Nothing zaps your energy liking hauling kids all day. Here’s how to have more energy as a mom with simple, actionable strategies.
I have 5 kids. I am tired a lot. And yet my life doesn’t seem to care; I am in demand around the clock.
In the past, I would often despair because there just didn’t seem to be enough of me to go around. While I still have days when I wrestle with that thought, I have figured out how to have more energy with some simple strategies—so that I can be a more present, loving mom.
You don’t have to follow these perfectly to have more energy, but if you’re generally aiming in this direction, you’ll start to notice a difference.
If you find this helpful and want to dig deeper, be sure to check out my free video series, Take a Deep Breath.
How to Have More Energy: 10 Simple Strategies
Kids got you zapped? Here are some simple, actionable strategies for more energy:
- Drink more water.
- Block out more time for sleep.
- Exercise as a pick-me-up.
- Follow a routine.
- Leave margin in your schedule.
- Know your energy needs.
- Schedule rest.
- Adjust your expectations.
- Ask for help with your responsibilities.
- Talk to a health professional about how to have more energy.
1. Drink More Water
Our bodies are made of about 60% water; hydration is crucial for carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells, aiding in digestion, glowing skin and hair, and more.
Water is also vital for brain function. When you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to suffer from a bad mood, poor memory, and lack of concentration. Having enough water helps you optimize your focus, energy level, and mood.
In other words, maybe a simple solution to a forgetful “mommy brain” is a little more H2O!
Trust me, I know how hard this is. I would much rather reach for my cup of coffee in that mid-afternoon energy slump.
Some tips for staying hydrated to have more energy:
- Track your water intake daily; aim for 1/2 an ounce to an ounce per pound of body weight
- Add fruit infusions like slices of lemon or cucumber if it helps you enjoy your water
- Only reward yourself with drinks like tea or coffee after you’ve had some of your daily water quota
- Prepare your water in advance (measure the next day’s water before bed)
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
2. Block Out More Time for Sleep
At the time I’m writing this, I have a 10-month-old and a four-year-old. It’s not unusual for me to wake up two or more times per night. When people suggest I should just try to get more sleep to get more energy, I have to laugh.
While uninterrupted sleep is ideal, I’ve also found that blocking out a longer amount of time to sleep each night in order to account for wakings helps a lot. I might not get eight straight hours of sleep, but I might get eight hours total within a nine-hour sleeping block.
Some tips for better sleep (and more energy!):
- Turn off electronic devices at least half an hour before bed
- Keep a regular schedule if you can
- Follow a soothing nighttime ritual to wind down
- Try to get up when you wake naturally, not with an alarm
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants late in the day if they keep you up
3. Exercise as a Pick-Me-Up
When you feel sluggish, exercise gets your blood flowing and boosts your energy better than any amount of caffeine. Bonus: regular exercise can also help you sleep better at night, which can improve energy even more.
I used to exercise early in the morning. But now that just doesn’t work for me since I want to maximize my sleep during this season with young children!
I’ve moved my workouts to the early evening before I make dinner. My husband and older kids usually have sports and other activities, and I stay home and do my favorite home workouts with my littles running around. I often get interrupted, but they know the routine well enough now to mostly stay out of the way.
This has made a huge impact on my energy level late in the day. I used to drag my feet through the evenings and then collapse into bed. Now I feel energized to eat dinner and clean up before winding down.
Experiment with various times and exercise routines and discover what works best when it comes to your schedule and energy level. While I love strength training and HIIT, a brisk walk can do the trick too. You do you!
4. Follow a Routine
As flexible as I like to be, I function better as a human being when I follow a daily routine. That’s because our brains are wired to do much of their regular functions on autopilot; God designed our bodies to follow a rhythm just like everything else in nature.
When I’m following a routine, I spend less mental energy making decisions about what to do in each given moment. I have more energy to devote to loving my family and making the decisions that actually matter.
Unsurprisingly, kids also thrive on routine. One of my daughters was adopted and has experienced chaos and trauma. Knowing what to expect gives her security and stability. The more peaceful our home is, the more energy all of us have.
A routine doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can also be flexible. To increase your energy level, try doing just one or two things at the same time and in the same order each day, and note how you feel. Then you can add to your routine when you feel it will be beneficial.
