Who doesn’t want more energy? Especially when you’re trying to keep up with children and grandchildren!
Energy Savers & Energy Drainers
There are two types of energy: (1) energy savers and (2) energy drainers. Of course I would like to always have more energy, so I am always looking for good ways to save energy!
But sometimes, when I am oh so tired, I cannot think straight! I tend to have all my energy drained and don’t know where to regain my energy.
Here comes Jill (Nana)!
This is where my friend, Jill (Nana) enters with 5 refreshing ways to regain energy! Jill is a grandmother and blogger who created www.adventuresatnanaland.com 🙂
As a fellow mom and grandmother, I know what it’s like to need to get more energy!! We all need more energy!! Especially if we want to keep up with our little ones (which is one of my biggest motivators to keep moving and stay in shape)!!
Ready for more energy? Read more…
Need more energy right now?
Dealing with the grandchildren all day or even for an hour can sometimes take it out of me. I get tired, especially in the late afternoon, and my energy level is just zip. . .zilch. . .nada. But then I look at the clock and think, “Oh my giddy aunt! How am I going to make it until their mother gets back??” I’m pooped and in desperate need of a nap. Help!! I’ve got to get more energy quick!
Can you relate?
Low energy creates moodiness, stress and a lack of concentration. None of these things are going to help you when dealing with the grandkids. Chances are, if you don’t get more energy quickly, you are going to be grumpy with them or worse. . .raise your voice and make idle threats (“idle” because you KNOW you won’t go through with it.)
It’s about that time when I start thinking about an energy pick-me-up. Just a little something that will breathe some new life into a tired, old body.
Over the years, I’ve developed a short list of Do’s and Don’ts that I follow when I need to get more energy. So, here is my list of what to do and what not to do.
Let’s start with what NOT to do.
1. Don’t Grab for Sugar!
The first thing most of us think to do is to grab for something sweet as a quick pick-me-up. Don’t do it!! This will only make you more tired and cranky later on. You’ll be more impatient and less mentally clear. That’s not going to work well when dealing with those grandkids.
Actually, the sugar might not even help short term. There is a new study that was just published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews . These researchers analyzed data from 31 studies and nearly 1,300 people and discovered that sugar does NOT give you more energy or improve your mood. (Although, chocolate really DOES make me happy! 😉Just sayin’.) Their studies showed that ½ hour and also 1 hour after consumption, the sugar actually made things worse.
So, even if chocolate temporarily makes you happy (like it does me), avoid it until after the grandkids are gone home. Then, you can totally reward yourself with chocolate happiness for a job well done!
This “Don’t” includes sugary foods AND drinks. Which brings me to the next one on our list. . .
2. Don’t Chug Down Caffeine!
Another “go to” for most of us is a soda or some other drink with caffeine – Coffee, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mt Dew. . .pick your poison. You may think this is giving you some energy now, but it will give you bigger regrets later.
What do I mean?
Well, for one, the caffeine raises your blood pressure immediately. According to the Mayo Clinic, the effects are short but dramatic. Let’s face it, none of us need that when dealing with the grandchildren! We need to get more energy NOT have a heart attack!
Besides, if you drink caffeine regularly, this won’t give you the pick-me-up you’re looking for unless you up your game and drink more than usual. On top of all of that, the sugar in a regular drink and the sugar-substitute in a diet drink only plays havoc on your overall health and weight. So, let’s not go there. . .
3. Don’t Sit Down or Lay Down!
Heavens! I know your tired, but don’t do it!
Remember this: Energy breeds ENERGY!
The antidote to being tired and having no energy is to MOVE.
When you sit, you signal your body to relax and make it think that it is time to slow down and take a rest. Nope! Not yet! That’s not the direction you want to go right now. You have to stay awake and alert when your watching the “young uns.”
*A little side note: If you do get the chance to grab a snooze while the kiddos are napping, make it a short power nap. If you try to sleep too long, BAM! You’ll be groggy and slow when you wake up. (Besides, if you accidentally sleep longer than they do, they just may get into the kitchen, spread flour all over the floor and counters, and then try to clean it up with water. Eeeeek! Oh, of course, that’s NEVER happened to me! 😉)
4. Don’t Grab for the Wrong Foods
Carbs, salt and fried foods will get you no where at this stage of the game. Carbs may give you some energy for tomorrow if you’ll be with the kids again, but today, they will just slow you down. Stay away from foods with “empty” calories such as chips, french fries, candy, cookies, and bagged snacks – you know, all the really good-tasting but bad — “waist”ing stuff!
5. Don’t Lose It on the Kids
If you’re anything like me, you LOVE your grandkids, but sometimes they just drive you nuts! Right? Be careful to keep your frustrations intact, because there’s a pretty good chance that you are on a pedestal in your grandkids’ eyes. If you lose your temper or get too angry, you may just crush that image.
Also, keep in mind that it’s probably not alltheir fault that you’re feeling moody, stressed or really tired. Yeah, you can put a little bit of blame on them, but you have to take some responsibility for whatever else is going on to make you feel that way.
Now that we’ve talked about some things not to do, let’s talk about some ways that you can get more energy and/or cut down on some of the stress.
Here’s my quick list of DO’s.
