Being a mom is hard work, especially when you are taking care of a baby or toddler. If you are tired, drained or even sick, you don’t get the luxury of climbing into bed for a long nap, taking an impromptu spa day, or heading to the gym for an extra workout. You have to make do, pushing yourself through the day, until your little one is asleep and you can crash on the couch.
But experienced moms will tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way! Moms can get renewed energy by building in some simple, quick activities throughout the day. These tasks require very little effort but spark you back to life so you can finish your day strong and positive. They are unique ideas above and beyond the usual recommendations to drink a cup of coffee or go for a morning walk (those are good too but sometimes you just need more.)
17 Quick Activities that Energize You for the Whole Day
All of these ideas take 5 minutes or less so they are very doable for Moms, even on days when life is crazy.
(If you are not sure how to find an extra 5 minutes, check out my popular post on how to squeeze in more me time into your day and not feel guilty.)
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#1 Eat an Apple
An apple will give you a boost in energy similar to a cup of coffee with sugar but in a healthier way. Its fructose and fiber keep your energy levels stable and help you feel full longer. The antioxidants in apples are also really good for you. There is a reason for the age-old phrase “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!”
(They are also a Mom’s secret weapon. Give a toddler an apple to munch on when eating out at a restaurant and you will have a much quieter meal.)
Not an apple fan? Try homemade applesauce. Peel and slice a few Granny Smith apples into a pot, add 1/4 cup of water, and heat until soft. Add cinnamon and you have a perfect side dish or topping for oatmeal.
#2 Pause to Breathe
Deep breathing relieves tension, makes you more mindful, and can even calm you down in the middle of a child’s tantrum. Take deep breaths in through your nose. Fill your lungs and hold your breath to a count of 3 before slowly releasing through the mouth. You will feel more relaxed after only a few breaths.
I love to use the Breathe app on my Apple Watch. It reminds me to take time to breathe every day and guides me through a series of deep breaths. It gently taps you on the wrist to let you know when it is time to breathe in and when to breathe out. You can set how long you want to do focused breathing for, I usually do 1-2 minutes at a time. This app is great for when I feel my blood pressure rising, like when I am running late.
#3 Perform Random Acts of Kindness
When I go shopping, I see Moms and Dads all around me struggling with their kids. Sometimes a helping hand can make all the difference. When I hold the door open for a Mom, pick up a dropped toy, watch a kid at the park, or hand out stickers in a long line, I not only make someone else’s day better, but I also make my own day brighter. After an act of kindness, I usually end up feeling so good inside, and the feeling lasts all day long. Instant pick-me up!
I love this Little Kindness: Starbucks Edition story from Twice and a Blue Moon blog. It illustrates my point exactly. You will remember an act of kindness all day and sometimes even years later. Pay it forward!
#4 Sing and Dance with your Kids
My daughter loves to sing and dance. All day long I request songs on our Amazon Echo Dot for her to listen to. I usually end up singing and dancing right along with her. It quickly gets the blood pumping through my body, especially if I have been sitting awhile, and lifts my mood. It also makes chores, like sweeping and dusting, go a lot faster.
Music definitely energizes you for the whole day. Try putting a catchy song on in the car and turn it up loud so both you and your kids have to shout to be heard, you will be laughing in no time. We love listening to “You’re Welcome” on the Moana soundtrack. Every time Dwayne Johnson sings “You’re Welcome,” I reach back and tickle my daughter’s legs.
#5 Complete a Favorite Activity First
Try to complete a favorite activity early in the day. If you save it until the end of the day, chances are it won’t happen. I like to think of it like paying or rewarding yourself first. I rather start the day doing something I love than something I dread.
For example, I enjoy reading magazines, always have. It is one of my guilty pleasures. I buy them at the store all the time. My current favorites are HGTV magazine and People. Instead of heading to Facebook first thing in the morning, I pick-up a magazine to read for a few minutes. I love learning something new first thing in the morning so I can think about it all day. It energizes me through my mundane tasks like laundry and cooking.
#6 Lay on a Tennis Ball for a Quick Back Massage
As my daughter has gotten older, I have started to experience more back pain and tightness in my neck. When my body aches, I pull out my trusty tennis ball. I lay down on the floor on my back and put the ball under a shoulder or under my neck. By pressing down on the ball or rolling across the ball, I can target sore points in my back. It is a great way to get a massage when you are home alone. The tennis ball helps apply targeted pressure to your back and work out knots.
You can also use the tennis ball in a standing position, while leaning against the wall. The ball is between you and the wall. The goal is the same, to apply targeted pressure to knots to relieve tightness in your back.
My chiropractor recommended this technique to me. You can find lots of videos showing how to do this on YouTube.
#7 Hug your Pet (and Kids) More
One of the greatest joys a pet brings is unconditional love. Take full advantage of this love when you are feeling low. After just a few minutes of snuggling or playing with your pet, you will feel refreshed.
Research shows that humans feel better after a hug. If your family is busy, chances are your pet won’t mind an extra squeeze.
When you can, be sure to hug your children more too. Try to hug for 15 seconds at a time for the full mood-boosting benefit.
#8 Send your Spouse a Love Note
Surprise your spouse with a love text. When that special note or heart emoji comes back, you will start feeling excited. The promise of intimacy later in the day boosts everyone’s mood! It is something to look forward to all day.
Want to be a bit more old-fashioned? Write a love note and tuck it into your spouse’s jacket pocket or lunch for a surprise they can find later in the day.
