16 Dec 5 steps to increasing your energy levels after having a baby
Being a new mum (or even just a mum), energy is normally one of our struggling resources. We tend to pour our energy into looking after everyone else and when our resources are at draining point, we suddenly and quite desperately need that energy for us. We then realise that it’s been depleted and are left exhausted, drained and overwhelmed. At this point we are no good to anyone, especially our children and families.
I’m a firm believer that in order to look after our children and partners, we have to look after ourselves.
As a newly qualified health coach (as well as a mum of four kids) working with postnatal women, I know from first-hand experience what that awful burnt out feeling is but there are ways we can avoid it. These tips are small, manageable yet effective and can actually give you quite a big bang for your buck, without taking on something too time consuming or scary.
Drink more water and less caffeine
Now I know that’s a tricky once, especially when you’ve had little to no sleep with a crying baby. There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and it really can be crippling. Sadly, I’m not a child sleep expert, but I can tell you that drinking copious amounts of tea or coffee won’t make you feel that much better. Yes, it gives you that surge, albeit, momentary kick of energy, but it will only make you feel more depleted in the long run. So my tip is to keep a water bottle near you at all times – especially if you’re breast feeding as this can seriously dehydrate you.
Drink a glass of water when you crave a coffee and if the craving is still there, then have one. At least you’ve had the water beforehand. Once you get into the habit of having water to hand and drinking more, you won’t be so tempted to go for the caffeine. If you need hot drinks, try herbal teas or even green tea, which has some caffeine in. Same goes for the Diet Cokes, ladies. Have a glass of water before the Coke.
Get moving outside, preferably in the morning
I do not want to go outside in rainy conditions, but I do know that once I’m dressed appropriately and get going, it will do me the world of good. I’ll get my step count up, blow off the crabby cobwebs, which can set in when I’ve been inside all day, as well as do wonders for my energy levels.
Getting the morning light on your face also is a great way to wake up your internal body clock and get it set right for the day, which in turn helps you get a better night’s sleep. I understand it’s not always possible to get out first thing or even at all, especially during these hostile winter months but I can assure you that when you do, you will feel happier and more energised when you come back. Plus a walk is a great way to listen to that new album or podcast you’ve wanted to listen to but just not had time.
Limit phone time, especially at night
Phones are a huge part of our lives. They are great at keeping us connected, distracting us when we’re bored and being a source of endless amounts of information. But they also suck the life out of us. You wouldn’t necessarily think that there is a direct correlation to reducing phone time and increasing your energy levels but there is!
As your phone gradually runs out of battery, so does your brain. Once your brain is depleted, anxiety or stress levels may rise. The first steps are acknowledging this and then gradually changing the behaviour. Maybe leave your phone in your bedroom for the evening when downstairs. Put it in your handbag when you walk into the house and leave it there. And at night, leave it in another room – this takes lots of discipline, but once you’re in the routine, books (or other things!) will be back on the agenda and you’ll find you will be sleeping better,
Reduce your sugar intake
It’s the default thing we head to when we feel lethargic and tired we sweets, chocolate, cakes or biscuits. We all think that it will give us the boost to get us through the day. Yes, it may give you a 15-minute surge of energy, but then you get that rollercoaster ‘dip’ and you feel more exhausted than ever. Sugar can also be found in lots of other foods such as white bread, rice, pasta, pastries and cereals. They will all give you the high and the low, which can contribute to mood swings, irritability and low-energy levels. Each time you crave something sweet, ask yourself do you really need it? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Once you’ve asked these questions, then see what you feel like. Very often, it’s habit over hunger and a sweet piece of fruit could very well do the job.
Assess what you’re putting in your body, or even what you’re not. Are you skipping breakfast, missing lunch and then gorging on snacks until you have a huge dinner? If so, change that up. Have a big healthy breakfast, including eggs, avocado or spinach, which will ensure you are full until lunchtime. Add a variety of extra veggies, if you’re eating too much beige food. Reduce the amount of meat or carbs and add some super-satiating foods, such as lentils, sweet potatoes or legumes. Even if you make a big vat of hearty soup once a week and have that for lunch for a few days, it will give you that extra boost you didn’t know was possible.
What I’m trying to illustrate with these 5 tips (and trust me there are more!), is that with small steps looking at a variety of elements of your daily life, you will soon notice a big change to your energy levels, mental wellbeing and overall health. If you do try some of these tips and notice a difference, please be sure to get in touch and let me know. I do love a success story.
AUTHOR: KATE MORYOUSSEF
HEALTH COACH, SURREY
Kate Moryoussef is a certified health and life coach in Surrey, as well as an NLP coach. She coaches women who have recently had babies to prioritise their health. This ensures they are happy and healthy for themselves and for their families. Kate wants to empower women to make healthier lifestyle changes and help make better behaviour choices regarding diet and exercise.