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While being mommy is the most fulfilling and gratifying experience in the world it is equally challenging, stressful and exhausting. There are a myriad of responsibilities, often pushing us very close to our limits. As moms we are supposed to be super-humans always on our toes 24 x 7, without leaves or holidays. We often get too busy taking care of family, kids and chores that we forget to take care of ourselves. As a result fatigue and lethargy are quite common. Feeling completely drained physically and mentally and dragging oneself throughout the day is quite common for most of us. Shared below are 10 natural ways of re-energizing yourself that have immensely helped me in staying active and being overall healthy.
1. Stay Hydrated: Our body is majorly made up of water (70% water content). As soon as the water level goes down, body starts showing some warning signs. Research shows, lack of fluids can cause headache, lethargy and fatigue much before we feel thirsty. So we should be proactive with or fluid intake. The more water you take more alert and active you feel Recommended daily intake of water is around 2.7 litres (6-8 glasses). Other than water any liquid taken - tea, coffee, juice or drinks can add to the fluid content of the body. Take frequent sips throughout the day to stay hydrated. If you sometime feel really tired and lethargic try gulping down a bottle of water and see the difference.
2. Start your day a little earlier: Nothing can be more tempting than snoozing off the alarm clock in the morning and going for that extra dose of nap. In 2010 research done in Harvard University found that early risers are more proactive. By waking up a little earlier, you start to reduce stress in your life by eliminating the need to rush in the mornings. The first hour spent well in the morning sets up the tone for rest of the day and you feel more happy and energetic. Waking up early has been found to be improving the quality of night sleep and it also prepares your tummy for a hefty breakfast. No doubt waking up early is difficult in the beginning. I used the “rocket launching method”. Start counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1 and get up, even if you don’t wish to. Soon your body will adjust the biological clock and it would be easier for you to wake up by your own.
3. Do not Skip Breakfast: While we all know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day it is also the easiest meal to be skipped altogether. We skip our breakfast either because we are not hungry in the morning or are too busy in our daily chores. A Healthy Breakfast rich in proteins and fibres have significantly been found to improve concentration and provide more strength and endurance to engage in physical activities. There are several other benefits of having a proper breakfast including better digestion, better immunity and weight control.
4. Watch your Iron Intake: Pregnancy and lactation can make the mother’s body deficient of many vital minerals as they are supplied through the mother’s body to the baby. Deficiency of Iron and calcium is quite common. Iron is a part of the hemoglobin component of the blood and is crucial for oxygen transportation across the body. Calcium is required for stronger bones and teeth. Iron Deficiency can often lead to lethargy and fatigue accompanied by other symptoms like excess hair fall. Dark green vegetables like spinach, peas, beans, jaggery, dates, pomegranate and iron fortified cereals are major sources of iron. Calcium is derived from milk and milk products. Include the mentioned items in your diet and you will notice a shift in your vigor. If lethargy still persists consult your doctor for supplementation.
5. Sip some Juice: Fresh Fruit Juice is not only an excellent thirst quencher but it is an excellent instant energizer too. Fruit juices are packed with simplest sugars “fructose” that is absorbed in the blood for circulation immediately, providing you an instant surge of energy. Citrus Juices like lime, orange and musambi are rich sources of vitamin C, that aids in Iron absorption from the diet and hence improves the oxygen supply to the brain making you feel fresh and rejuvenated. I would always prefer fresh homemade juices over the packaged ones as they are devoid of added sugar and preservatives.
6. Stretch Yourself: When you feel exhausted and are having trouble in staying awake try stretching out a bit. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons increasing the blood flow and hence more oxygen reaches to all the body including brain giving you an instant energy boost. Simple stretching exercises if done regularly for just 5- 10 mins can make you more flexible, improve your stamina and increase your endurance.
7. Practice Power napping: Our body is supposed to be in the repair mode while we are sleeping. While an adequate, good quality night sleep is absolutely essential for proper functioning of the body, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance (National Sleep Foundation). A short nap (power nap or cat nap as many call it)is usually recommended for short term alertness. It can significantly improve your stamina without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with night time sleep.
8. Munch on Dry Fruits: Dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds, dried figs, apricot, plum and cherries are power packed with magnesium, an essential mineral required by the body for ATP (energy) generation. Dry fruits are very healthy snacks that can give you lots of energy but will not kill your appetite for lunch.
9. Take a quick Shower or Just change clothes: Bathing has a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and body due to water pouring in and the fragrances used, that can revitalize your body and rejuvenate your soul. Research further suggests bathing in hot water makes your heart beat a little faster giving it a healthy exercise. Since the heart beats faster, lungs inflate more as a result more oxygen is taken in and circulated in the blood vessels providing energy. If you don’t have enough time for bath, just put on some fresh clothes and dab on some good fragrance. It would awaken your senses fully and helps you get on your feet and spend the rest of the day with vigor.
10. Grab a cup of coffee: “Moderate coffee consumption- defined as 3 or 4 cups of coffee ( 300-400 mg caffeine) carries little evidence of health risk and some evidence of health benefits” concludes research from Linus Pauling University (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, March 2006). Caffeine intake can improve your short term memory. Studies suggest drinking coffee may help prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver diseases including liver cancer. If you are not too fond of coffee like me, you can go for the milder sources of caffeine like green tea and black tea that would do the trick.