Do you have enough energy in your day to do everything you have to do? Unfortunately this question is more often than not answered with a very definite and loud, NO!
So as a mum how can you create more energy in your life so that you can begin to feel really present and engaged and possible even excited about your life rather than simply running on autopilot and barely getting through each day.
As a mum (read ‘housekeeper, taxi driver, chef, carer, psychologist etc) of two and a business owner here are my top tips for creating more energy in your life so that you can begin to feel more alive and happy!
First and foremost you have to have a plan. Planning your week ahead of time has got to be the number 1 all time tip for creating more energy and time in your life. I know this sounds boring and so uninspiring but setting time aside on the weekend to plan meals AND your exercise ahead of time is an absolute must. It doesn’t mean that everything is now set in concrete but at least it gives you some structure to work from.
Firstly you want to take a look at food for the week. Fuelling hungry mouths with nutritious tasty food can most certainly be a challenge. Meal planning is a must. Having a file of family favourite recipes from which you can select a couple of ‘old faithfuls’ for the week ahead can be extremely helpful. Whilst planning these meals, think about your weekly calendar and commitments. Schedule in quick easy meals for days when you are working late or when the kids have after school activities. Once a week plan to make a double batch of something, this way you can pop it in the freezer for one of your busy nights next week. Think casseroles, soups or bolognaise sauce.
Once you have all your meals planned out, write out a quick shopping list. One big shop at the start of the week is definitely the way to go. Running in and out of the supermarket everyday is a sure fire way to drain those energy levels even further.
A final food tip is to get as much done as possible when you are ‘in the moment’. That is, when you are in the kitchen preparing dinner, why not get school lunches and any veggie and fruit chopping for the following day out of the way. Mornings are always crazy so having these things organised ahead of time can make a massive difference to how your day begins.
Finally, when it comes to food, give yourself a break every now and then. Scrambled eggs on toast with a few cherry tomatoes thrown onto the plate is a perfectly healthy, kid-friendly meal. Gourmet delights are totally overrated when it comes to weekday family meals.
Did you know that exercise actually gives you more energy rather than sapping it from you? I know that sounds counter-intuitive but it’s true. Once in the habit of exercise you will wonder how you ever functioned without it. The good news is that you don’t need much time at all to reap the rewards. The days of having to walk on a treadmill in a particular fat-burning zone for an endless amount of time are gone (thank goodness!). Latest research suggests that short bursts of high intensity exercise is absolutely the way to go to accelerate results in all areas i.e. fat-burning, health and fitness. Quite simply this could consist of 5-10 minutes (yes that’s all!) of making yourself sweat in your living room three times a week. Now this doesn’t sound like much but if done correctly you will find yourself on your back desperately trying to suck in air and lower your heart rate after a short 5-minute bout.
I always encourage my clients to use exercise as an excuse for a bit of ‘me time’ or time to catch-up with friends. Go for a walk around a park instead of sitting around drinking coffee. Try a dance class and have a good laugh at yourself. Stop thinking about exercise as a chore, think of it as a time to have fun and create some energy in your life, who knows you may even begin to enjoy it.
Exercising as a family can be a great experience too. Scooter to your local café with the kids and then treat yourself to a scrumptious latte. When last did you have a go on the monkey bars at the park? Take the dog to the park and play a game of tag with the kids. Energy is the currency of life, so go on out there and create some for yourself.
My final tip to all you mum’s out there is to ask for help! I know you want your significant other and your kids to be intuitive about what you need help with but most often they simply are not. Make a list and delegate. Looking after yourself is paramount to being the best (mum) you can be!