10 Things I Do to FEEL More Energized

posted by Andrea | 05/11/2015
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crazy kids

In general, I would consider myself to be a high-energy person. Even without the help of any caffeine or energy drinks, I usually have lots of energy. I’m a morning person who has taught myself how to still be productive in the evening hours, and thanks to a child who didn’t sleep for 3 years of her life, I’ve learned how to easily manage on less sleep.

That said, with about 7 weeks left until Baby Dekker #3 arrives, a laundry list of house and yard projects to finish up before he arrives (more about those projects later this week!), and 2 little rascals to care for 24/7, it’s probably no huge surprise that I feel a little LESS energetic than normal these days.

busy kids

Not only am I carrying an extra 25 pounds of weight around all day long (plus an extra 30 pounds of Simon as he’s been very clingy lately), I’m also not sleeping that well due to being quite uncomfortable. My back is sore, my arms are sore, my legs have been SUPER restless, and the warmer weather (that I won’t begrudge at all) is making me feel more lethargic as well.

However, I still have a lot to do each day, people to care for, food to make, a home to clean, a business to run, a yard to maintain, commitments to uphold, etc. So I can’t just play the “I’m pregnant and tired” card any time I don’t want to do something.

In fact, there are many times these days when I don’t want to do something because I don’t FEEL very energized…

My solution = make myself FEEL more energized.

That’s right… even though I might not actually BE very energetic at various times during the day, I have a whole bunch of things I can do to make myself FEEL more energized.

And the interesting thing is that when I start to FEEL more energized, I become happier, more productive, and before I know it, I actually HAVE more energy!

Here are 10 things I do to help me FEEL more energized. 

feel more energized

photo source

1. I Have a Written Plan

This is often in the form of a daily to-do list… but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It could just a post it note or alarm on my phone reminding me of the next thing I need to do.

Having a plan (that I almost always make the night before) helps me because I know exactly what I need to do when I wake up the next day. This means that even though I’m usually super tired after another restless night of sleep, I’m much less tempted to just sit around, lay on the couch, or watch TV until the kids wake up.

I have a plan and although I might not necessarily feel like doing anything on my list, I can more easily get started on something quick (like putting dishes or laundry away).

By doing one thing, I’m much more likely to keep plowing through my list of things to do, and that productive jump-start right away in the morning really helps me to feel so much more energized for the rest of the day.

2. I “Get Ready”

Now, I’ll be honest… I put “Get Ready” in quotation marks because I most definitely do NOT spend much time or energy getting ready.

My definition of “getting ready” would simply be wearing a little mascara, brushing my teeth, doing my hair, and changing into something that I did not wear to bed the night before 🙂 (Read more about my simple morning routine here)

Yes, some days I get more dressed up than others, but how fancy or cute I’m dressed is not really the point for me. I just need to know that I’m ready for the day day and that I can leave the house at a moment’s notice if necessary.

By “getting ready” (even if it’s only yoga pants and a t-shirt) I definitely FEEL more energized.

3. I Stay Hydrated

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m a HUGE water drinker. I know that staying hydrated helps me feel more energized… as well as so many other benefits (which I mentioned in this post)

4. I Know My Food Triggers

Yes, I’m 100% all-for eating everything in moderation. However, I also know that there are some foods and certain eating habits that make me feel more energized than others.

For example, if I don’t eat enough for breakfast, I feel hungry and tired and cranky all morning long. Often, I’ll end up snacking on junk ALL morning long and feel sluggish for the rest of the day.

And if I eat too much for lunch, I’ll feel like taking a nap in the afternoon instead of being productive during Simon’s nap — so I try to stick with large breakfasts and smaller lunches with a couple healthier snacks in between.

5. I Try to Stay Moving

I’m actually not big on exercising (as much as I hate to admit that). I do go for lots of walks with the kids, but besides that, I don’t do any other form of traditional “exercise”. However, I DO try to keep moving.

Sometimes I’ll do jumping jacks, or high knees, or leg lifts with Nora — just to make her laugh (she is desperately trying to learn jumping jacks!) Other times, I’ll walk up and down the stairs a couple times or even just do a little stretching.

It might sound crazy, but just a few simple movements get my blood flowing and help me FEEL more energized.