#9 Use Essential Oils
I am still really new to the essential oil scene, but I know many people who have success rubbing essential oils on the bottom of their feet, on their temples, or even over their heart when they start feeling stressed. It is a natural way to relax and boost mood. (Just make sure you are buying quality essential oils that can be used topically.)
My husband and I love to burn lavender at night before bed in our favorite glowing diffuser. The smell is so calming it helps us drift off to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer. There is nothing like a good night’s rest to energize you the whole day.
I recently bought my sister an essential oil diffuser necklace so she can make her favorite oils more portable. This is also the perfect tool for a busy mom on the go who wants to take a little peace with her.
For a quick guide to essential oils, check out this post from my friend at Mama Bird Well Nest.
#10 Make a Delicious Green Smoothie
Blending leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, and beet greens into your favorite smoothie, add beneficial nutrients without extra calories. They help rid the body of toxins that can weigh you down and make you feel sluggish.
Start your day with a healthy green smoothie and you will have all the energy you need to chase after your kids. (Heck, while you are at it, make them one too. Everyone needs to eat more greens).
#11 Plan your Next Vacation
Whenever my motivation to work is low, I take a break and dream about my next trip. I spend a few minutes checking out hotels, searching for flight deals or researching a new destination. Planning a trip, for me, is almost as good as the real thing. I love being able to escape for a few minutes while my daughter naps.
If you know me well, you know that I love Disney and I am always dreaming about my next Disney trip. One of my favorite Disney websites to explore is allears.net because it keeps you up-to-date on everything new and upcoming for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It also has a ton of photos on Disney hotels so you can explore in-depth.
My ultimate favorite thing to read, though, is the allears.net weekly newsletter. (You can subscribe in the bottom right corner of the home page.) The newsletter arrives in my Inbox promptly every Tuesday afternoon, and I look forward to it all day. I instantly transports me to the happiest place on earth.
As a blogger, I find myself sitting at my computer for long stretches of time. After while, I realize my feet are numb and my neck aches. I try to remind myself to take stretching breaks from time-to-time.
I run up-and-down our stairs to shake out my legs (usually grabbing the laundry on the way) and then do some calf stretches. Or, I will stand in a door-way and reach my arms up the sides of the wall to stretch my shoulders and back. Just doing a few simple exercises like these, really helps me push through my to-do list.
One thing I never realized before having my daughter is how much wear and tear picking up kids puts on your body, especially the neck, shoulders, and upper back. I try to remember to stretch first thing in the morning before getting my daughter out of bed. I usually lay on the floor and bring my knees into my chest and then roll-over onto all fours and lift opposite arm/leg.
Sometimes I even get my daughter stretching too. We put our arms above our heads and lean from side-to-side. Stretching is definitely a quick activity that will energize you for the whole day.
#13 Make Time for a Bubble Bath
When I am giving my daughter a bath at night, I often find myself thing about how unfair it is. Why does this little person get such a luxury every single night? I wish I was taking a warm bath too. They are wonderful, guilty pleasures. It reminds me of my days before kids. So, occasionally I make time for one in the routine, and I feel so much better afterwards. Even a 5 minute bath helps me relax and sleep better (especially coupled with essential oils).
For added fun, ask your kids to draw a bath for you. It is funny to see what toys they want you to play with 🙂 All moms deserve a little pampering outside Mother’s Day.
#14 Try Heat Therapy for Neck Tension
If I don’t have time for a bath, then I pull out my Sunbeam heated shoulder wrap that I got on QVC a few years back. I originally bought it to keep my shoulders warm while I was breastfeeding my daughter. Since that time, I use it when I have a migraine or when I am reading. It is like wrapping myself in a long, warm hug. It works great to relieve tension.
If you don’t have a heated blanket or pad, put your favorite shirt in the dryer for a few minutes and warm it up. Or warm a towel and lay it on the back of your neck. Relieving tension in the neck helps the whole body feel better.
#15 Drink Warm Water with Lemon
Recently, I’ve started drinking warm water with lemon before breakfast. It is easy to make and helps remove toxins from the body. I really love how it cleans out my gut, especially after a big meal the night before. I feel lighter after just one cup.
I think the best way to get more energy through-out your day is simply to drink more water. And if lemon water helps you accomplish this, then I say do it! At the very least, you will re-hydrate yourself after a long night of sleeping.
#16 Look for Laughs
Laugher is truly the best medicine. It can quickly boost your mood and give you energy for the rest of the day. Look for laughs wherever you can. Laugh all day.
For example, I ask my daughter to make a silly face. I pull out a laser pointer and make a red dot for my cat to chase. Instagram accounts that make me smile are left open. I call a friend. Or, when all else fails, I turn on a channel like TruTV and watch a few minutes of Impractical Jokers (Yes, it is a guys show, but it is funny. I learned about it from my husband).
#17 Sit in the Sunshine
When all else fails, take yourself outside and sit in direct sunlight for at least 5 minutes. The brightness and warmth will seep into your soul and revitalize you.
If I wake up foggy, and still feel that way by mid-morning even after a cup of coffee, then I take my daughter outside to play on our patio. I sit in the sun and watch her play and soon the fog lifts in my brain and I feel so much better.
- Color a picture with your children
- Eat your favorite food (mine is dark chocolate)
- Jump rope for 5 minutes
- Give/Receive a Foot Massage
- Pray (I have a go-to prayer saved in my phone so I can quickly pull it out to read when I’m feeling stressed)
Being a Mom is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Build a few of the activities listed above into your daily routine and you will feel more energized and ready to tackle whatever life (or your tot) throws at you. Mama, you can do this!
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