6 energy-boosting tips for tired parents

October 27, 2014

Whether you're a first-time mom with baby in tow or the proud parent of multiple toddlers, there will be weeks when you're dragging. Busy days and nighttime feedings can quickly catch up with you, and when you're exhausted, you won't be able to enjoy the little moments with your kids. Use these strategies to get your energy back during those weeks that just won't end. 

1. Take your needs seriously
Too many parents view sleep as a luxury, especially during a baby's first few months at home. However, Baby Sleep Coaching says that needing rest isn't a sign of weakness, and parents need sleep just as much as their kids. If you ignore your exhaustion for too long, there can be serious side effects, like depression or anxiety. The first step toward regaining your energy is acknowledging that you're running on low and are in need of some rest.

2. Create a quiet space
You may find yourself struggling to fall asleep at the end of a busy day because your brain is on overdrive. To help yourself relax at the end of the day, take a few little steps to transform your bedroom into a quiet space. Invest in room-darkening curtains, an eye shade and a comfy pillow. If your spouse is on baby duty for the night, don't be afraid to pop in some earplugs. Rest assured he or she will wake you if need be. After a full night's sleep, you'll be rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the week.

3. Steer clear of technology
Checking your phone or email before bed can also interfere with your sleep. Staring at the computer or television screen stimulates your brain when you should be relaxing. Try to set aside at least 30 minutes before bed for a quiet activity, like reading a book or practicing a few yoga poses. This will prepare your body for rest and help you fall asleep quickly.

4. Fit in some exercise
Contrary to what you might think, exercising can actually boost your energy. A daily workout might not fit into your routine, but try to sneak in a little bit of exercise when you can. Parents magazine explains that getting your blood pumping in the afternoon can improve your sleep. Whether it's a Pilates video while your children nap or a short walk while your spouse watches the kids, you'll see the benefits of exercise. However, try to fit your workout in earlier in the day. Exercising before bed will raise your body temperature and make it harder to fall asleep.

5. Grab a healthy snack
Coffee can only do so much, and sometimes your body will need a nutrient boost to get moving. Skip the sugary snack, as its effects will be short-lived, and pick foods with lots of fiber and protein instead. Elle magazine recommends soaking a few tablespoons of chia seeds in almond milk for 15 minutes to make a protein-packed pudding. Another option is to munch on a few flax crackers, which are low in carbs and high in fiber.

6. Ask for help
When all else fails, put your pride on the back burner and ask for help. Have a family member watch your little ones for a few hours or hire a babysitter to take the kids to a play date so you can catch up on your sleep. Your kids will get a chance to bond with their sitter, and you'll be able to rejuvenate without worrying. Even just a few hours can make a huge difference in your mood and energy levels.

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