There’s no way to prepare for the work it takes to be a mom. I’m one of seven kids, so I like to think that growing up in a state of permanent chaos prepared me well for what adult life would look like. My husband and I had four kids in five years, all the while running both of our respective businesses. We feel so blessed for the life we’ve been given, but we also realize that we could work seven days a week without stopping and still never fully catch up. We are always looking at our schedules, looking for efficiencies and time-savers so that we can spend less time on work and more time with our little humans and each other. For us, this is process of focus: on our emotional and mental health, our physical health, our intellectual health, and of course, our spiritual health. This is guidance we’ve learned from The Rhythm of Life by our favorite author, Matthew Kelly, an international speaker and business coach.
Small changes to your hectic schedule are sometimes impossible, but making the right changes will help you feel like you do have more hours in the day. Everyone wants more energy! Energize your life with these steps to thriving in the fast lane:
1. Be grateful
This might seem silly (and obvious) because of course we’re grateful. But, do you focus on how grateful you are? I find that I immediately snap out of my funk when I turn my feelings of being sorry for myself into how lucky and blessed I am. I thank God for the challenges that make me stronger and for the people He put into my life. I do this at least 10 times a day.
2. Pray. A lot.
Prayer doesn’t always have to look like meditation. If every part of our day included some prayer, it would help us with step three. Ask for protection every time you get in the car, thank Him for your food, for the people you run into that day, ask Him to help your day go as planned, ask Him to be in His will. Include the kiddos on this. I’m sure many of you do it, but every time we hear a siren, we stop everything we are doing and pray for whoever is in need.
3. Stay in the moment
By being grateful and praying a lot, we are likely to already be in the moment. It’s easy to lose that peace, though. My mom always says that grace is found in the present moment. When we look ahead or focus on the past, we lose the peace and therefore aren’t receiving the grace and find ourselves out of the moment.
4. Eat right and hydrate
What we eat determines how our day is fueled. Starting our day with off with a veggie egg scramble and piece of fruit is going to help you stay in the moment and keep your energy levels up so much more than skipping breakfast or eating a donut. Our physical health has more impact on our emotional, spiritual and intellectual health than we realize. Make the healthiest choices every time you eat: Pair your carbohydrates with fat and protein, add a color to every meal, eat every three to four hours and drink water — at least 80 ounces a day!
5. Move and exercise
This is not a matter of having time. MAKE TIME. If you can’t find time to exercise, then make time for poor sleep, more health issues and doctors’ visits, more stress and less discipline and confidence. Exercise is everything for a human body. Our ancestors moved so much more than we do and their mental and physical health was better. Get a workout in at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes. That’s the minimum you need to thrive!
6. Sleep consistently
The one thing I never realized before becoming a mother and business owner is that sleep is not a given. We never know what to expect in our house and we have good sleepers. Rather than focusing on getting a certain number of hours of sleep, like the recommended 7-9 hours, try to make a schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This way, if you’re up in the night with kids or worry, your pattern will still help you achieve a full day’s work!
7. Take vitamin D3
I wrote an entire column on vitamin D a couple months ago. In short, add a good vitamin D3 supplement to your day, unless you have a full 20 minutes to sit in the sun every day. It will help keep your mood stable.
8. Eliminate sugar
Don’t be afraid to say no to processed treats … forever! Sugar is the root of all evil, especially processed and bleached sugar. Cutting processed sugar and sucrose out of our lives will reduce stress immensely, and it will also reduce fat storage and keep our energy stable and healthy.
9. Reduce caffeine
When we are tired, we think that caffeine is the answer. Having too much of it can raise our cortisol levels and make our fatigue and stress from fatigue worse than ever. I’m a caffeine drinker myself, but I try to never drink more than 200 mg a day no matter how poor my sleep was.
Even if it’s for 15 minutes. Play something fun with your kids. Jump on the trampoline, play tag, do puzzles, try a fun bath game. It’s hard to believe we can go a full day without playing with our kids. This fills up our cup more than anything else, yet we don’t do it enough.