6. I Know When (and How) I Rest Effectively

This one might sound a bit crazy… but it is a huge issue for me.

The fact of the matter is that I CAN NOT take a nap. Not only does my brain usually find it hard to shut off in the middle of the day for a nap, I also know from much experience that if I take a nap in the middle of the day, I will almost always wake up with a headache and much crankier than if I had just stayed awake.

There are a few exceptions to this, but for the most part, I am much more energized by simply closing my eyes for 10 minutes or zoning out to a quick TV program on Netflix than I am trying to take an actual nap.

7. I Surround Myself with Energy

I spend all day with 2 little people with seemingly endless amounts of energy — and although that is sometimes exhausting for me, there are many other times when their energy rubs off on me and helps me to feel more energized.

Also, I have a really hard time being around people who constantly complain about being tired or busy or stressed. I feel like almost every single adult is frequently tired, busy, and stressed… and although there are definitely times for venting and sharing our frustrations, I personally chose not to spend massive amounts of my time with people who complain about these things.

Those type of people tend to drag me down and wear on my patience, making me feel less energized and generally in a worse mood.

8. I Take Time to Do Things I Enjoy

One of my favorite ways to feel more energized is by doing something I love doing — maybe it’s planting some flowers outside or doing a good deep-clean in the kitchen.

Maybe it’s working on my digital photo albums in complete silence after the kids go to bed. Or maybe it’s taking a quick walk ALL BY MYSELF after Dave gets home from school.

Whatever it is, doing something I really enjoy (even if it’s just for 15 minutes) is almost instantaneous energy for me!

9. I Get Rest When I Know I Need It

Although I can generally manage quite well on less sleep than most people, there are definitely days and weeks when I KNOW I need to make sleeping and resting a priority.

When I feel this exhaustion setting in, I will do everything possible to rearrange my schedule to allow for earlier bedtimes, later wake-up times, and more resting periods during the day.

By doing this, I rarely reach the point of being overly exhausted, and I’m often back to feeling super energized in a day or so.

10. I Fake it ‘Til I Make it.

While I don’t normally promote “faking it”, there are certainly times during the day when I don’t feel like chasing kids, pulling weeds, making dinner, or writing a blog post.

However, all those tasks need to get done at some point — and if the other tricks mentioned in this post don’t work for me for whatever reason, there are times when I just need to fake it (yes, this is easier to say than actually do).

After faking it for a bit (sometimes only a few minutes) I already start to feel more energized.

I realize these suggestions won’t work for everyone, but since I am frequently asked questions like “how do you have so much energy?” or “what are your secrets to finding more energy?” I figured this might be a helpful post for many of you.

We all have days and weeks and periods of our lives when we don’t feel very energized. The next time you feel a little less energetic, try one of these tips and see if it helps you!

Do you have any other tips for FEELING more energetic?

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16 comments

  1. Interesting Reads This Week | Frugal, French Style

    07/06/2015

    […] 10 Things I do to feel energized. Another Andrea Dekker article! I clearly have a girl-crush on Ms. Dekker, but she’s such a great font of ideas and inspiration. I often get asked how I’m able to juggle a two-career household, four dogs, another foster dog, my multiple personal projects (including writing a novel), volunteering, and all the other things that keep my calendar pages full. I need to write a blog post about it one of these days, but in the meantime, I’m also stealing some ideas from this article by Andrea Dekker, especially the first one: “I have a written plan.” […]

  2. Katherine

    05/12/2015

    Essential oil junkies will swear by the power of oils! I am not as convinced as some, but have a little bottle of peppermint and another of lemon. I will add a few drops of one of those to water and let it simmer on the stove. There’s something energizing about lemon or peppermint for me! Or maybe it is just the act of doing something to revive myself– whatever the case, that helps me on occasion.

    [Reply]

  3. Julia K

    05/12/2015

    “Just one thing, and then….” that is what I tell myself when my energy seems all but gone (like about now – LOL – it’s 10.44 PM here and while it is SO tempting to just fall into bed – I know my kitchen is still a disaster area which will seem SO much worse in the morning …..SO – if I JUST spend 20 mins in the kitchen – THEN – I can take a relaxing shower / have a cup of tea …..

    Let’s see how I go …..