1. Do Get Moving
Earlier we talked about not sitting down. So the opposite of that would be to get up and get moving. Have a mini dance party with the grandkids. Take the little people out for a walk. Jog up and down a flight of stairs. Or whatever movement you like and will get you going.
The stairs one works well for me as I have a flight of 15 stairs that lead up to my bedroom! Yep, you read that right! It’s a great way for me to wake up a bit. . .and get a little exercise too. 😉 It’s also a great stress reliever to pound up and down those stairs a time or two!
2. Do Try Some Breathing Techniques
Whether you’re tired or stressed, these breathing techniques will literally breathe some new life into the situation. Try one or both of these:
Complete Breath– Get more energy
- You can do this sitting or lying down (face up)
- Close your eyes and relax
- Let out all your breath
- Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Let your chest and stomach expand filling with air (count to 5)
- Hold your breath (count to 15) and then let it out slowly through your nose pushing out ALL the air (count to 10)
- Repeat a few times – but be careful, you could get a little light-headed if you do it too many times.
Sounding Breath– Relieve stress
- Lie down on your back
- Let out all your breath
- Breathe in slowly through your nose filling your chest, lungs and abdomen
- Contract your throat a little and make a soft hissing sound as you let the air completely out of your lungs – make sure it is long and slow
(Not quite sure how to explain this one exactly, but do your own thing. Just make the exhale long and slow. . .and a bit noisy.)
3. Do Some Quick Yoga
(Don’t get all nervous. . .You don’t need to know anything about yoga to do this!)
This is a quick energy boost for when the afternoon sleepies come to grab you. Yoga can be super fun for the grandkids to do with you too! Most kids love to do yoga. . .not quite sure why, but they do!
Since this sequence is sooooo easy, the kids can just follow along. They will benefit from the stretching and movement as much as you will. Just let them have fun with it!
Did I mention that you don’t need to know anything about yoga to do it?
Here is a quick yoga sequence that you can use to boost your energy quickly and relieve any moodiness that may be setting in. You can get the full explanations for each move and download a little graphic that shows the positions.
4. Do Grab the RIGHT Foods
Unlike some of the foods listed above that you should avoid, there are some good foods that will help get more energy to last throughout the afternoon. Try some fresh fruit, mainly bananas and apples. You can also try some nuts or trail mix, veges, yogurt, herbal teas, or hummus. The best thing to do is to keep a “snack” section in your fridge and pantry. The kids will undoubtedly like a snack too, so make it healthy for them as well.
5. Do Stay Hydrated!
I can’t stress this one enough. You might be surprised at how much energy gets zapped from you when you don’t drink enough. Although there are many opinions about just how much water you have each day, it’s safe to say that you probably aren’t drinking enough.
I’ve heard experts say you should drink anywhere from about ½ gallon to a full gallon a day. I don’t know what the right amount is exactly. I’m just going to tell you to increase what you’re doing now if you are low on energy. If regular water doesn’t do it for you, try infusing your water with some fruit or do a flavored water. . .but avoid the ones with added sugar.
Still Need to Get More Energy When Tending the Grandkids?
Last but not least. . .my last tip comes from the mouth of Captain Obvious:
Get enough sleep!
This isn’t instant energy during the day while you’re tending your grandchildren, but if you know you’re going to be tending, try to get a good night’s sleep the night before. Sleep can cure so many things from bad moods and impatience to some of those nagging health issues.
Getting good sleep is vital to help you get more energy for your day no matter what you’re doing.
Don’t forget that anxiety and stress are energy suckers. Don’t let them ruin the time you have with your precious grandchildren. Relieve those two things with some of the suggestions above, and you will find some instant energy in your day and have plenty to go around for the grandkids too.
Just like your own children, your grandchildren won’t be little for long. Build those relationships by making the most of the time you have together. Don’t let a lack of energy spoil the fun!
Cookies & Milk for Everyone!
Jill is Nana to 14 (soon to be 15) Littles – her grandchildren. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart for over 35 years. Over the years, they have magically melded into one entity known to the Littles as NanaPapa.
Jill has helped and inspired hundreds of grandparents navigate and nurture the relationships between adult children and grandchildren through her blog – Adventures in NanaLand.
Join Jill, Papa and the Littles in NanaLand to get a free copy of 100+ Activities to Spend Quality Time with Your Grandkids and start building long-lasting memories and friendships that will last a lifetime!
Note from Beth @ MooreWellness.Life
Wow, thank you Nana Jill from Adventures in NanaLand. That was great info for all of us who want to gain more energy!!
I cannot wait to try these tips before and during the next week when I get to play with my grandchildren. I can just see me now… reaching for the instant energy drink and thinking wait, not that one!! Then instead reaching for a glass of water, doing yoga poses, and trying the breathing techniques with my grandbabies. Those were some of my favorite ideas that Jill mentioned.
What about you? What energy saver ideas did you like best? Which ones do you think you’ll try?
Ultimate Self Care Mini Course
I actually wrote a guest blog article about Self Care for Grandma’s on Nana Jill’s blog – Adventures in NanaLand.
For all you moms out there, here’s an article for Mom’s Self Care, including tips on time management & getting self care!!
Speaking of ways to take care of yourself, here’s 5 weeks of self care to help you gain more self care!!