February 22, 2024 - 6 min read
February 22, 2024

6 Natural Ways for Moms to Combat Sadness and Low Energy

face your fears

I’ve been struggling with sadness and low energy for quite some time now. I couldn’t figure out how to stop feeling depressed. I am just coming out of the “2 under 2” phase of life with my two children, and I feel exhausted. That’s normal though, right?! I’m a mom!


I grabbed my 1.5 year old daughter, popped her in the car seat and drove to my old gym today. It’s something I’ve been telling myself I would do for a while and I’ve been pushing it off. I wasn’t ready. It’s been 4 years since I stepped foot in there, back when I had our wedding date to motivate me, no kids and a serious corporate commute. Now I run my own business from home, or the nearest coffee shop, and am a mother to 2 kids that are 18 months apart.


Life is different now. It’s entirely up to me to motivate myself, get myself into healthy routines and get myself out of the house. It’s hard to get out of a funk and stop feeling depressed when you don’t feel mentally strong, coupled with the northeast’s cold winters, it’s a recipe for sadness. 


Most days I feel like I have cinder blocks weighing me down when I’m trying to get up in the morning. I can’t sleep “well” without an over the counter sleep aid and I have a sad level of motivation during the day. Unless it’s for my kids; their existence and what brings them happiness can motivate me to do anything! But something for me? Forget about it. Unless it’s coupled with guilt.

The other night I googled “How to get energy back?” And then I googled “How to stop feeling depressed?” Depressed is a scary word to label yourself as and who knows if it’s ever actually that or not, but I know I am definitely in a funk. And I know there are natural things I can be doing to help my feelings of sadness and low energy that I have not been doing.


The top search results I got from my down in the dumps Google deep-dive are as follows:


1. Stay in touch. Don’t withdraw from life.

I think I’m doing better at this than ever when it comes to “mom friends”. I’ve made an active effort in the car line at pick up and drop off to make some new friends. I can’t actually believe it. I’ve lived here for 7 years and am finally making friends! It definitely has something to do with my kid’s ages and getting into a school routine. 

I’ve also made an effort to meet friends for coffee or lunch and even my spouse. When it comes to husband/partner relationships, this part is really hard. Withdrawing yourself can be a slippery slope. It seems like comparison, resentment, and anger quickly follow. I find that I tell other moms this, but I haven’t been taking my own advice until now. “Date your partner!” I say. Get grandma and grandpa to watch the kiddos for a few hours or call that babysitter and go to a restaurant, sit at the bar, order drinks and apps (whatever you’re into) phones down, laugh with each other and have a date! We’ve been shooting for this minimum once a month and it’s a game changer. It makes everything else better when the two of us are a happy, strong, united team.


2. Be more active. Take up some form of exercise.

I’ve been putting this off terribly. Such little desire to move and such low energy. Maybe some iron pills would help, but really I know my body and nothing would help more than getting my butt moving again and pushing myself to get physically strong. I was doing little things here and there, running from time to time, but nothing consistent. Except for one time, I did a month straight of running daily, back when the weather was nice. Also some postpartum focused workouts, but that was over a year ago now. 

I held back tears when I walked in the gym and I swear I asked way too many questions about the cancellation policy and pricing options. It’s like if I failed, I didn’t want to feel the financial burn and I also wanted to know I had a way out if I wanted one. Why does commitment feel so hard after having children? Commitment and prioritizing things for myself. I knew I needed to do this. So here we are, team…we’re in it. I committed. For 6 months! They also have child care, so that’s a perk! 🙂


3. Face your fears. Don’t avoid the things you find difficult.

I scribbled this exact phrase on a napkin, “Face your fears. Don’t avoid the things you find difficult.” I stuck it in my underwear drawer. A spot I’d have to visit, privately, every day. I thought about putting it on my bathroom mirror so every morning I brushed my teeth I’d see it, but I didn’t want the pressure of my husband knowing my internal challenges and goals. That would weigh on me more than my own guilt already was.


4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. For some people, alcohol can become a problem.

I’m a believer in balance is everything. I’d be lying to you all if I said I didn’t enjoy my evening drinks. It is definitely a way for me to “wind down” in the evening, but I agree excess in anything isn’t healthy. And who knows, maybe because I finally took the leap into improving my physical health, the desire may subside.


5. Try to eat a healthy diet.

I have learned in my “diet journey” that when you eat healthy food, you crave healthy food. When you eat unhealthy food, you crave unhealthy food. That means cutting out sugar and processed foods, as best as I can, will make me feel better. It’s hard in the beginning but my mind and body learns over time. Detox the crap out and add the good stuff in. It becomes easier to say no to the crap because my body no longer wants it if it hasn’t had it for a while. I’m a competitive person so I turn it into a challenge for myself. 

I’ve learned it’s never the obvious sugars that will get me like the donuts, ice-cream, french toast – of course limiting that or eating the versions with healthy ingredients matters, but more so the sweetened coffee creamer, the bread, ketchup. I’m an ingredient reader now – for myself and for my kids. Caring about what I put in my own body and their bodies really matters to me. And I can see the results. Meltdowns increase (for them and us) when sugar is given too late so I don’t entirely eliminate the treat, I just give it early so my body (or theirs) can burn it.

Another little trick I’ve learned is when I look at my plate, I eat my food in order from most healthy to least healthy and my body handles it better. I feel better after the meal is over and I have extended energy. So if I have blackened chicken, green beans and french fries I’m going to eat the green beans first, then the chicken then the fries – which is hard, but great! I desperately want to eat the fries first, but I stop myself. I’ve really learned to love having a healthy diet and understand how food affects my body, my feelings, and my abilities.


6. Have a routine.

The other day my husband told me I needed routine again. Of course when he said that I wanted to chuck a plate across the room and “accidentally” hit him. A few days later he said it again and then asked me how many things I do at the same time, every day. Once the anger steam settled from me thinking, “How dare he not recognize and appreciate the mother load I mentally carry and how I juggle every day being different, and all the shit going on in my head 24/7, caring for everyone else’s needs?!” 


Once I calmed down, I asked myself the question he asked me and realized I didn’t have enough on that list. Human beings (look at our children) thrive in consistency, predictability, and routine, as do we. Balance between the occasional spontaneity, that I personally find glorious, coupled by a routine foundation is grounding and I found, admittedly, does support mental health and joy. 


I knew my husband was right, which is why it upset me so much. It’s something I had been telling myself to prioritize for months. I had attempted on my own and failed and continued to ignore. So I started off with one thing and did it consistently for a week. Then the next week added another. From something as small as making our bed first thing in the morning to then our kids’ beds, putting in some task blocks on my calendar, it is all beginning to fall into place. 


It certainly takes time to lessen the feelings of depression by way of natural means. It all starts with one consistent commitment. And when I get off track, I come back to that one consistent commitment. Figuratively or literally, I make my bed. And it beats my sadness and low energy again. I end up finding “me” again.



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