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    Julia K Reply:

    OK – 11.45 pm now – BUT the dishes are done and I’ve had a nice warm shower and am wearing my nightgown. Took longer than 20 mins to do the dishes – but THEY ARE DONE !!!! “Just one more thing” may not be a lot – but it is “one less thing” I have to deal with tomorrow – and that can only ever be good !

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    Andrea Reply:

    yay — I’m sure it felt great to get that all done before bed. I don’t know about you, but I always sleep better when I know I have less to do in the morning!

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  4. susie

    05/11/2015

    I was just thinking you get a lot done for being at the end of your pregnancy- good to know you get tired too! My baby is a month old and it feels so good to be rid of those extra 25 pounds! One thing I do is set the timer. I was tired earlier and did not want to clean the kitchen… I set the timer for 15 minutes and started working. When the timer rang, I couldn’t r \ember why it was on! I was on a roll and it was almost finished and when the kitchen is clean, I don’t feel as tired.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, I definitely get tired, but I also know that I’d MUCH rather do things now (before the baby) then after he’s born (when I literally feel like I can’t do anything except sleep and feed the baby)!

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  5. Nayu

    05/11/2015

    I find praying/thinking about God/reading holy scripture can mentally energise me which is essential since health makes fatigue a constant companion for me. Equally reflecting on nature/something you love/whatever you believe in will work too!

    [Reply]

  6. Emily

    05/11/2015

    Great tips Andrea!! I really enjoyed this post! 🙂 Oh restless legs are the worse when you’re already exhausted. I have a terrible time with restless legs during pregnancy. Best solution I have found it to take added calcium supplements. (Also helps with legs cramps). I currently take 2000 mg of calcium every night with my prenatal vitamin and I don’t have any issues with restless legs. Just wanted to pass the info along as it helped me have better sleep my past three pregnancies.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Oops! Made a typo on my comment…meant to say I’m currently taking 500 mg of calcium which I’ll probably up to 1000mg before my pregnancy is over. Goodness, you’d think I could calculate serving size on my supplement bottle. 😉

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  7. Jenny

    05/11/2015

    Hi Andrea!

    LOVE your site. I just recommended it to three of my friends. My husband and girls are falling in love with all the recipes I find on the site — especially the Stromboli and Blondie Bar ones! Thanks for those!

    The comment you made about your legs feeling super restless jumped out at me. During my second pregnancy I had a that quite a bit. I later found out I was anemic (low iron) and that the restless legs and feeling lethargic is a symptom of that. Once I started an iron supplement (under the supervision of my doctor of course) with a glass of orange juice each morning I was sleeping better and better each day, and the restless legs disappeared. This may or may not be the issue for you, but it’s worth a shot! Just thought I’d mention it.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jenny — glad you’re liking my recipes and hopefully your friends will too 🙂

    As for the restless legs, I’ve had them ALL my life, my mom has them, my grandma has them, and I think even Nora has them. We’ve tried pretty much everything but it’s just genetic and nothing has seemed to help.

    I actually just got my iron tested at my last DR appointment and she said it’s “great” so that unfortunately is not the issue for me 🙂

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  8. lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife

    05/11/2015

    This is great. Thank you. I have found that going outside and getting some vitamin D helps me feel more energized. (But it’s hot here!)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we like to get outside a lot too — but it’s still nice and cool in Michigan 🙂

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  9. The Busy Brunette

    05/11/2015

    Andrea,
    I love your tips today! These are exactly what I needed because the last few days I’ve been feeling SO exhausted. I know why – I’ve been going to bed late and waking up early – it’s my own fault. Nevertheless, I can always use some suggestions to feel more well rested. The one thing I absolutely need is my morning cup of coffee. I am like a walking zombie without it… but I try not to drink more than two cups max in a day, or else I really can’t sleep at night! I’m going to use some of your tips in the middle of the afternoon when that “tired time” hits. Thanks so much, and hope you had a nice Mother’s Day weekend!
    “The Busy Brunette”
    http://thebusybrunette.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I don’t think coffee is bad, it’s just never appealed to me 🙂

    And yes, I did have a nice Mother’s Day — nothing special, no gifts or parties or anything, but we got a few house and yard projects done so that was nice!

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