If you ask any parent, they’re sure to tell you that parenthood is one of the most tiring, demanding jobs they’ve ever had in their lives. Exhaustion is often par for the course when it comes to parenthood, and regular overwhelm and fatigue can make it hard to perform the tasks that you need to in order to take care of everything and everyone under your care.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to boost your energy as a parent. Here are several tips to help you to keep your energy levels up so you can be the best parent, and person, you can be.
Establish Solid Self-Care Routines
With carpool duties, book reports, crying toddlers and nap schedules to consider, there is often little time left over to take care of your wants, and sometimes not even enough time to ensure your needs are handled, too. During times when you need strength, stamina and metabolism support, take another look at the ways you’re ensuring your basic needs are met.
Some foods are more effective than others and give you sustained energy. If your daily lunch consists of whatever your toddler didn’t eat off of his or her plate, you’re probably not getting the fuel your body needs to function optimally. Make sure to keep healthy, nourishing snacks around that are easy for you to grab and eat while you manage everything else on your list.
It may seem counterintuitive, but those who regularly exercise report increased energy levels than those who don’t. Expending energy can help your body to increase its endurance and stamina, help you to sleep better at night, support your cardiovascular health and reduce stress levels. Try to carve out time each day to take a walk, queue up a workout video or get out of the house to hit the gym.
A sleep-deprived parent simply doesn’t have what they need to function with ease. Sleep deprivation can make you a lot more irritable and weakens your immune system so you’re more likely to get sick, tired and fatigued. It may not be possible to get an uninterrupted seven to nine hours of sleep each night, especially with small children in the house, but it’s important that sleep is a priority. Take naps during the day, go to bed earlier or hand off the kids to a partner or family member so you can get some much-needed shut-eye at night.
Reach Out For Help
Parents have a lot on their plates, but you shouldn’t have to do it all alone. Whenever you can, take up any offers for help or assistance. Call a friend to take the baby off your hands for a few hours so you can rest and recharge, or ask your neighbors to take the dog for a walk during nap time so you can sit down to read a book or listen to music. Your friends and family are there to help.
Though you are completely capable of doing it all on your own, it’s important to remember that asking for help doesn’t mean you’re helpless. It just means you deserve a break.
Let Go of Control
There is a lot of pressure to do everything perfectly as a parent. Society idealizes parents who seem to throw their entire selves into the role, but in practice, this can result in a loss of identity, energy and stability. Rather than strive to do it all flawlessly, try to only take on what you can manage–and decline the rest. Your children don’t need a perfect parent or perfect lives. They just need you to keep showing up for them in the exact ways that you can. A burned-out parent won’t be able to do much at all, so it’s important that you learn to say no and let go of things that you can control so that you can keep showing up empowered by what you can.