. Ever since my Tough Mudder, I’ve been working out a lot more regularly. It still surprises me: I go and work myself really hard, running, lifting weights, doing push-ups. I really wear myself out. But I always feel an energy boost afterwards. I always feel more pep in my step, even if my legs are wobbly. I always feel lighter in body and spirit. And after I have a little time to rest (and let my wobbly bits recover), I always feel way more energetic. For me, it works in both the short and long term. Days I work out, I feel like I can keep up with my kids way better. And in the long term, it’s like my battery recharges more quickly. Life in general doesn’t exhaust me quite so much.
So while the last thing you may want to do when you feel fatigued, worn out or sleepy is work out, it’s truly one of the best things for giving your body a boost. Studies have even shown that sedentary people who exercised reduced fatigue more than people who weren’t active. So when you need a quick energy boost, going for a short walk or doing a few jumping jacks are an instant way to shock the fatigue out of your system. Anything that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing can do wonders!
Lucky for you fatigued moms out there, there are a lot of all-natural energy boosters available to you — and not all of them involved a hot beverage. (Because let’s face it, you can only handle hitting the bathroom so many times in a morning!) Here are eight energy boosters that just might do the trick after a long, sleepless night. You’re going to need extra energy to tackle your resolutions, right?
Energy Booster 1: Go Outside
If possible, get to the great outdoors for a quick energy boost. Spending time outside can help you kick sleepiness to the curb, and studies have shown that exposure to nature has been linked with increased energy and a heightened sense of well-being. Other research has found that those who got active outside scored higher on measures of vitality and enthusiasm and lower on depression and fatigue. It’ll only take a few minutes, too. Take a quick walk, a few breaths of fresh air, or even enjoy your lunch or coffee break outdoors whenever possible during a busy workday.
Tell us: What’s your favorite way to cut fatigue when you’re exhausted? —Erin