5. Leave Margin in Your Schedule
Speaking of routines, I’ve taken the extreme approach; I used to notoriously pack my schedule from morning to night. I would get frustrated a few hours into the day when life happened, I got thrown off, and I was “behind” for the rest of the day.
Then I found the life-giving skill of creating margin, or buffer, between activities in the schedule.
Need to be at an appointment? Be sure you calculate drive time and loading up time, and then add ten minutes. Think you need 30 minutes to cook dinner? Add in time for setting the table, cleaning up, and then add ten minutes. Think you need to be asleep by 11 to get the rest you need? Be in bed by 10:30. You get the idea.
You will have so much more energy when you’re not constantly feeling defeated or trying to adjust on the fly. Trust me on this.
Related post: 11 Bible Verses for the Exhausted Mama
6. Know Your Energy Needs
When it comes to energy, everyone has different activities that either give them life or exhaust them. A well-known example is that extroverts feel energized when they spend time in a crowd, while introverts are drained.
But it’s not just other people that affect your energy level; it’s everything.
It’s well worth the effort to take a minute and write down what energizes you and what drains you. Create two columns with a list in each of these categories.
For example, being in a quiet coffee shop, going for a walk, reading a book, and deep conversations one-on-one are all things that energize me. Playing with small children (yep), crowds, and loud music drain me.
You may be surprised to find that what gives you energy (or what takes it away) is non-conventional or different than what you might expect. Be honest with yourself—and then adjust accordingly.
7. Schedule Rest
One huge mistake that moms make is to try to fit in time to rest or self-care whenever they get around to it. Here’s a truth bomb: you will never get around to it! Someone else’s needs will always come up.
I am admittedly not very good at this, but it is vital to schedule time to rest. I try to be intentional about refueling my energy daily, weekly, and monthly/seasonally. Once you know what gives you more energy, carve out some time to put self-care and other healthy habits into practice!
Related post: 3 Ways Overwhelmed Moms Can Truly Rest
8. Adjust Your Expectations
If you’re an ambitious person like I am, you may have a million great intentions about how you want to spend your time. But if you’re a mom, chances are you are sometimes unrealistic about what you can accomplish in this very demanding season of life.
It’s okay that you don’t have the energy to accomplish all the things. No honest human does.
A trick I’ve learned is to be more realistic about my expectations for myself and my limited time and energy. For example, before I had kids I was able to regularly have daily Bible devotions and prayer times that were half an hour to an hour long. Right now, I’m lucky if I get ten minutes uninterrupted.
And that’s okay. That’s what I expect. When I am more realistic in this way, I feel like I have more energy because I’m not running myself ragged trying to cram everything in (I also don’t feel guilty).
Related post: How to Have Daily Bible Devotions When Life Is Chaotic
9. Ask for Help with Your Responsibilities
This tip for getting more energy is one of the most difficult: asking for help. My husband and I are both pretty tired these days with all of the demands we face, so I can feel guilty asking for his assistance.
But I try to get over myself and ask anyway. The worst he could say is no. And usually he doesn’t say no; if he’s stretched thin, we’ll have a conversation about how we can work better as a team so we can both have more energy.
We also have built a large support network that includes extended family, neighbors, church friends, and homeschool families. When we adopted a child and then had a baby less than a year later, I had no choice but to lean heavily on my people. And I’m so grateful for this humbling experience!
A lot of moms tell me that they are lonely and have very little support, especially after the pandemic. My challenge to you is to start somewhere, anywhere! Reach out to another mom at the library, have a conversation, and build those bridges when you can. Over time, your support will grow.
10. Talk to a Health Professional About How to Have More Energy
If you’ve done everything you know how to have more energy and you still feel exhausted, have a conversation with a health professional. There could be something going on with your body that you’re not aware of, like an infection, adrenal fatigue, hormonal issues, food sensitivity, or a host of other things.
It’s helpful if you keep a journal about everything that affects your energy, including your sleep habits, diet, daily activity, and when you feel your best and your worst.
Sometimes it can take some trial and error before you figure out what is going on. Don’t give up, and get multiple opinions if you’re not getting helpful answers.
I’d love to hear your response! Leave a comment: which of these do you think would be most helpful in your life? Is there anything that’s preventing you from these practices for having more energy?