Is your daily level of productivity dependent on your morning coffee fix?
If you answered “yes,” then you aren’t alone! The number of “coffee fix” memes I come across daily on social media speaks to just how caffeine-dependent so many of us are. But wouldn’t it be nice to stay energized and efficient all day without coffee? While caffeine offers a quick fix for boosting your energy, when you crash—which you inevitably will, you crash hard.
Here are our top six tips for staying energized as a busy mom.
How to Stay Energized and Efficient
1. Get Some Good-Quality Sleep
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Sleep is super important!
Although sleep can be hard to come by (especially when you have children under 2), good-quality sleep should be a priority. To put it in perspective, according to an article by the Rand Association, insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health, lower productivity, and higher mortality risks.
So, while you can’t force your newborn to sleep through the night, you can invest in a good-quality bed and work on developing a consistent bedtime for yourself. If you know the baby goes down at 8pm and sleeps for a solid 4 hours, then try setting 9pm as your bedtime to make the best use of that time. Even if the kitchen isn’t clean or the laundry hasn’t been folded, it can wait for tomorrow—your sleep can’t! If your kids are older, aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
2. Get Out of Your Chair
Office jobs can make you a slave to your desk, and if you’re not careful, you can end up spending eight hours straight in your chair. Apart from being bad for your health, this can leave you feeling sleepy, unfocused, and less productive. Get your blood flowing with some quick exercises that will force you out of your chair without having to leave your workspace.
From planks to squats to push-ups, you can actually get a lot of exercise right from your desk. Check out more in-office exercise suggestions at Lifehack.org. Even if your work isn’t as sedentary, make a conscious effort to break from your routine and do some stretches or go for a 10-minute walk to get your blood pumping.
3. Eat Healthy
As busy working moms, sometimes it’s just easier to pick up fast food for dinner. But we all know that it’s not doing you or your family any favors health-wise. If you’re pressed for time during the week, consider prepping meals over the weekend and storing them pre-prepared in the freezer.
Do your best to opt for foods that give you longer bursts of energy and increase your focus. Whole grains, oily fish (such as salmon, trout, and mackerel), blueberries, and broccoli are just a few examples. Click here for more power-packed food suggestions.
In addition to eating healthy, though, it’s important to make sure you’re staying well hydrated (coffee doesn’t count!)—it goes a long way in keeping you highly functional. According to the World Health Organization, women should drink at least 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of water a day.
4. Enjoy the Outdoors
Even on a cloudy day, not only will getting outdoors give you a much-needed boost of Vitamin D, but it will also boost your overall energy level and improve your mood.
Try enjoying your lunch outside in the sunshine or walking the kids to the local park and see if your mood doesn’t experience an instant lift! Whether you work from home or in an office, some fresh air and time in the sun can go a long way in helping you avoid that dreaded afternoon slump.
5. Have a Work-to-Home Transitioning Routine
Go to work. Fight traffic. Pick up the kids. Cook dinner. Work on household chores. Collapse in exhaustion. Repeat.
Does this routine sound familiar?
Instead of rushing home in a frantic state to get things done, try scheduling in one day a week to go to a yoga class, or to do something else you enjoy after work, before your at-home routine gets underway.
Do yoga classes sound like a time luxury that you just don’t have? Try driving the long way home instead: crank up some of your favorite tunes and sing along at the top of your lungs—it will help alleviate stress and energize you to transition into your home life. Kids demand quite a bit of energy, after all, especially for a successful bedtime routine!
6. Stay Positive
Actions are important, but they can’t change your quality of life if you don’t also shift your thought process. It’s important not to just make time to do things that make you feel good, but to also think positive thoughts. There is now abundant research that demonstrates the immense power of positive thinking. So why not put it to good use to help improve your day-to-day productivity?
Consider starting your day off with a set of positive statements (better known as affirmations) that you repeat to yourself as you get going in the morning. Whether it’s “I’m an amazing mom” to “I’m a rockstar at work,” choose affirmations that really speak to you and represent aspects of your life that are a source of worry or stress.
You might be surprised by just how powerful beginning your day on a positive note can be!
Staying Energized and Efficient: Small Changes, Big Results
To help yourself stay energized and efficient, you don’t have to make huge lifestyle changes. Little adjustments over time will soon become habit and before you know it, you’ll find your energy levels improving—coffee or no coffee.
Remember that what works for some may not work for you—it’s all about what fits your lifestyle and needs. Give these tips a try and see how things in your life slowly start to shift for the better!